My fiance’s STBX has been stalking me over the past months: on-line (attempted to ‘friend’ me on facebook, went into classmates.com and opened an account to send messages or search personal information on the site posing as my fiance’), in person (showing up at my home unannounced and threatening me), and through community or professional associates (barging unannounced into my minister’s office, making inaccurate personal accusations, and has threatened to make trouble at my place of employment). I am reluctant to obtain a restraining order at this point because the STBX is committing irrational acts (criminal trespass, stalking, and thinly veiled death threats) and may respond with a heart balm suit (groundless but it may cost me 5 figures to make that point), an assault, or a direct attempt on my life. In the meantime the STBX has escalated the stalking. Can anything be done to stop this without putting myself in increased danger? Am considering filing a police report re stalking and having an officer speak with the STBX. It has been implied that this person is being being encouraged to do these things by an attorney but I find it difficult to believe that an attorney would condone these kinds of actions and threats. Do you have any experience with situations like this? What has been effective in stopping the stalking?
If you are not at the point where you are ready to get a no contact order, then I suggest at the very least, documenting everything. Have any witnesses write up an account of what they witnessed and keep copies of any computer social interactions that are attempted.
Since you are separated you have the right to restrict your spouse from coming to your home or place of business. If the spouse is communicating threats then you need to document those and what exactlyis said. Believe me, a judge can see through a thin veiled threat.
In my opinion though, you must do something. To let things continue without any reactions, especially if things are escalatin to where you fear for your safety, is just not using sound judgement.
I understand that getting a no contact order may cause the person to react more violently. I have personally had a police officer friend tell me that they are not worth much more than the paper they are printed on and often make matters worse. You need documentation of the stalking and harrassment. If he has threatened to go to your employer, then you should disclose all that you feel comfortable with to your employer or direct supervisor. Let them know that if this person is seen on the business property, the local law enforcement should be called. Most places of business have a policy against this behavior anyway. You need to let them know that you are in the process of an ugly divorce. You never know what could cause an escalation of violence.
A couple of years ago, where I work, a estranged husband came in and shot his stbx 3 times. He told her that if she ever left, he would kill her and though they had been separated for nearly 6 months, he still attempted to follow through. She survived and he is in jail for attempted first degree murder and several other felony charges.
The attorney may have some different suggestions but my suggestion is to take some sort of action; get a dog, document everything, install a security camera at your home. Let him know in writing that he is not allowed at your home or place of business. Let him know that any discussions that need to take place can be made through your attorneys or at the police station, if it’s not in writing. Let your neighbors know that if he is seen around your home, the police should be called. Put the distance between you and protect yourself.
I would suggest that you report this behavior to the police and file a harassment report. I cannot imaging why any attorney would encourage this type of behavior as it seems to be far over the line.