Arlington, TX asked in Criminal Law and Communications Law for Texas

Q: I have someone threatening to file harassment charges on me for sending a fb message. Can they do this?

This man posted a racist statement in a public Facebook group. I sent the screenshot to his sister and daughter. I also messaged his wife asking why she deleted me. I have not contacted any of them since, and have asked him to stop contacting me after his initial threat. He sent another message last night.

2 Lawyer Answers
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA

A: A great Tx Lawyer and Judge said: "You can sue a ham sandwich." It sounds like this person thinks his beliefs are the supreme word of God and we should all be worshiping the ground he walks on. He could bring a harassment litigation against you in civil court. The police are usually too busy dealing with real crimes to handle this kind of CR**. I think in TX the word for it is Manure. If he sues you, you will need to hire a local attorney to defend yourself and remember that even in TX there are laws against Malicious Prosecution of a Civil Lawsuit, and you can counter sue him for damages.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Texas has a misdemeanor criminal offense named Harassment which can be committed in several ways, including sending 2 or more annoying electronic messages. Furthermore, committing Harassment on multiple occasions is one of the ways a person can commit felony Stalking. Both crimes are defined in Chapter 42 of the Penal Code.

That said, a private individual cannot "press charges" in Texas criminal courts. So, he could report it to law enforcement, but they would not necessarily do anything about it. Especially if you stop communicating with him. If law enforcement contacts you, do not speak to them without an attorney present. They may claim that they only need to talk to you to complete their paperwork but that is a lie. They are perfectly within their rights to decline to pursue his report without talking to you. If they are asking you questions they already believe you did it and are simply giving you an opportunity to confess.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.