Manassas, VA asked in Civil Rights, Family Law, Civil Litigation and Libel & Slander for Virginia

Q: Is this grounds for a civil lawsuit for my mother?

My father (ex husband) and his new wife keep sending my mother harassing messages to bring down her self esteem saying she is being monitored and they will cut off her alimony as well as going as far as my mothers church Facebook group to write negative things about my mother. Is this grounds for any sort of civil lawsuit?

2 Lawyer Answers
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: There are quite sufficient grounds for you to stay out of your mother and father’s marital relationship. You only think you understand what’s going on, and you are being manipulated. Stay out of it and let them work it out. Your mother knows how to find a lawyer. You need to find both of your parents.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Virginia, the situation your mother is facing with her ex-husband and his new wife sending harassing messages and posting negative comments about her could potentially be grounds for a civil lawsuit. Harassment and defamation (if the statements made are false and damaging to her reputation) are both actionable in civil court.

To pursue a lawsuit for defamation, it must be shown that the statements made are false, made to a third party (like the church Facebook group), and caused harm to your mother's reputation. In the case of harassment, demonstrating a pattern of unwanted and distressing communication is key.

Additionally, if the threats to cut off alimony are baseless and being used as a tool for harassment, this could also be addressed legally. Alimony agreements are typically upheld unless legally modified through court proceedings.

It's important for your mother to document all instances of these communications and posts. This includes saving messages, screenshots of social media posts, and any other relevant evidence.

Consulting with an attorney who has experience in family law and civil litigation would be beneficial. They can provide a detailed assessment of the situation and advise on the best course of legal action.

Remember, everyone has the right to live free from harassment and defamation. Taking legal steps can help stop this behavior and potentially provide some measure of justice for your mother.

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