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Advice re possible restraining order/cease & desist

(9 Posts)
KLago10 Wed 02-Mar-16 08:12:14


I'm posting here as I'd like to know what my family's options are for receiving unwanted contact. I will try and be as concise as possible, sorry if it turns into a longer post but want to outline the situation.

I have a previous thread on relationships - here's the link

The person who is contacting us is my mother in law and the relationship has broken down several times over the past few years due to her emotional abuse and controlling and manipulative behaviour.

She has hit me in the past (on one occasion, twice) and physically blocked me from getting to my child when she needed comforting and was crying her eyes out. She has lied about my DH and I to the family to make us the bad ones and so that they see her as the victim. We now have no contact with any of his side of the family which is incredibly sad, but their choice. My DH has been severely depressed and on medication, and was signed off work for some time last year.

After the latest instalment we wrote to her and informed her that we did not want any kind of relationship with her going forward, due to how hurtful her behaviour is. We also stated that she must not send anything such as cards or presents/other people round to speak to us about this.

My mother in law has now somehow found my Dad's telephone number and called him, and has lied even to my own father about what has happened. She also made demands for him to speak to us then call her back and tell her what we said. As my dad is very aware of the situation (it's been going on for nearly three years now) he saw straight through the act and didn't engage with her.

What I'd like to know is what our options are re making her stop trying to contact us. It's very distressing and we have suffered the loss of DH's side of the family twice over the past 2 years (they withdrew contact the first time this happened, we saw them when we were in contact with her for two months of last year before the nasty behaviour resurfaced, and now they have all gone again), she tells people she wants a relationship with us but continues to lie and make us out to be horrible people. We've gone above and beyond to try and make this work, but it's so upsetting for us both and hurts us to carry on like this.

Thank you for your time, I really appreciate it xx

Collaborate Wed 02-Mar-16 09:06:57

It would be very hard for you to get an injunction under the Protection From Harassment Act on the basis that they are contacting 3rd parties. Fair enough, if you've made it clear that no contact would be acceptable and they are still trying to contact you, but I think that a court would consider their actions in contacting your father too remote to justify an injunction.

This is my initial view on the basis of the small amount of information in your post.

KLago10 Wed 02-Mar-16 09:24:56

Thank you for your reply, we've consistently had phone calls from her until we blocked both her mobile and landline numbers. We were also getting Facebook messages, she has been blocked on there now and then it was text messages so she is blocked on both our mobiles.

She has turned up and sat inside the building in our flat refusing to leave until we'd spoken to her, and was keeping hold of a delivery we'd had which was left outside our front door refusing to leave unless she could personally hand it over to us.

KLago10 Wed 02-Mar-16 09:25:49

Sorry I wasn't as clear in my initial post, I think a lot of the discussion on my previous thread gives an outline as to the pattern of behaviour, but I can answer any questions if I've not been very clear smile

Collaborate Wed 02-Mar-16 10:25:26

You'll find it almost impossible to get an injunction to stop her contacting other people. If there are recent incidents where she's actually approached you then I suggest you make a complaint to the police about harassment.

KLago10 Wed 02-Mar-16 10:44:36

Thanks - So even though she won't stop trying to directly contact us as well when we've written to her to stop, we wouldn't be able to get an injunction?

Collaborate Wed 02-Mar-16 11:58:51

I haven't looked at your earlier thread.

If she's still contacting you direct despite you telling her not to, then go to the police (with evidence if you have it). Otherwise tell all your friends and family not to mention to you when she tries to contact them. It's for them to do something about that behaviour.

traviata Wed 02-Mar-16 14:40:19

I am not so sure that is correct.

Injunctions always contain a clause which says the person must not instruct or encourage any other person to do the things which are prohibited.

If you got an injunction to stop her contacting you, it would also prevent her from ringing your family and trying to get them to speak on her behalf.

What you would not be able to do is protect other people (eg your dad) from her behaviour; if they need protection they have to seek it themselves.

Bearing in mind what Collaborate has said, I think the problem might be that you have managed to protect yourselves to some extent by blocking her. If she is effectively prevented from harassing you directly now, then the court may think that you do not need an injunction, because the effect now is on other people not on you.
sorry, I haven't read your other thread so I don't know if her behaviour is still coming close to you.

traviata Wed 02-Mar-16 14:58:04

I have read your other thread now.

Unfortunately I think you could find it very difficult to get an injunction.

I fully understand that from your perspective and DH's, your MIL has behaved in a way which is intolerable, and I can see why you have gone NC.

However, I think you might find it very difficult to persuade a court that you are at risk of harm (which is the test for an injunction or restraining order).

MIL will say things like "I just wanted to hold the baby " and will try to say that she always meant well.

The really harmful events like hitting you etc are in the past now, and have not been repeated more recently.

Your best bet might just be to keep blocking her as you have done.

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