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Cease and Desisit Letter?

Started by Trondogs, April 07, 2012, 10:34:53 am

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DH and I would like to send a cease and desist letter to MIL. We do not want her to contact any of us. She continues to email DH. This is how things begin with her and it will escalate quickly. First she emails constantly, then she send things in the mail, begins calling and then starts showing up at our house, where we work and public places.

Keep in mind I still have pending criminal charges against me and now a pending application for visitation of the children that was filed by MIL.

Does anyone have any experience on cease and desist letter. I know some of you have read my previous posts and suggested a cease and desist letter if anything else occurs. I have read and heard from therapists that MIL who they believe to have a personality disorder will take any response as a call for more from her, so I am also worried that this type of letter will instigate more negative contact from MIL. However, I want to be proactive and not reactive from now on since MIL's past pattern of stalking/harassing behavior always begins with an email. It's almost like she's dipping her toe to test the waters...

Thanks Ladies! xoxo


I would ask an attorney. What do you expect to get from that? My sense is that she won't pay any attention to it. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


I highly doubt she'd pay attention to it, but it does give you evidence that you've requested she not contact you and she continues to. Same thing with a restraining order - it can't physically keep someone away, but allows you to call the police and have documentation. And save everything - every e-mail, text, letter, and write down every time she shows up. I'm a nurse, and one thing that's always been pounded into our heads for legal advice is document, document, document. If it's not written, it didn't happen.


I agree, get legal advice.  Good luck.


I would ask your lawyer to draw one up and send it to her.  Like previous posters noted, it won't stop her but it will be documentation that you have asked her to stop and then you document every effort she makes to contact any of you.  This is very important and I would not let it slide thinking she might get better.  Either way, she will probably escalate when she gets no response until she realizes that you or DH will not speak to her.  Be prepared for anything and getting legal counsel is a very good first step. 

Depending on where you live, there might be agencies that will provide free support and consultation for stalking situations.  Look into your county's programs.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


So my attorney emailed me back this: "Quite honestly letters to cease and desist are not something that are done  very often, as they are simply not worth the paper theyre written on.In a nut shell they have no " teeth" and as they have no enforcibility behind them, particularly in your situation, I think the detriments  far outweighed the benefits.Your husband and perhaps you would be much better served applying to the civil court for a Temporary Restraining Order ie called a Relief from Abuse."

I'm surprised that he would think I should file for an r.o. since MIL has never threatened us physically and has never been physical with us.

I guess we wait for MIL to keep emailing and eventually she will start calling, showing up places again, texting and waiting for me in my driveway....

I feel if we apply for an r.o. right now the judge is going to say "really? over one email"

So much for trying to nip it in the bud...


Trondogs, your attorney obviously knows the local guidelines so I would follow his/her advice.  I don't think the attorney would tell you a TRO would be better if he or she didn't think you could get one against MIL.  The things you listed are threatening actions and should be taken seriously.  Your attorney should be able to help you file for the TRO and explain the situation to the judge.

If you are not willing to go this route, the cease and desist is useful, but only for documentation purposes only.  You would be able to show the courts that you have asked her to stop (and most likely she won't, your attorney is right, they do not stop these type of people) and then a TRO would be enforced.  Next time she ignores the TRO, she will have severe consequences.  However, if your attorney is suggesting to go the TRO route right away, he or she must think you have all the criteria needed to present to the court. 

Listen to your attorney, they are your best advocate in knowing all the laws in where you live.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Follow the attorney's advice.  Abuse is not just physical, but verbal and mental.  Harrassing emails, phone calls, texts or even just driving up and down the road in front of your house fall under "abuse" criteria in my jurisdiction. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Well MIL has been driving up and down my street, I went outside, got her on video and called the police. The police said she can do that 1000 times if she wants. Unless she stops in front of house and sits or goes in driveway its perfectly legal. She has come to the hosue twice and knocked on the door. I did not answer. The second time she left a blank agreement form from the family court- apparently for DH and I to fill out and agree to letting her have our kids every other weekend. We will not do! MIL told my mother in an email that if we made up an agreement with the family court regarding letting her see the kids that she would plead in my defense in my criminal case which is pending.

So attorney told me to have DH file and R.O. DH went yesterday and filed and judge did not order an ex parte (immediate order) but he did schedule a hearing for next Friday. MIL was served today. Yesterday I ended up having such a severe anxiety attack that I went to the e.r. I know I have to find ways to cope but it's very hard. Especially when I've heard/seen MIL tell many people that she is never giving up. People tell me that eventually she will stop, but I don't feel the same. She didn't even stop when we moved 1200 miles away. I'm very doubtful based on past behavior from MIL.

lancaster lady

Firstly I would change my email address and get my family to do the same .
Also know in your mind that she cannot get to see your kids unless you give permission , so
she isn't going to win this war .
By doing what she's doing , she knows she is getting to you , don't give her that satisfaction .
Put her in a closet in your mind and close the door , do not open it ....ever .
If you see her imagine she is someone else you don't know ....these are mind games , to overcome them
don't play the game .


Ad I would close the drapes! Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


"Put her in a closet in your mind and close the door , do not open it ....ever ."

Great advice thank you!

Closing the drapes Luise :)


I had someone in my life like that a long time ago. And I ended up writing every feeling I had about her, burning what I'd written...and then I dug a hole in the woods and buried the ashes. I'm serious! Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


April 20, 2012, 07:06:17 am #13 Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 06:28:03 pm by luise.volta
I am always astounded at how sick our own thoughts can make us.

You had an anxiety attack because of your thoughts.

I think I probably had something close to one too yesterday. And it was all because of the thoughts I was allowing in my brain.

I wish it were easy to put our thoughts in a locked closet and never open the door again! You need to have a default thought to go to every time you realize you are going back to that closet. 
I am trying to replace those thoughts that make me sick with thoughts that make me smile. I hope that with practice, I will get good at it. It's like Peter Pan and his Happy THot. It has to be strong enough to make you fly.

I hope you find your Happy THot.


Luise- did that work well for you? I'm going to do it as soon as the rain lets up

Constantmargaret- So true- cognitive behavior therapy- is what you seemed to imply- replacing a negative thought as soon as it comes with a positive one. It's so hard to do when you're in that moment of "panic" I'm seeing a counselor and she's showing me how to do that. One example she showed is whenever you think of "that person" or something "that person" did or is doing vision a neon sign. For me she suggested my sign be the word "sociopath". I think I should do that every day for awhile regardless if I need to because then in that moment of "panic" I should be able to think of it more quickly and easily.