Can I be charged for harassment from a comment “like a can of sardines” to a third party while teen girls are crammed into one bathroom stall-

UPDATED: Oct 30, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 30, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I be charged for harassment from a comment “like a can of sardines” to a third party while teen girls are crammed into one bathroom stall-

I was a by stander and the third party was a security guard. One of the girls parent is threatening to file charges of harassment. This was at a high school and I have a 30 year old felony charge and would like to know if this is also harassment towards myself. This is not the first time, anytime a question arises I am the first and only person looked at as the culprit.

Asked on October 30, 2011 under Criminal Law, Hawaii


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) From what you write, there is no crime that has been committed: a single comment, which does not contain any threat of violence, is not criminal. (It's also not defamation, by the way; what you stated was an opinion, and opinions are not actionable.)

2) If charges are brought against you by lying about what you said, or a civil lawsuit is brought against you when there are no grounds for one, it is possible that you may have a cause of action for malicious prosecution or abuse of process. But if nothing is filed or brought against you, you would not have a cause of action simply because of the threat to do so.

3)  Whether you could be subject to internal action by your employer (i.e. if you are employed by the school) if a complaint is made to the employer about the comment depends on whether you have an employment contract or union agreement and what they say about discipline, and/or your employer's internal policies and processes

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption