What can I do about harassing text messages?

UPDATED: Aug 28, 2011

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What can I do about harassing text messages?

Recently Ihave been receiving harassing texts from a former friend in Canada. I am a military member stationed in CAat the moment. I have told this person to stop texting me and they have failed to do so. I currently have 34 unanswered, insult filled, nasty texts saved from as recently as 7 pm this evening. I am wondering if there is anything that I can do to end this harassment besides calling my phone company and having them block this number (if they can even do that)?

Asked on August 28, 2011 California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, there *probably* is no legal recourse. The law does not mandate civility or respect; it does not even require people to not annoy or harass others, except within narrow parameters. Those parameters--the type of behavior that can result in legal action, such as getting a restraining order, grounds to sue, and even, in extreme cases, criminal liability--is what you would expect: communications made which convey threats, either explicitly or implicitly. However, simply getting insult filled and nasty texts is not something the law can help you with. You may need to block that number, if possible; or possibly even change your phone number. Unfortunately, this is a situation where the harasser effectively has the upper hand.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

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