Restraining Order not stopping harassment?

by Anonymous
(Montana)

We have had a restraining against my grandpa. He has had his hands in the death of my grandmother and has threatened my father, mother, children and my spouse and I. Even with the order of protection, he still drives by our house slowly to intimidate us and my children, and all of us are greatly affected by the constant threats.

He has taken us to court on frivolous charges just to keep harassing us. We have won so far, but this has caused constant harassment and the great emotional trauma to my family.

Could we file a lawsuit for pain and suffering resulting from this harassment? My father has a hard time breathing because of the continued stress, as do I, and my children are always scared and on high alert. We will be going to court soon yet again. What can we do about this? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Restraining Order not stopping harassment?":

Anonymous (Montana):

Instead of suing your grandfather collectively for pain and suffering, you and your family members each have a legal right to sue him for the mental anguish and emotional distress he has caused all of you individually.

As evidence, you can use the temporary restraining order and supporting affidavit setting out the facts as you and your family relied upon in support of the restraining order.

Moreover, if your grandfather has been violating the restraining order, then pursuant to Section 45-5-626 of the Montana Code, he is subject to arrest. That arrest can be used as evidence against him in a civil lawsuit.

Keep in mind, suing your grandfather is one thing, recovering compensation is another. Meaning, if your grandfather has sufficient assets you and your family members can be awarded in a civil lawsuit, then it may well be worth suing him. Alternatively, if your grandfather has no substantial assets, suing him would likely be a waste of time and money.

In the event your grandfather has assets upon which you and your family members can levy after a judgment in your favor, you will need an attorney to represent you.

If your grandfather's assets are substantial, and your attorney believes the evidence against him is viable, the attorney might accept your representation on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee basis means the attorney will pay in advance all the costs associated with pursuing a legal action against your grandfather.

In the event your attorney succeeds, you would pay the attorney his or her "contingency fee." Most attorneys charge anywhere from 25% up to 40% in such cases. In the event your attorney loses the case, you and your family members would owe the attorney nothing.

Learn more about contingency fee agreements here.

In addition to the attorney's contingency fee, you would be obligated to reimburse your attorney for the costs he or she may have expended in pursuit of the lawsuit.

For example, if your attorney paid $1,000.00 to have a private investigator research your grandfather's assets, or the attorney paid out $2,000.00 for a psychiatrist or psychologist who testified in your behalf, those costs would also be deducted from the final award.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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