Their father/mother calls my house and screams at me at all hours; what can I do about it?

This is another question I get asked a lot. And the answer is simple: CALL THE POLICE! After you call the police, try to have the person arrested for aggravated harassment – a class A misdemeanor. If the police won’t arrest the person, then make sure that a written Police Incident Report has been made and filed with the police (to create a documented paper trail). If the police DO arrest the person, then try to get the local criminal court (city, town or village) to issue an order of protection against the person to keep the person from communicating with you upon pain of going to jail.

Once the police have dealt with the matter (or refused to do so), and whether or not you have received an order of protection against the person from a local criminal court, your next step might be to file a family offense petition with the family court in the county where you live. You might be more inclined to do so if the person threatening you on the phone has also threatened your children or your family members (as is often the case).

It is certainly possible to have more than one order of protection such as one from a local criminal court and one from a family court. The local criminal court order of protection might just be a “refrain from” order of protection, but the family court order of protection might be a “stay away” order of protection. It gets pretty interesting when you have more than one order of protection in place, especially when a court finds the person has violated one or more orders of protection.

In any event, the whole point of police and/or court intervention is to get the person to stop threatening and/or harassing you and your children and/or family members.

So, call me: I can help you.