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Monday, December 2, 2013

Harassment, Stalking and Violating Orders of Protection

A New Jersey woman made headlines recently when she was arrested for stalking and threatening to kill her ex-husband’s girlfriend. Amy Goldberg was released with a warning that she must refrain from contacting either of the victims. Ms. Goldberg, who was in the process of divorcing her husband, pled guilty to felony charges of stalking as part of a larger plea bargain. She was recorded in a phone call saying that she had a gun and intended to shoot the girlfriend. If Goldberg violates the order of protection, she could spend up to four years in jail.

Stalking and harassment are not foreign to divorce cases. Often, jealous or possessive husbands and wives follow, threaten, annoy or inundate their soon-to-be-exes with text messages, phone calls and emails. New Jersey law defines stalking as the repeated issuance of a threat to harm a person or property by any means of communication, even if the threat is only intended to cause mental anguish and fear. Stalking can be conducted through a third party or via phone, computer, or any written or verbal means.

Harassment can include the issuance of demands, such as with blackmail or sexual harassment in the workplace. Charges of harassment can be included in a broader charge of stalking.

When an individual is being stalked and experiences emotional distress and fear for safety, that person can ask for an order of protection from the court. Statistics indicate that many stalkers desist once their intended victim takes a proactive stance, such as getting a protection order, rather than reacting with fear.

Some stalkers do escalate to violence and an order of protection can only do so much, but while an order of protection can’t guarantee complete safety, it can provide a means of preventing future violence. A person barred by an order of protection could be arrested or sent to jail for the smallest violation of the order. If you are being stalked or harassed and you fear for your safety, contact the police immediately. An attorney can assist you in acquiring an order of protection or relocating to a temporary shelter until the threat has passed.

Call the Bergen County offices of Murano & Roth, LLC at 201.265.3400 or contact us online. We take every threat seriously, and so should you.

This blog posting and the information on our website is for general information purposes only. Nothing within it, within any responses, comments, emails, answers, blogs or attachments, should be considered legal advice. Our website and our blogs, including this blog, does not form any attorney client relationship, and this office does not represent you in any way. Keep in mind that since only very general information is provided on our website and within our blogs, you cannot rely upon any of the information as legal advice, as it might not apply to, or be accurate relative to your specific situation and facts.





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