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  1. #1
    dlw99 is offline Member
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    What to do when adults harass children?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Massachusetts


    My 8 yr old son obtained restraining orders against the four children living next door under the new anti-bullying law in Juvenile Court in June.

    I failed to check the box on the HPOs that include preventing agents of the bullies from harassing my child.

    Four adults have targeted my son over the past eight weeks in an effort to intimidate and humiliate him both at our home and on his way to the playground across the street.

    Another adult was just let out of a mental hospital after a 9 month stay (by order of the court without bail after arrest for criminal harassment), and has begun to cyberbully my son and my wife on a website.

    Should we go back to juvenile court and ask that the HPOs be amended to include agents of the bully children, or is there a better legal avenue to pursue the adults who are harassing my son?
  2. #2
    Banned_Princess is offline Senior Member
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    Ask for new restraining orders against the adults. and dont forget to check the box.

    bring the harassing cyber whatever to the police see if you can file a criminal complaint against the adults as well.
  3. #3
    dlw99 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banned_Princess View Post
    Ask for new restraining orders against the adults.
    In what court?
    Can my child ask for a 258e against the adults in Juvenile Court or District Court?

    I see where children can file complaint against other children, and adults against adults, but I'm unclear on how/where a child files for harassment prevention order against adults.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by dlw99; 08-25-2010 at 07:05 PM. Reason: Forgot to say Thanks!
  4. #4
    Banned_Princess is offline Senior Member
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    In criminal not juvenile court. They are adults presumably.
  5. #5
    dlw99 is offline Member
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    They are adults. A 258e is a civil restraining order. The matter only becomes criminal when it is violated. I do no see a provision in the language for a child to pursue an adult.

    Criminal courts are not kid friendly.

    Anybody know if a child may pursue an adult under the new 258e in Massachusetts?
  6. #6
    Banned_Princess is offline Senior Member
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    Bump,

    Carl, do you have any suggestions for OP??
  7. #7
    quincy is offline Senior Member
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    Responders may wish to review OPs posting history.

    dlw99, you can go to [url=http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us/subject/about/harassment.html]Massachusetts Law About Harassment, Stalking or Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress[/url] and click on MGL c258e.

    Juvenile court only hears matters when both the plaintiff and the defendant(s) are under 17. You would want to file your case and have it heard in the superior court, district court or Boston municipal court that has venue over your residence.

    If the original order has not expired, you can appear before the court that issued the original order and the court can determine, based on the facts presented, whether the order should be extended. The relief that can be granted will not exceed one year.

    I assume you have decided not to have the "bullying" issue your son has been experiencing covered by the network news program?
  8. #8
    dlw99 is offline Member
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    Thanks. I spoke to the juvenile magistrate yesterday. He said we can file for an amendment to the order, which does not expire until December.

    We would have to serve motion to defendants and go back to juvenile court for a hearing. He advised I could also file on behalf of my son in district court, asking for 258e orders against the specific adults, if there have been three or more incidents of harassment in the recent past. In this case, the court would serve the adult defendants, and there would be another hearing that could be even worse than the last one, in terms of anxiety for everyone involved.

    I turned down the tv show, but only for the time being. I want to give the orders a chance to work. If the adults don't stop, I may consider another offer if the focus is more about them. After all, they are the ones who taught and encouraged their children to bully.

    In a case like this, where each of the four children in a family was issued a 258e, wouldn't it seem reasonable for the law to include some review of the parents involved?

    I spoke our town representative who will be reviewing the matter, again, with the chief of police. While it's not perfectly written, I am really grateful for this new law, which has given us a little piece of our lives back. The minor defendants still give us the finger, dirty looks and occasionally shout mean things in our direction, but they now observe the difference between that stuff and the vandalism, violence, and more serious behaviors they previously engaged in. It's not ideal, but after five miserable years, it's a start.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by dlw99; 08-27-2010 at 12:03 PM.

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