Looking for some feedback

joann23456June 14, 2012

I represented a woman in a divorce case around 1990. During the course of my representation, it became clear that she was quite mentally ill, to a degree that it was terribly difficult to work with her. Paranoid schizophrenia, if I were to make an educated guess.

After maybe six months, she decided to find another attorney. I confirmed with him that he would be handling her case, gave the file to him, and that was the last I had to do with her.

Several years after I concluded my representation, she allegedly broke into the boat where her ex-husband was living at 3:00 in the morning using an axe, then threatened to kill him with the axe. She was charged with attempted murder, though I'm not sure what happened with the case.

I didn't hear a thing from her until 2008, when, out of the blue, she started calling me. I returned the first message that she left and explained that I wasn't her attorney any more and hadn't been for nearly 20 years, but she wasn't having any of it. She ranted and raved to the point that I had to hang up on her. I didn't answer or return any more phone calls, and didn't even listen to most of them. I did save them - there were 18 in a one-week period. Then they stopped.

I started getting them again yesterday, and there have been four so far. They're not threatening, just abusive and "crazy-sounding" (angry, loud, pressured speech). I went ahead and saved these, too.

I've been writing these off and ignoring them, but recently started wondering whether I should do something about them. I'm not sure what I could do, other than notify the police. Who would do nothing at this point, other than keep them on file.

Just wondering what you all think.

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I would call the police, on the non-emergency number. Two reasons--one, if anything happens in the future, there's a record of her behavior. Two, they will be able to tell you what you can do now, and what you can do in the future if she escalates.

There may be nothing that can be done right now, depending on the laws in your area. But getting this sort of thing on record is frequently a help later on, if things get worse, which I hope they don't.

Given her past behavior, the police might also have some simple tips for you to make sure you are safe.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 4:11PM
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Definitely call the police, and the phone company .,.. they can trace the calls and even record them.

Take their advice, and also install a home security system with lighting and alarm.

She may be just verbal, or she may get violent.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 5:29PM
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Having worked in criminal law and mental health, I concur with notifying the police, but in person, if only to get it on the record and to meet you. If she should escalate, they would then have some background info and at least have an idea of what and who they are dealing with.

You cannot deal rationally with an irrational person.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 3:42AM
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Maybe change your phone number? Even if she can get the new one eventually, it may alter her routine enough to derail her.

Karin L

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 6:45PM
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I agree, you need to file a police report so if something serious happens = or threats, or even coming to your home, you have it on file. Put everything you have listed here in the report, including what hap pend originally. Do you have caller ID with name and phone number showing? I keep track of certain phone calls in a note book that way. Ask the police if you should tell her about making the report-they will advise you and if it gets bad, they may even talk to her. Just keep your guard up and be careful. Watch your mail and any cars you park out of the garage. Document everything she appears to do and say.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 10:02AM
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I do hope you reported this. Not just to save you, but to let the authorities know she's on a roll. Who knows who else she may go after? Perhaps her tirades with you are just the tip of an iceburg? You may save someone else's life by reporting her.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 6:46AM
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Pick the attorney you like the least, and refer her to them!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 6:59PM
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