By: Revanche

The cost of safety: filing for a restraining order in California

January 16, 2017

[Background post] Some of you who follow me on Twitter will have seen some bits about this already, but I thought I’d share the unpleasant experience that derailed my last week. You know the horrible neighbor who escalated to making threats? He came back. Yes, that’s AFTER the police told him that we hadn’t done anything wrong and that he needed to stay away from us.

Utterly exasperated by his increasingly aggressive behavior, I called the police again, and on that visit they strongly recommended that I visit the superior court to file for a civil harassment restraining order. They told me that they would again advise him to leave us alone. If we file that order and he harasses us again, he’s subject to arrest.

I tried searching online but the only information that I could find on the process was the Clerk’s office hours, so I packed my bags and headed out, much to Seamus’s concern and dismay. He doesn’t like it when I abandon him immediately after his breakfast, it disrupts our whole routine. I don’t like it either, pup! So here’s how the day went…

Step one:  Get the paperwork

My first visit to the Hall of Justice took an hour and all I was able to do was pick up a quarter-inch thick stack of paperwork. The very bored clerk instructed me to fill out 15 pages, then return at 2 pm to see the judge. Totally inefficient! I could have just downloaded this paperwork online and saved myself a trip! But that would mean someone would have had to organize the documents with instructions, and put in updates for the judge’s court house. Somehow I doubt anyone’s inspired to make life easier that way.

But paging through the documents, I could see there was information that would be easier to provide from the comfort of home, so off I headed to get a few hours of work done and complete the packet.

There was a lot of repetition as I filled out the confidential information with my personal information, and the restrained person’s information that I knew, then transferred much of that to the three documents that would go to the court, one of which would go to the restrained person informing him that he was under a temporary restraining order. They asked for an extraordinary amount of information: his height, weight, hair color, eye color, date of birth, full name, phone number, email address, place of business, hours of work, type of car, license plates. I understand why they want to be as detailed as possible to be sure they’re identifying the right person but who asks their harasser for their birth date? I don’t even give that out to colleagues I like.

They asked about the latest incident, then for the history of the incidents. This is where my experience as a manager, or watching way too many episodes of Bones, NCIS, and courtroom dramas, came into play. As much as I wanted to shred all physical evidence of his attacks on us, feeling like they were a contaminant in our home, I filed them away. The ones that I did discard were documented in emails, so we had dated documentation, as well as physical evidence of his escalations, and I didn’t involve the police until a clear threat was made. That made it easy to carefully, and as dispassionately as possible, describe the incidents for the filing, taking extra pages as allowed, to clearly establish the pattern.

The keys the judge needed to file in our favor was a clear or compelling threat of violence or harm, or a history of harassment, both of which I was able to provide with my records at my fingertips. The threat of harm was also the reason that both the filing and the service of the restraining order by the sheriff were free.

Step two: See the judge

Back I went to court for the 2 pm courtroom hearing. I didn’t know what to expect so I’d come prepared with the filing, my written proof, a battery pack for my phone, and a book. The judge stayed in chambers the entire time, and a lawyer would present each case to her for a decision. It was a relatively efficient way to process the dozen cases presented in the 90 minutes allotted for “ex parte” cases. Mine was dead last so I waited for an hour and 20 minutes before the attorney came to ask some clarification questions.

I had to explain our neighborhood geography and the timing of the threatening note, but otherwise the judge was satisfied to grant a temporary restraining order good until we have a formal hearing at the end of the month. I can’t tell you what a huge sigh of relief that was, at least for a few weeks, to know that we have *some* recourse if he comes to harass us again.

Step three: File the paperwork

With the signed paperwork in hand, I had three more destinations. If only I’d known, I might have worn my running shoes!

  1. Clerk’s office for filing. Quick pause for me to drop off the papers and run out into the cold, pay the meter, and run back in and go back through security for the third time that day. The clerk took 20 minutes to process my paperwork
  2. Then off to the Sheriff’s office for another 40 minutes of paperwork and filing so that they’ll actually serve the orders.
  3. You’d think I’d be done, having hit every floor of the courthouse, but no, I had to then drive to our local PD and give them the paperwork to file as well.

Temporary restraining orders are only effective after the restrained person has been served so you have three choices: pay a process server ($20-100) to serve them, have the sheriff serve them (free if there’s threat of violence), or ask any adult over the age of 18 to serve them. That last was a new one on me – as long as the adult isn’t a named protected person in the paperwork, and are willing to fill out the proof of service form which you also have to schlep to the police department, you can just ask a friend to do it.

Alas, I have no friends in the area that I would be willing to ask to serve in this capacity and I wasn’t about to involve either set of coworkers’ in our home issues, so I had to leave it up to the sheriff.

The frustrating thing about that is that the sheriff’s office prefers to wait 1-2 weeks to even try to serve the papers so the neighbor still doesn’t know he’s subject to a restraining order right now. Thankfully, the police department informed me that should he harass us again, they will serve the papers while they respond to the call. They won’t take the initiative to serve the papers since that’s rightfully the county sheriff’s job, but they have a copy of the paperwork in case they have to respond to a call in the meantime.

Step four: Go home and collapse

The entire ordeal, from the morning visit to the last visit to the police department, involved 75 miles of driving and 7 hours of my day.

The courthouse is only open between Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. Between the business hours, and all time required to pass each hurdle, the process of getting even sketchy legal protection is incredible. When I worked the night shift, I would have been hard-pressed to be able to manage this. I was able to take the time to deal with it but I paid a huge physical toll the following several days, in exhaustion and pain, which I’m still reeling from. Hiring a lawyer to deal with all of this was an option, according to the paperwork, that just emphasizes how money buys you privilege.

Step five: Go to the actual hearing (pending)

This happens in three weeks.

This is where the judge decides whether to keep the restraining order and for how long it stands. I don’t know how this part will go, I’m unhappy at the prospect that he’s going to show up to the hearing and I’ll have to deal with him there. The filing states he’s not allowed to communicate to me there, and I’m not precisely afraid of him but I’m highly concerned because we’re fully cognizant that he is not operating within the bounds of civility and has been happy to defy authority to continue to harass us. He may  escalate as a result of the hearing or after the hearing. Fat lot of comfort it’ll be that he can be arrested if he manages to hurt one of us or damage our property.

It makes me wonder how people who are subjected to less clear-cut harassment manage to get any protection. And so far, our harasser has not been the brightest bulb in the lot. Most harassers are smarter than to be writing up their intentions and literally handing them to their targets, and most are smarter than to admit to the police that they ARE doing the harassment they’re accused of. He actually tried to justify it!

It seemed more prudent to wait until this was all over, or at least the hearing is, before posting about it but I really could use all the good positive thoughts because the fact that this isn’t going to be over for a long time keeps repeating in my head.

The judge could rule to discontinue the restraining order, and he would feel emboldened to escalate further. The judge could rule to keep it in place, and he could choose to violate it. Whatever happens, the headache continues.

We’re thinking about security systems but this mess honestly made me go look at homes online again and debate whether it’s worth spending the kind of money we’d have to spend to put miles between us and this guy.

The fact that nothing guarantees our next neighbors won’t be just as bad is holding me back, along with the horror of a new mortgage, but it’s coming down to a matter of safety.

Update to add step six: realize that a restraining order isn’t protection 

Four days after he was told to leave us alone and that a restraining order was forthcoming, he left another threatening note hinting that the officers have to go on vacation “anytime now.” He’s so fixated on his revenge and bullying – as if we live in Mayberry and we only have one sheriff and deputy, and boy howdy when they go on vacation the rest of us citizens should quake in our boots because he’s coming after us! There ARE other police officers.

He’s been served with the order as a result of that note. The next time he approaches us, or attempts to contact us, he’ll be arrested.

Nevertheless, I don’t take any confidence from that because a) I doubt he’s going to be prosecuted unless he does something egregious that we can prove was him. We’re working on that, but b) he’s clearly flung all common sense to the winds and I’m not about to become a statistic.

It utterly upends our saving and retirement planning but our family’s safety is most important so we’re moving up our timeline on moving. If it were for any other reason, we’d tough it out, but it’s now about the safety of our family. How many times have you heard people say, “I knew he was mad but I didn’t think he’d go that far”?

Folks, I believe he would go every bit as far as you can imagine if he can find a way. He’s got all hours of the day free to plot, and he’s obviously using them to do so, so we’re marshaling our resources and making plans.

I hate this utter derailment of our financial plans.

My next few months: security and finding a home we can afford.

Naturally, it’s taking a very long time for my latest severe fibro flare to calm down, it’s being fed by several forms of stress. I haven’t taken time off since 2014 and I’ve had to take several days off just to recover. Seamus senses my feelings but thinks that all I need is a 100 lb dog on my lap. Thanks, dog.

:: Have you ever used a home surveillance system with cameras and recorded footage?  Something like Ring? Recommendations are welcome.  Positive wishes for both a good result at the hearing and our decamping safely are also greatly appreciated.

Next on our Home Buying Adventure: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11

56 Responses to “The cost of safety: filing for a restraining order in California”

  1. You have all the positive wishes I can send. Sounds awful.

    I don’t understand why civility has gone out the window for so many people. We’re taught it from earliest childhood. Leave others alone if they want to be left alone, share, take turns, say please and thank you, respect boundaries. We’re supposed to keep these rules as we grow, not abandon them.

    Good luck finding a new safer home.
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…Space…The Final Frontier: No-Spend January Challenge Week 2My Profile

  2. This makes me so very angry for you. Wishing you the best. It’s an unbelievably frustrating system. Please, please keep us posted.
    Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies recently posted…A Time for More ShoesMy Profile

  3. SherryH says:

    I’m so sorry this is happening to your family. I hope you’re able to stay safe, that the hearing goes well, and that you’re able to find somewhere to move without taking too much of a financial hit.

  4. NZ Muse says:

    WTF, I’m so sorry. All the best house hunting for a new, sane neighbourhood :((
    NZ Muse recently posted…How the young and broke make car-related decisionsMy Profile

  5. Sally says:

    Holy cow! I haven’t used any sort of surveillance system, but I think that my next-door neighbors have Ring. They mentioned it in passing and commented on how much they like it. I think they also said that they had to turn down the settings because too much wind in the trees made it go off. Wish I could give you better advice on that front.

    I think you’re wise to consider moving. It’s aggravating when you aren’t the one who’s doing wrong, but as you say: better to get away from him without the worst happening.

    • Revanche says:

      I appreciate the anecdote, that’s useful information. I’m really much less psyched about having to find a new place to live but I appreciate the good thoughts.

  6. Wow! That’s terrible. I’m so sorry to hear it had to go this far. I wish you all the luck and good thoughts! Stay Strong.
    Gwen @ Fiery Millennials recently posted…Saving and GivingMy Profile

  7. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this. I hope you find a new place to live soon, and that you can put this behind you.
    Tragic Sandwich recently posted…2017My Profile

  8. Scary stuff! Sending your positive thoughts for a good outcome at the hearing and for your neighbor to disappear from your lives. I’m sorry this is upending your financial plans, but you’re right that safety comes first.
    Gary @ Super Saving Tips recently posted…6 Types Of Debts You Can’t Kick Out In BankruptcyMy Profile

  9. That’s really scary. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.
    Nicoleandmaggie recently posted…How do you account for big purchases in your budget/cash flow/etc.?My Profile

  10. Sabrina you-know-who says:

    Wow! I’m sure you’re taking lots of precautions you can’t post here, but this sounds like such a scary situation. I hope you can find a new place soon. It doesn’t have to be a dream home. Even an apartment with a short lease would be safer than staying. And it would give you a few months’ leisure to find a place to buy. Maybe you could find something through your own property manager.

    I’m glad you posted this. At least you’ll have the moral support of your hordes of readers!

    Stay safe!

  11. Jenn T says:

    Yikes! I hate this for you. 🙁 Also, I want to follow you on Twitter!

    I don’t have the ring doorbell as I didn’t want to get in a fight with our HOA over it (would be obviously different here), but I do have the Ring Stick-up Cam, and absolutely love it! It’s wireless and fairly small, so easy enough to install and hide. I have ours positioned to only cover our front porch to catch packages and potential bad guys, and have never noticed anyone looking up and “discovering” it. It is technically small enough that if someone saw it they could reach up and take it, but (assuming you pay the $30 or so a year for stored video), you’d have proof of who did that. I also think Ring works with people regarding replacement if stolen, but not positive. It is also motion sensitive so you get an alert when there is movement.

    We also have several Nest cams inside, the traditional version, not the new outdoor version (which I don’t like because of the wires, to me that makes it obvious there is a camera there). Love love love love them. Ours are primarily to keep an eye on our pets, as they aren’t crated, but I do have them pointed towards doors so that if someone were to break in, that we could have video proof as to who it was.

    The video quality for both cameras is pretty good, with night vision for well, at night. I highly recommend both! And not sure if you are worried about the neighbor breaking down your door, and I am not sure if you could install something there, but there are options. We have security storm doors (clear, not ugly bars or anything) that definitely make me sleep better at night, especially after several break-ins in the neighborhood. There are also tools that can installed on parts of the doors to help keep them from being kicked in. One vendor is called the entry enforcer, not sure if they are around nationwide.

    This probably goes without saying, but I’d keep an extra close eye on the pup outside, for fear the evil neighbor could put out a poisoned or dangerous treat right outside your door thinking the dog would get to it before you even notice. I hate that the thought even crossed my mind, but there are such horrible people out there. 🙁

    Obviously I’m the paranoid type – sending gentle mental hugs.

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks for the recommendation – I’ll see what the HOA will agree to. Honestly, the poisoned treats were one of the first things I thought of, so you weren’t wrong to bring that up!

      You can follow me if you want! I’m @RevAGSL until I find another handle I like better 🙂

  12. Yikes! I had to get a restraining order in 2009 against an ex. I hope your experience is like mine: I never heard from him again. I was really afraid things would escalate but it seemed to be the wake-up call he needed.

    I don’t blame you at all for speeding up your moving plans. It’s too bad it’s not on the timeliness that you’d prefer but if it’s possible, I’d do the same.
    Little Miss Moneybags recently posted…Savings and Retirement 2016My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      You and me both – I don’t know if it’s been a wake up for him but we also don’t know what on earth is going on in his head.

  13. SP says:

    I’m so sorry you are going through all of this! Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help – this is so scary and I can’t believe it has escalated to this point. I’m so glad you were able to get this in place, even though it doesn’t solve the underlying problem. Good luck with finding the next place, and how frustrating that one crazy person can drive your timeline.

    We only use surveillance for our dog (an ipad and app), which wouldn’t work for what you need.
    SP recently posted…2017 Savings GoalsMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks, SP! If there’s anything we need, I’ll let you know. For the moment, I might have to ask you about some of your house purchase experience. We’ll keep working on the surveillance, I need something that I can set up and that our HOA will agree to.

  14. Leah says:

    Wishing safety for you! I’ve never done a camera, but our tech guy at work has a camera system at his cabin. He actually used the video footage to take someone to court who had stolen something off his porch, and the guy got prosecuted.

    I had friends in grad school with a crazy neighbor. He’d harass and do everything this side of the law against them — shovel his half of the shared driveway into theirs, throw open a gate forcefully so it would damage their cars, etc. They finally did move when they were done with grad school. Thankfully, he didn’t escalate to harming them, but it was pretty weird. Why are some neighbors so crazy?
    Leah recently posted…A little sparkleMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Many thanks, Leah, I appreciate the positive wishes. I just don’t understand why some people feel the need to go out of their way to be horrible and evil.

  15. Holy sh!t, does this bring back the memories. Lemme tellya, from experience: When you serve a jerk like this, it riles him up. If he has REAL reason to believe that he can be harmed (like, for example, jail) if he harms you, he may just make a lot of noise and then stand down. But if he thinks he can get away with it, he can present a serious risk.

    In my case, the Perp was an immigrant. We had enough evidence to convince the cops that he was guilty of inflicting $10,000 worth of damage on my house, but they thought it was too circumstantial to file charges against him. However, they did remark to him that if they DID arrest him, he would be deported. And they added that if they heard another word from me, they would arrest him.

    That seems to have done the job. At the hearing where we racked up restraining orders against him and all his relatives, he threatened the judge, who was so alarmed he would not let us or our lawyers leave the courtroom (where there were armed officers) until after one of the court factotums saw him leave the parking lot and drive off down the road.

    My lawyers were so alarmed that they advised me to immediately sell my house — which I had just moved into a few weeks before — and move away from the neighborhood. They were certain he was going to come back, trash my house, kill my dogs, and possibly assault me.

    Interestingly, it’s not so easy to kill a German shepherd…

    I could not afford to take the $40,000 hit entailed in selling a house I’d just bought. So I declined to follow their advice.

    The Perp’s mentally ill son-in-law decided to jump on his white charger and mount a campaign of harassment. One afternoon the poor guy tried to come in the side gate while a friend and I were sipping wine on the deck, my dog at our feet. When a German shepherd shifts into high gear…well…lemme put it this way: Son-in-Law never tried that again.

    Nevertheless, I did set up a video system with a recorder. It’s not that expensive — I bought mine from Radio Shack and my son set it up for me. From what I’m told, Costco now has a perfectly fine system. You’re techie enough that it shouldn’t be hard for you to set it up.

    Eventually, nothing happened. SDXB, who lived next door to the Perp, did move — that’s why he lives in Sun City now. Some years later, I learned the people who sold me the house had left because they were afraid of the Perp. But by then, the dust had settled.

    But…,you need to bear in mind that I had a dangerous dog and that I have a gun, I know how to use it, and I’m not afraid to use it. If even one of those does not apply, then your best option is probably to get out of Dodge as fast as you can. My lawyers advised me to take a rental until such time as I could sell the house.

    Even if he’s all noise and no action, it’s unpleasant to live near a hostile crazy like that. Cripes, no wonder you’re hurting with stress-related pain! Often such people move on fairly soon…but since there’s no guarantee of that, it would make sense to chat with a Realtor ASAP. Maybe a lawyer, too?
    Funny about Money recently posted…Real Risk, Perceived RiskMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Well, the order states that he will be arrested and taken to jail, so as long as the court makes it a permanent order rather than a temporary one, there are real consequences. He should know by now that I’m quick on the phone trigger.

      I doubt he’s likely to move on, so I’d rather get us away from these circumstances than try to grit it out and take a risk he decides to be really evil.

      • Yeah… In my experience, nuisance neighbors eventually do one of two things: either they lose interest and subside, or they move on. There’s no guarantee that either will happen, and because of that, having to live next to someone like that can generate long-term, often intense stress. Given that stress takes an immediate physical toll on you, it DOES make sense to look for another place to live.

        Who knows? Maybe you’ll find someplace better!
        Funny about Money recently posted…Inauguration Day!My Profile

  16. Ms. Montana says:

    I’m sorry you have having to deal with this and change your plans. It all sounds horribly stressful.

    We don’t have a security system. But we have a beebee gun, bear spray and a shot gun. To be used in that order. Folks in Montana are odd that like. We are the most peace loving, respectful folks. But if a person were to threaten, or try to harm my family, every neighbor on my street would be pointing a gun at them. And very politely asking them to reconsider. It seems that people are able to find a whole lot of common sense when looking down the barrel of a shot gun. But like I said, Montana folks are funny like that. Maybe you could opt for some bear spray between now and then? Good luck with that crazy situation. I hope it moving ends up working out better than you expect.
    Ms. Montana recently posted…You Tube Renovation Tips for Building Sweat EquityMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      The key there is that Montanans are respectful to begin with. This person seriously lacks any working knowledge of that term. Bear spray, though, and perhaps an emergency shot gun should he act out between now and Ditch Day, may be in order. I’ll start with the bear spray.

      • Ms. Montana says:

        The bear spray will hold him off till the police arrive (even if it takes two hours). I’ve never of someone getting sprayed twice with bear spray, one can sends a strong message 🙂 Even bears get the hint. Good luck! And stay safe!

      • If you don’t know how to use a gun, you may want to think twice about having one in the house…especially if the jerk neighbor is making you nervous. First, you have a child in the house: it’s dangerous to have a gun in a house with a young child around, even if you’re very good at hiding or locking the thing up. Second, if you are scared and unpracticed, you’re as likely to shoot yourself or your spouse as a perp. A shotgun in theory doesn’t take as much practice to do some damage, but a) people who haven’t had formal firearms training and regular practice at a range shouldn’t have any gun around, and b) it’s easy to blow a hole in the wall or the spouse with one of those things. They’re expensive, they can be highly counterproductive, and they represent a risk to family members.

        A dog, a can of pepper spray, a phone, and willingness to holler “fire!!” at the top of your lungs will do the job in the home protection department. Really.
        Funny about Money recently posted…Inauguration Day!My Profile

        • Revanche says:

          I’m assuming you mean me, here, so not to worry, I’ve been trained in the care and use of firearms by servicepeople. I come from a very military family, so I’m not nervous around firearms or twitchy on the trigger.

          Still, I would only choose the firearm route if I was certain that it was necessary AND the best way to deal with it and I had a proper gun safe. Bear spray will do the trick for now.

  17. I am so upset to hear this. What an absolutely terrible & scary situation that forces you to have to completely rework your life & plans because of someone else’s jackassery. I’m sending you lots of good thoughts that your neighbor turns over a new life (I know, incredibly unlikely scenario), or that you are able to find a new place quickly and with minimal financial pain.

    We are 15 days or so from closing on our house, and from personal experience, it’s *SO MUCH WORK AND MONEY*. Not that I didn’t already know that, but .. . it’s really hit home by the recent reminder.
    Hawaii Planner recently posted…Ahhh, the chaosMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thank you, the good thoughts are so much appreciated!

      The idea of having to follow in your footsteps – making offers, financing, selling, closing, etc, is not at all appealing so here’s hoping it goes as smoothly as possible.

      • Not about you in specific. More in response to the advice, actually: often having a gun around as “protection” isn’t the best of all possible strategies…words scribbled by yrs truly, a certifiable gun nut.

        But this predicament worries me, esp. after my own experience and my lawyers’ (unheeded) advice. We were lucky: the cops were on our side and they persuaded the Perp that further shenanigans would not be in his interest. Nevertheless…he did threaten a judge. These situations can be gawdawful scary and stressful.

        Yrs for family fun at the range… –vh
        Funny about Money recently posted…Enough, already!My Profile

  18. Revanche I am really sorry that your lives have been so disrupted by this man. It is an injustice that just makes me angry. I’m sure it makes you and your husband furious. I wish you all the philosophy and faith possible to see this through without the stress that is clearly adding to your suffering now. God bless you and keep you safe.
    Fruclassity (Ruth) recently posted…The Scary Space between Financial Folly and FitnessMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks, Ruth, it IS infuriating, and frustrating, and that’s before we even start the house hunt. We appreciate your support.

  19. Quest says:

    Sorry to hear about your tribulations with this mentally ill individual, Revanche. My advice would be to move asap. Having been the victim of a stalker, with the trial ultimately splashed across national TV, internet and newspapers, I can tell you that filing the restraining order was the match to the gasoline. These nutcases can, do and WILL get revenge without any thought to the consequences and that is the scariest, most incomprehensible aspect to what you are going through. I wish you the best of luck in finding somewhere safer to live. Perhaps you can try renting for a while?
    Quest recently posted…2017: Looking ForwardMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks, Quest. I would quibble with calling him mentally ill, though, because I know plenty of people who live with mental illness and haven’t this sort of malice. After years of observation, he’s just kind of evil by choice 🙁

      I do wish renting was a possibility but it’s not. The rental market near us is outrageously priced. We’d have to pay double what we are right now, if you can believe it!

  20. Wowsers, Revanche! So sorry to hear of all your troubles.

    With regards to security cams… my sister uses Ring and they seem to like it. I have some basic webcams at home and it’s great to be able to monitor things going on, but I’m not recording 24×7.

    I wish I had more relevant advice for your situation. Wishing you all the best and be safe!
    Michael @ Financially Alert recently posted…How My Darkest Fear Led to Financial FreedomMy Profile

  21. Wow, this guy sounds terrible. I’m so sorry for you and your family.

    Based on your description, your harasser sounds like he may be seriously mentally ill. Is there any way to get a medical professional from the state involved? I know non-relatives can persuade law enforcement or medical professionals to invoke 72-hour holds and screening out here which can lead to longer commitments if the individual is likely to cause harm, but not sure what you might be able to do out in California (or if you’d want to escalate the situation at all).

    Good luck with everything.

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks, Taylor.

      No, mental illness isn’t an issue here. He’s just convinced that he’s justified in threatening to harm our family because we “wronged him” even though he’s been told repeatedly that we didn’t do what he accused us of and that even if we did, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with it. He’s spoken to law enforcement multiple times about this situation and they don’t have any concerns that he’s suffering from anything but being a horrible person.

  22. Jenny says:

    Sorry to hear about your situation.

    Is it possible that you and your husband actually did something to antagonize?

    Very rare some just harasses. If you’ve experienced a lot of conflict in your life (fights with relatives, social media wars, or are extremely sensitive and defensive) it really could be you who may need to make amends.

    • Revanche says:

      Corrected reply: We had a civil (on our side disagreement) once and he’s been coming after us ever since.

      So no, given that he went from harassment to direct threats of harming us, over a civil disagreement, we don’t owe him an apology. He’s a bully, we didn’t make him try to hurt us.

  23. Joe says:

    Oh man, sorry to hear that. Hopefully, it will all calm down after the process is done. Sucks that it is taking so much time and energy. Stay safe.

  24. WTF on the 1-2 weeks thing? I’m imagining a low-income case of domestic violence and my blood is boiling…

    I hope he leaves you alone from now on. Crazy people everywhere nowadays it seems like.
    femmefrugality recently posted…Where to Go If You Don’t Have Health InsuranceMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. The application for this versus domestic violence is different but I don’t think it’s BETTER for them, which makes me even madder for those folks.
      Here’s hoping!

  25. […] someone more honest about her situation than my very good friend Revanche over at A Gai Shan Life, who is currently in a middle of a very real threat to her family’s safety due to her crazy nei…; she’d love to have the funds saved to be able to pack up and move away from this psycho […]

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