by Jeremy Malcolm, Internet lawyer
A reader recently asked me,
Is there anything that can be done when inappropriate emails, telephone calls and texts are received from an ex-partner. As there are children involved, there is no way (that I can think of) to still keep the communication lines open to discuss the children but keep them closed for the inappropriate material.
Are you able to advise any course of action?
This various from State to State, but in Western Australia a misconduct restraining order can be obtained from a Magistrate's Court to prevent a person from communicating with you in an intimidating or offensive way. The exact form that such restraining orders take is very flexible, so they could for example be structured to prohibit emails from being sent to you except on the subject of the children, or except at certain times, or except to a certain email address.
To obtain a misconduct restraining order you need to fill in a form that you can obtain from the courthouse, then appear at an initial hearing without your ex-partner being present. He will then be given an opportunity to appear at a second hearing to defend himself against the making of an order. If he doesn't choose to do so, or if the court prefers your evidence to his and considers the criteria have been satisfied, the restraining order will be made then and there.