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donkeyotay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 12:46 PM
Original message
Is it really legal to threaten someone?
I received a threatening message via voice mail in the night. It seemed to show knowledge of my family and included what I construed as a death threat. ("I will blow your fucking house up.") Caller ID was blocked, and the phone company wouldn't unblock it without a subpoena. I called the police. They didn't even listen to the call. They said it wasn't illegal. I'm stunned. My senator's office said they would take up the issue of the phone company's part in hiding the identity of this person.

Any suggestions?
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. phone company can't do much without police order
I'd try to complain to the police again, with urgency.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. What state are you in?
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donkeyotay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Oregon nt
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. That's assault.
If they actually do something, that's battery. That's why they call it "assault and battery".
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donkeyotay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. That's what I thought but everything's upside down these days
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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. Death threats are illegal
Contacting Law Enforcement
If you are being physically threatened, you must involve law enforcement. Contact your local police department. If they cannot or will not help you and your life is being threatened, contact the nearest office of the FBI. (Do NOT contact the FBI regarding anything other than overt death threats.) Do not engage in ANY communications with the harasser. Save everything. If you or the police need help tracing the messages, go ahead and contact us, but contact the police first. We cannot stress this point enough. Law enforcement officials are there to help you in ways that WHOA cannot!


http://www.haltabuse.org/help/threats.shtml
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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Here's some more...
California Penal Code 422 (2001) - Punishment for (Terrorist) Threats


Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family's safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.
For the purposes of this section, "immediate family" means any spouse, whether by marriage or not, parent, child, any person related by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree, or any other person who regularly resides in the household, or who, within the prior six months, regularly resided in the household.
"Electronic communication device" includes, but is not limited to, telephones, cellular telephones, computers, video recorders, fax machines, or pagers. "Electronic communication" has the same meaning as the term defined in Subsection 12 of Section 2510 of Title 18 of the United States Code.

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donkeyotay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thank you rfranklin, I don't know what to do
Sen Wyden's office indicated they will follow through on the larger issue of the phone company hiding this person's identity, but I am stunned that local law inforcement sees this as no big deal. I took it as a death threat, particularly a threat against my family. I'm upset. I'm not sure what to do. It scared me so it certainly had "a gravity of purpose" but "an immediate prospect of execution"? I don't know.

even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family's safety

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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. From people I knowthat have called the police when things like this happen
Edited on Wed Aug-30-06 01:10 PM by RGBolen
I think the police don't care to get involved untill someone has actually been hurt or killed. Sucks but that's the way I've always seen it.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
9. Of COURSE that's illegal. It's called 'conveying a terroristic threat'...
Any Cop who tells you that isn't illegal is LYING.
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Capn Sunshine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. and if you don't believe it, try sending that exact same message
to the White House.
You'd be showering at Gitmo the next morning.

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donkeyotay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I know. I guess some of us are more equal than others.
Maybe I should call the DA's office and talk to them directly.
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HughBeaumont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
13. Ask Jesse Helms.
He threatened the President once, and didn't even so much as get a handslap. Old Boy Suth'unuhs never do.

Seriously, any cop that tells you that isn't illegal is lying through their ass. The handwashing that goes on in some police forces regarding domestic situations is astonishing.
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woodsprite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
14. In Delaware, we had to file a complaint and get the report number
from the police before the phone company (Verizon) would look into it. THEN, the police were able to request the info from the phone company, but we weren't privy to the info. We did find out (thru the police) that it was a local minor. They went to his house, talked to his mom, and stayed there until he got home from school with the intention of scaring the daylights out of him. They said they couldn't put him in jail unless it became harrassing. It was the first time he did it - or at least that it was reported.
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donkeyotay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. That seems reasonable, and that's what I expected
Surely the phone company would let the police check it out. I don't think this call was a prank, either. But I have heard of people getting obscene phone calls from call centers in India, so maybe this was something along those lines? Except, it wasn't completely generic. It contained enough information to make me take this very seriously. It didn't sound remotely amusing. It sounded very serious.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
16. I'd be prepared to defend yourself since the police are not help. nt
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
17. That's called terroristic threatening and it is illegal.
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
18. You should refer the police to this Oregon law....166.065 Sec. 1.c
Edited on Wed Aug-30-06 02:53 PM by sinkingfeeling

166.065 Harassment. (1) A person commits the crime of harassment if the person intentionally:

(a) Harasses or annoys another person by:

(A) Subjecting such other person to offensive physical contact; or

(B) Publicly insulting such other person by abusive words or gestures in a manner intended and likely to provoke a violent response;

(b) Subjects another to alarm by conveying a false report, known by the conveyor to be false, concerning death or serious physical injury to a person, which report reasonably would be expected to cause alarm; or

(c) Subjects another to alarm by conveying a telephonic, electronic or written threat to inflict serious physical injury on that person or to commit a felony involving the person or property of that person or any member of that persons family, which threat reasonably would be expected to cause alarm.

(2) A person is criminally liable for harassment if the person knowingly permits any telephone or electronic device under the persons control to be used in violation of subsection (1) of this section.

(3) Harassment is a Class B misdemeanor.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3) of this section, harassment is a Class A misdemeanor if a person violates subsection (1) of this section by subjecting another person to offensive physical contact and the offensive physical contact consists of touching the sexual or other intimate parts of the other person. <1971 c.743 223; 1981 c.468 1; 1985 c.498 1; 1987 c.806 3; 1995 c.802 1; 2001 c.870 2>




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donkeyotay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Thank you sinkingfeeling!
I am not thinking very clearly, and this was exactly the help I needed.... that and to just be reassured that I wasn't crazy for thinking this was illegal.

:hug:

Now I have to rewrite my letter to Wyden. Corporations are persons, right?
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