Does California have a law against cyberbullying? 8 Answers as of October 24, 2010

A friend of mine is being bullied and harassed on the internet by someone who is at her school (we know this for sure) and she wants to know how she can get the police involved. There have been lots of malicious rumors and even fake pictures posted on different websites like Myspace. She thinks she knows who is behind it but she cannot prove it because they are anonymously posted. If she shows the police these web pages, can they do anything about it?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
Yes. Report it to police
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/24/2010
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Being "bullied and harassed" are terms that are too broad to reach any conclusion about. Your
question must be more specific as to what "bullied and harassed" means.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/20/2010
Law Office of Marc K. Herbert
Law Office of Marc K. Herbert | Marc K. Herbert
Yes, any Internet crimes, such as cyber-threatening, should be reported to the police.

In larger counties, the police have funding to run the URL and determine the source of these postings. Then, the District Attorney can decide whether to prosecute the case.

You could also file a lawsuit against this person for slander and/or libel, for the malicious rumors and fake photos. However, those lawsuits can be very expensive and the chance of collecting any money can be very small.

I would start with the police and see if they can help you with this situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/20/2010
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
There is no such crime in California yet. Mere cyberbullying alone is not actionable. If someone libels or slanders a person however that is the basis for a civil lawsuit. if someone threatens a person with bodily harm even implicitly that is a crime. Threatening someone that he will expose a secret or do something else that will embarrass the person unless they pay money or something similar can be extortion which is a crime. If a person feels threatened in some manner, however, by any such activity there is never any harm in contacting the police. The worse they can say is their hands are tied by the lack of a specific legal violation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/20/2010
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
Crimes like these are getting more prevalent and the police and schools are taking them more seriously. It is definitely something you should take to the police. The police have the ability to track down where the posts are coming from. Additionally if the alleged defendant is at the same school as the victim, schools are taking action as well. I assume that discussing this with the alleged defendants parent has not worked, I find that is the best place to start.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/19/2010
    Desert Defenders
    Desert Defenders | John Jimenez
    Yes, she should contact the police. They can investigate it and pursue prosecution if possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2010
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    You get the police involved by contacting them to report it, and they can advise whether it is illegal and whether they will bring any charges. In addition, a civil suit can be filed and/or a restraining order sought if you can actually prove who is doing it. If serious about doing so, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2010
Click to View More Answers: