How to File a Mental Abuse Case

By Charlie Gaston

Mental abuse is illegal. Victims of mental abuse, regardless of age, can experience devastating, long-term effects including anxiety, high levels of stress and illness. Mental abuse can occur in a domestic relationship, a work relationship and doctor/patient relationship -- including a wide variety of other circumstances. The law allows victims of mental abuse to file a complaint and seek legal action against an abuser. The filing process requires some leg work, but the county clerk is available to assist you every step of the way.

Define the type of abuse. Verbal degradation, forced isolation, emotional manipulation, verbal manipulation and verbal threats are examples of mental abuse. Each is reportable under the law.

Type a personal injury complaint. Name yourself as the plaintiff and your abuser as the defendant. List the count as "mental abuse."

Type out the facts of your case. Itemize in chronological order each incidence of mental abuse. Describe the nature of the abuse and note the day and time it occurred. List the names of any witnesses who saw the abuse take place.

Outline any evidence that proves willful infliction of mental distress, unreasonable confinement or isolation, intimidation, or punishment with resulting mental anguish. If the mental abuse took place in a nursing home, prove deprivation by a staff member including a care taker or doctor, of goods or services that are necessary to maintain mental well-being such as food, bathing privileges and clean clothes.

Request damages, which typically, is a monetary value in personal injury cases.

Demand a trial by jury or ask a judge to make a ruling. Sign and date your complaint. Retain a copy for your records.

Go to the county clerk's desk at the county courthouse. If the incidence of mental abuse took place in a different county, file your claim there. Courts operate according to jurisdiction, so file your complaint in the county where the abuse took place or where the defendant rents or owns property (i.e. his county of residence).

Pay the filing fee. Submit your complaint -- along with any additional paperwork -- to the county clerk. The clerk will then file your complaint, issue a case number and assign a judge to your case.

Take the summons provided by the clerk, which you must then serve against the defendant. (As a general rule of thumb, you must provide three copies of your complaint and obtain a court stamp with the address of the courthouse at the top of the page.)

Contact local authorities so a police officer can issue the summons to the defendant.

About the Author

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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