There is this guy in my community who is known to be very nasty, always intimidates and verbally abuses people. He is what we can imagine a narcissistic person.

We have SMS, video and audio records of him abusing others verbally.

On what grounds can such a person be sued?

Also, can the plaintiff be anonymous? Personally I'm quite terrified if he finds out who reported him.

  • 3
    Can you be more specific? Narcissism is not a crime. Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 14:06
  • 2
    Usually if you want to sue somebody civilly, you need to have some damages. What are your damages? Your "peaceful enjoyment" can be a damage, however it's difficult to put a monetary value on that. Has this person been contacted by police when these incidents occur?
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 14:08
  • We need more specifics. Exactly what is he doing? Are you among the people targeted?
    – bdb484
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 15:39
  • Depending on where you live there might be Anti-Social Behaviour Orders or their equivalent. We need a jurisdiction! scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/advice_topics/… Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 15:55
  • Threatening behaviour and harassment may be crimes, depending on where you are.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/discrimination/… Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 15:58

2 Answers 2


The first thing it depends on is where you live. The US has no law requiring niceness, but perhaps niceness-enforcement exists somewhere in the world. The second thing it depends on is exactly what he does, where and how. If he comes into people's houses uninvited and starts harassing them, that is generally a crime. If he makes nasty remarks to people walking down the street, you can't even sue him.

If the person commits in a crime, you can report him anonymously. However, for there to be any prosecution, someone will have to testify in court: anonymous criminal testimony is inadmissible in the US. If there is no crime, just a potential civil action, the part would hire an attorney to file a complaint, etc. and that party would be named (not anonymous), would have to testify, and would also have to have been harmed. The police will not get involved in a civil dispute. Based just on what you have said here, your attorney would very likely say that there is no case to be pursued, and your only solution is to ignore him.


I would consult a lawyer. And show him/her the video and audio records, etc. Because the lawyer is likely to tell you one of two things:

  1. The person's behavior is fundamentally "criminal," and it's only a matter of time before s/he commits an actual crime. The lawyer might then advise you to notify the police so that they know that this person is a "suspect" if and when a crime is committed. In this case, you are dealing with an "accident waiting to happen" and want to protect yourself beforehand. The lawyer might give you legal advice about getting temporary restraining orders (TROs) etc. If it comes to "court," the police may give you police/witness protection. You will not need to reveal yourself before then.

  2. The person's behavior is "annoying," but (not quite) "criminal," But it may become criminal if you push him/her hard enough. In that case, you probably don't want to file a lawsuit or take action that would push the person over the line, while revealing who you are.

And the lawyer may tell you a "third" thing that I haven't mentioned.

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