Generally, the relief sought in a case like this is a "restraining order" or a "protective order". One might also pursue a criminal prosecution for stalking in the appropriate circumstances.
Typically, if one can meet the high standard for issuance of such an order, a court issues a temporary order ex parte (i.e. based only upon what you have said and evidence you have provided) and then sets the matter for a hearing at which the person against whom the order is sought can defend themselves in court in a fairly short time period.
If the judge finds that the high threshold to issue to order is met after considering the evidence at an adversarial evidentiary hearing, then the order becomes permanent or in force for a long period of time.
The circumstances that can justify the issuance of such an order vary from state to state but usually must involve either a clear risk of serious physical harm or extreme harassment short of physical harm.
Generally a court's restraining order or protective order cannot be waived by the protected person without another court order vacating it.
Unlike most court orders, protection orders can usually be enforced directly by law enforcement rather than solely in an after the fact contempt of court proceeding in the court that issued the order originally. This said, even though the law may say that enforcing a protection order is mandatory, in practice, law enforcement discretion means that it is not. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005).
Also, as a matter of practical reality, law enforcement is often not able to stop someone who is violating a restraining order before it is too later, or because law enforcement is unable to confirm that a cyber stalker really is the person against whom a protection order has been issued.
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering a case from Colorado regarding what kind of evidence that someone's communications amount to a "true threat" that is sufficient to justify legal consequences for this kind of contact.
Simply continuing to contact you after you ask them to not contact you is rarely sufficient. But if someone who repeatedly contacts you in a way that you make clear is unwanted this is one factor among many used to consider if the conduct justifies issuance of an order or a criminal prosecution of some kind such as a stalking prosecution.
Repeatedly contacting someone against their wishes can also get someone banned from an online platform outside the court process. Many online platforms have developed filters, blocking, and privacy controls in an attempt to make it harder to engage in this kind of conduct.
The cycle of behavior of a victim in this case is a common one and it can make it very frustrating for lawyers, law enforcement, and other supportive people to help someone in this situation. I've certainly seen it play out first hand.
In Colorado, the primary statutes are found at Colorado Revised Statutes, Sections 13-14-100.2 to 13-14.5-111. Colorado also imposes protection orders on a temporary basis during the divorce proceedings, many kinds of criminal cases, and certain other family law cases. Under the most common kind of case under these statutes, an order may be issued to:
(I) To prevent assaults and threatened bodily harm;
(II) To prevent domestic abuse;
(III) To prevent emotional abuse of the elderly or of an at-risk
(IV) To prevent sexual assault or abuse; and
(V) To prevent stalking.
Some select definitions used include:
“Abuse of the elderly or of an at-risk adult” means mistreatment of a
person who is sixty years of age or older or who is an at-risk adult
as defined in section 26-3.1-101(1.5), including but not limited to
repeated acts that: (a) Constitute verbal threats or assaults; (b)
Constitute verbal harassment; (c) Result in the inappropriate use or
the threat of inappropriate use of medications; (d) Result in the
inappropriate use of physical or chemical restraints; (e) Result in
the misuse of power or authority granted to a person through a power
of attorney or by a court in a guardianship or conservatorship
proceeding that results in unreasonable confinement or restriction of
liberty; or (f) Constitute threats or acts of violence against, or the
taking, transferring, concealing, harming, or disposing of, an animal
owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the elderly or at-risk
adult, which threats or acts are intended to coerce, control, punish,
intimidate, or exact revenge upon the elderly or at-risk adult.
“Domestic abuse” means any act, attempted act, or threatened act of
violence, stalking, harassment, or coercion that is committed by any
person against another person to whom the actor is currently or was
formerly related, or with whom the actor is living or has lived in the
same domicile, or with whom the actor is involved or has been involved
in an intimate relationship. A sexual relationship may be an indicator
of an intimate relationship but is never a necessary condition for
finding an intimate relationship. For purposes of this subsection (2),
“coercion” includes compelling a person by force, threat of force, or
intimidation to engage in conduct from which the person has the right
or privilege to abstain, or to abstain from conduct in which the
person has a right or privilege to engage. “Domestic abuse” may also
include any act, attempted act, or threatened act of violence against:
(a) The minor children of either of the parties; or (b) An animal
owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either of the parties or by
a minor child of either of the parties, which threat, act, or
attempted act is intended to coerce, control, punish, intimidate, or
exact revenge upon either of the parties or a minor child of either of
“Sexual assault or abuse” means any act, attempted act, or threatened
act of unlawful sexual behavior, as described in section
16-11.7-102(3), C.R.S., by any person against another person
regardless of the relationship between the actor and the
“Stalking” means any act, attempted act, or threatened act of stalking
as described in section 18-3-602, C.R.S.
The referenced section defines stalking as follows:
A person commits stalking if directly, or indirectly through another
person, the person knowingly:
(a) Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with
the threat, repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, or places under
surveillance that person, a member of that person's immediate family,
or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing
(b) Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with
the threat, repeatedly makes any form of communication with that
person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with
whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship, regardless
of whether a conversation ensues; or
(c) Repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, places under
surveillance, or makes any form of communication with another person,
a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that
person has or has had a continuing relationship in a manner that would
cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress and
does cause that person, a member of that person's immediate family, or
someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship
to suffer serious emotional distress. For purposes of this paragraph
(c), a victim need not show that he or she received professional
treatment or counseling to show that he or she suffered serious
(2) For the purposes of this part 6:
(a) Conduct "in connection with" a credible threat means acts that
further, advance, promote, or have a continuity of purpose, and may
occur before, during, or after the credible threat.
(b) "Credible threat" means a threat, physical action, or repeated
conduct that would cause a reasonable person to be in fear for the
person's safety or the safety of his or her immediate family or of
someone with whom the person has or has had a continuing relationship.
The threat need not be directly expressed if the totality of the
conduct would cause a reasonable person such fear.
(c) "Immediate family" includes the person's spouse and the person's
parent, grandparent, sibling, or child.
(d) "Repeated" or "repeatedly" means on more than one occasion.