WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Preparing for Court

Starting the Court Case

Updated: November 12, 2019

Should I gather evidence before filing my court case?

If it is safe to do so, then you should be gathering evidence and deciding which witnesses could help you to prove your cause of action. You should keep track of any witnesses by writing down their names, their contact information, and what they know about your case. Make sure to photograph any injuries you suffered or any damage to your property. If you are the one who is filing the court case (the plaintiff or petitioner), then you are the one who will have to prove that what you are alleging in your petition/complaint actually happened.

One thing that you can do to better prepare your case for stalking or harassment is to keep a log (or a record) of the details of each incident as the incidents occur. You can make a list of the date and time of each incident, what the abuser did or said, what actions if any you took, what witnesses or evidence you have, etc. This way, if you have to prove the pattern of events in court, you will have the information ready to give to the police or judge. You can also save any voicemails, emails, or text messages that are sent as further proof of the stalking/harassing behavior - as well as taking screenshots of any posts made on social media to preserve them in case the person who posts them later deletes them. Here you can see safety tips for stalking or harassment victims and a sample stalking/harassment log.