QLD Threatening emails

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20 August 2020
I'm trying to determine what law is relevant to a situation my wife and I have found ourselves in. Basically, we are getting emails from my brother in law saying that unless we give him $50K he will start telling family and friends that we coerced my father in law to give us money.

For a bit of background, my father in law gifted my wife $100K a few years ago as she was ill and couldn't work. The money helped with medical and other bills. He passed last year. The gift was assessed by the executor of the will, and found that it was fine. My BIL thinks that we owe him $50K and since has resorted to threatening emails to try and get what he wants. I've tried talking to him, but he won't listen, and now I just want to end this. He lives in the ACT and we live in QLD.

I've done a web search and found suggestions that this could be extortion/blackmail. Would this be the case? How would we proceed if it is?


Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
Can you give a bit more detail? the substance of the emails? But the advice changes depending on the paper trail / email trail.

Option 1
Steer clear of the law. It is likely the police will tell you it is a civil matter. Unless there are threats of violence.

My advice would be to ignore - ignore then ignore some more. Mate - If he wants to send out emails to the extended family blah blah - let him. Most decent people will see that sort of BS for what it is. If any of the extended family ask you about it you can explain yourself to them.

Option 2 - (depending on the details and frequency of the email paper trail...)
You could send out a cease and desist letter - best if it comes from your wife - not you.
Dear F-wit.
Please stop communicating with us about XXXXX's will. Please direct your concerns to the executor of the will. I'm not prepared to discuss this any further and I'm feeling intimidated and threatened by your emails.
Kind Regards
The rationale for my thinking.... If it was to continue / escalate - you've got something to take to the cops. The fact that you've communicated that you feel threatened / intimidated MIGHT give grounds for an avo. But it is pretty weak unless there is threats of violence. The fact you guys live in different states is also gonna make the claim for any sort of restraining order harder to establish.

Option 3 - go see a solicitor. Solicitor will write him a letter. That will cost you about $1500. The letter wont be all that different to the one I suggested above.

footnote - I reckon it is all bluff. Hence option 1. He made a demand based on his version of reality. You refused. He has given up. Good leave it at that.... I reckon he is all bluff.