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rvlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 8386
Experience:  NYC Trial Attorney 30+ years; Law professor ; BUSINESS LAW; CONTRACTS; TORTS; Arbitrator
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What branch of the court systems can I use the most cost ...

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What branch of the court systems can I use the most cost effectively to sue for libel? To be specific, I am a frequent seller on eBay and they have the notorious feedback system which allows dissenting buyers to leave negative feedbacks just by winning something. eBay will remove the feedback if you can provide a court order to remove it by basically filing a libel suit against the buyer. I would like to file it in small claims if possible but NYC says you can only file small claims in the county where the defendant resides, I was under the impression i where the transaction took place (ie the plaintiffs location). Any advise as far as how to start this suit? Thanks!


NYC small claims.....5K maximum. For which court....see page 6 of:

And the above site on how to file, cost, etc.

Regarding libel:

You could sue for defamation and get an injunction if you feel you qualify.....

Here is the law on defamation:

1. The slander (oral defamation) or libel (written defamation) must be false. NOTE THAT IF YOU BRING A LAWSUIT...TRUTH OF THE STATEMENTS IS A DEFENSE THAT CAN BE USED BY THE DEFENDANT. 2. The false statements must cause you PROVABLE MONETARY DAMAGES...not hurt feelings but actual monetary damages that a jury can award you money for. For instance, you must prove that as a result of statements made, you were fired from a job, or were prevented from getting a job, lost a business deal. etc.

Slander or libel suits do NOT, however, require proof of these 'special' damages if the statements are defamatory ON THEIR FACE, that is, they FALSELY allege that a person:

1. Committed a crime.

2. Has a loathesome disease.

3. Is guilty of sexual misconduct. or

4. Is incompetent in business.

You will have to hire an attorney to bring a defamation of character lawsuit as a practical matter.


This is information only, NOT legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been created. Consult an attorney in your state for legal advice regarding your issue.



rvlaw and 3 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I read your response and for the most part, knew some of the details, however when I contacted NYC small claims court, they said the suit must take place in the state/county where the defendant resides... And futhermore its for monetary damges. I believe that my suit falls under the exceptions in which the defendant wrote libel about the character of a business by calling us shady. What I specifically want to ask is: can I file a suit in NYC if my business is in NYC and my buyers are from all over the world? I dont think its reasonable for us to travel all over the country to our defendants if we want to bring suit. Is this possible in small claims or must I use a different court? Id rather use small claims because I'd rather represent myself.

You cannot use small claims court. In NYC you can go to Civil Court (25K max) otherwise Supreme Court.

Rich NYC lawyer 30+ years.



This is information only, NOT legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been created.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Just to clarify, I cannot use small claims court for any defamation suit or just for a suit for someone living outside of the state?

I intend to file these every so often, and most likely for the out of state ones expect the defendant not to show as I'm not imposing a judgement on them, just getting an order to remove a comment. What would you charge to represt me for a case like this, I'm looking to file a few in the future. Thanks for your answer!


1. No defamation suits in small claims...they have no power by statute to decide such a case. Also, no jurisdiction over out of state defendants.

2. I can't represent you for two reasons: JA rules and I live in Los Angeles though a member of the NY bar.



This is information only, NOT legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been created.