Good evening. I understand how this would be deeply offensive and make you want to consider what options are available to you. You certainly appear to have an action for defamation.
Let me explain what defamation is and then you can make the determination whether or not it is something you wish to pursue. I will also at the end of this summary help give you some additional direction.
I am going to provide you information on both slander and libel since they are so closely related and so often confused with each other.
Both involve the communication of false information about a person, group or entity. Libel is any defamation that can be seen....writings, printing, effigy, movie or statue. Slander, is any defamation that is spoken and heard.
They are civil injuries that harm reputation, cause a reduction in respect, regard or confidence, or cause disparaging, hostile or disagreeable opinions or feelings against an individual or entity.
The laws regarding libel and slander are the same.
To prevail in a suit for libel or slander and recover damages, you must prove 4 things: (i) the defendant conveyed a defamatory message they knew or should have known to be false; (ii) the material was published (i.e., conveyed to someone other than you); (iii) you can be identified as the the person referred to in the defamatory material; and (iv) you suffered an injury to your reputation as a result of the communication.
Ok...now, since you are short on funds, I recommend you go to your closest law school and request to be directed to their legal clinic...most law schools have them. They are run by students, yet supervised by professors. They should be happy to handle this for you on a pro bono basis because it will be such a good learning experience for the students. The first step will be to write these folks a certified return receipt requested letter demanding they immediately remove all prior defamatory statements and materials in your files and cease and desist in any future defamatory actions. Inform them if they do not do so, you will have no choice but to file a defamation suit against them, seeking an injunction against future acts and damages for all prior actions.
I hope this has given you the guidance you were seeking. I wish you the best of luck!
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The information given here is not legal advice. As all states have different intricacies in their laws, the information given is general only. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you. I hope this answer has been helpful to you.
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