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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My sister is falsely accusing me of molesting her 30 some years

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My sister is falsely accusing me of molesting her 30 some years ago when we were both kids (I'm 5 years older than her) Is this something i need to take action and sue her for? She's already called CPS on me to investigate me as I currently live with my girlfriend and her two children.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. The answer is yes, this may be actionable in civil court.

To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state.

Here, this may be cause for defamation. The elements of a defamation claim are: (1) a false and defamatory statement, (2) an unprivileged communication to a third party, (3) fault in her stating this, and (4) damages. Rouch v. Enquirer & News of Battle Creek (After Remand), 440 Mich. 238, 251, 487 N.W.2d 205 (1992) (libel); Ledl v. Quik Pik Food Stores, Inc., 133 Mich.App. 583, 589, 349 N.W.2d 529 (1984).

In fact, this may qualify as "defamation per se." Mitan v. Campbell, 706 NW 2d 420 - Mich: Supreme Court 2005. In cases of defamation per se, the Plaintiff (i.e. you) is accused by the Defendant (i.e. her) of a criminal act. In such cases, damages do not have to be proven and are assumed, making your case easier.

Many individuals pursue defamation based on false claims of molestation.

Again, I am sorry this has happened to you. Good luck.

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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 86560
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 10 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My concern is opening the first volley on this would escallate her into filing actual charges. The thing is, how can you file charges on something that was 30+ years ago? She's talking about a time when I would have been around 13 years old (I guess) and her 8. I wanted to avoid this and would hope it would just go away. Am I setting myself up for some uncomfortable and long trial?

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your follow up.

My concern is opening the first volley on this would escallate her into filing actual charges.

She can attempt to do so, but it is unlikely the DA would file charges for something that happened over 30 years ago, allegedly, without some actual evidence. While there is no statute of limitations for sexual contact with a minor, the DA knows that simply her word is unlikely to have the case be made, and is unlikely to pursue. The DA would only file charges on something that they at least feel prima facie they can win (i.e. on the face).

Am I setting myself up for some uncomfortable and long trial?

It is a choice, of course. She may or may not file a criminal complaint, but even if she does, the DA may not charge... but still this may be an uncomfortable situation of having to talk with the police investigator and retaining counsel to show that this did not happen prior to the DA making the decision whether to pursue or not.

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