Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Good afternoon Ellen, I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your friend's situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please. 1. Are you saying that your friend's brother made a false report to police alleging a crime being committed by your friend? And, that the police placed your friend in a psychiatric hospital for a competency evaluation? 2. Or, are you saying that the brother reported to the police that your friend was a danger to themself or to others and the police then took your friend to the psychiatric hospital? Doug
My friends brother made a false accusation about my friends activities and was arrested as a result. Based on his arrest while in jail (being mistreated of course) he was assessed for competency and ultimately placed in state mental health facility.
Hi Ellen, Thank you for the additional information and clarification. If the ONLY people that the brother told these lies to were the police, then your friend cannot sue his brother. All he can do is try to persuade the prosecutor to file a criminal complaint against the brother for filing a false complaint with the police. However, people like this brother rarely stop at telling their story to the police. They generally repeat the same thing to family and friends---almost as if bragging that they caused this tragedy to occur to the person incarcerated. And for those misstatements of facts made by the brother, your friend does have a legal remedy. He may sue the brother for Defamation.
From a legal standpoint, defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm. 1. Slander typically involves an oral (spoken) representation. 2. Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as the internet, a magazine or newspaper.
In order to win a defamation case, you must prove the following:
While in some cases of defamation you must actually prove that you have suffered some sort of damage, in other circumstances where there has been Defamation Per Se, the damages are presumed and you may simply ask for money.
The law generally recognizes four types of Defamation Per Se:
1. Where an allegation is made that a person has a loathsome disease. This is typically an allegation of a sexually transmitted disease.
2. The second type is a statement that a person committed a crime of moral turpitude. This can include everything from rape or theft to child abuse.
3. The third category deals with allegations of sexual deviance or the lack of being a virgin.
4. Finally, damages may be presumed if the false statement of facts affects a person’s reputation in regard to their business or profession.
Please keep in mind that, even though you have already paid your deposit money over to JustAnswer, until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be paid for having assisted you with your questions. If you have additional questions, you may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction. I wish you the best in your future. Doug
Will a defamation suit be impacted by his return to court and eventual plea whether that be guilty or no contest? What would he need to do to prove criminal complaint with DA's office?
Hi Ellen, If he pleads guilty, or goes to trial and is found guilty, his chances of winning a defamation case are just about zero. A no contest plea, if accepted may not be used against him in a civil court and so he could still sue for defamation in that case. As for the criminal complaint---unless he has the charges entirely dropped, or goes to trial and is found not guilty---the prosecutor is NOT going to consider a false report complaint against the brother. Once your friend has been fully exonerated though, then he will want to speak with the prosecutor about the false complaint. You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction. Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed. I wish you the best in 2013, Doug
Thank you for your positive rating of my service, Ellen. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise. I am generally available at least 6 days a week, and often 7, and it would be my privilege to assist you again in the future.Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have, or simply ask for me by name in the first sentence of your new question:http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-lawtalk/Thanks again.DougWhen you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please do rate me highly (9-10) there as well. It would be tremendously appreciated.
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