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LawTalk
LawTalk, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 36682
Experience:  30 years legal experience
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If you haven't heard, it's been raining where we live in SC.

Customer Question

If you haven't heard, it's been raining where we live in SC. My son and some friends jumped a fence in our community to stand under a shelter. This is a community area where our pool is located. Well some neighbor installed a camera there and got a photo of him standing there. They've uploaded this photo to facebook accusing him of damaging property, drinking, and exchanging drugs. He is just standing with his hands by his sides, doing nothing but talking to friends. I'm very upset by this, now the entire neighborhood probably thinks my 14 year old son is a drug dealer.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your family's situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Based on the facts you have provided it seems pretty clear that the person who made these outrageous comments has committed defamation, and your son---through you as his Guardian ad Litem, may sue the person who posted the false allegations. Let me explain.

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:

  1. A false statement was made about an individual, generally yourself;
  2. The statement was made to a third party;
  3. If the defamatory matter is of public concern, (for example if you are a famous person) fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher.
  4. Finally, you must show that you have suffered damages.

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. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moral%20turpitude 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.

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 so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2015,

Doug

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure of the next step to take, do I need to contact a local attorney?
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good morning,

The next step would probably to make a demand on the defendant for money damages for defamation. A local tort law/personal injury attorney will be able to assist you in making the demand and in filing the lawsuit if necessary.

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.

Kindly, remember to rate my service to you. That is how I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best in 2015,

Doug