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My son in law was fired from his job at a bank and the reason was that as an assistant manager, he accidentally double debited an account. He discovered the mistake and within a half an hour, with another employee as a witness, fixed the issue, reported the error and thought everything was taken care of. Almost 2 months later, he went to work one morning and was fired and the excuse was this mistake. He was let go, paid unemployment, however, the bank has pulled some punches and one of them being, that we just found out there was a case filed in 12th district court and it states embezzlement, states for $200.00 or more. Just a case number, nothing filed, nothing done, nothing reported from whom, but of course we know.
Response 1: if there is a case number XXXXX means something was filed with the Court. However, since your son-in-law did not know about it, it means that he has not been notified of the charges or they filed and changed their mind about pursuing the case.
What would be the reason and is this another thing this bank is pulling to bully and try to push him around and punish him? He did not know this was even there except for the fact my daughter just went into the county court web site and put our names in to see what came up. His name revealed this.
Response 2: I am not sure why they did this since they were not fighting his application for unemployment benefits. However, that is the only reason that I could think of. They might have done it if someone in the ranks was trying to make a case that they should contest his application for benefits and they filed the charges to make sure that they have official record of his alleged embezzlement.
Now, what do we do?
Response 3: You do not nothing. Until he is notified of the filing, there is nothing that he can do.
Do we have a case for deformation of character?
Response 4: Unfortunately no because the case was filed with the Court, which is a privileged third party entitled to receive complaint about his alleged embezzlement. In order to win a defamation suit, you must be able to prove all of the elements of defamation. Generally, he (“you”) must be able to prove (1) that a defamatory statement was made against you; (2) that there was a unprivileged publication of the statement to a third party; (3) if the defamatory statement is a matter of public concern, fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher--this may not apply to you if you are not a public figure; (4) then finally you have to prove that you suffered damages as a result of the defamation. As you can see, you would not be able to prove all the elements here because the publication, the complaint was filed with the Court, which is a government institution where a complaint of that sort would be filed.
I am truly sorry that I do not have better news for you. I understand that it can be quite frustrating to learn that there is no legal remedy for your issue. However, as a licensed Attorney and an Officer of the Court, I am legally obligated to provide you with accurate, legally sound, and ethical information eventhough that information may be bad news.
Let me know if you need further clarification.
Thank you for your cooperation.