Thank you for your question.
These statements may be grounds for a defamation action. Additionally, in that the allegations accuse you of committing a crime, they would constitute defamation per se, which the statements are assumed to have hurt your reputation, and you would not have the burden of proving that your reputation was actually harmed.
To prove a defamation action, you have to prove that your neighbor made a false statement about you, published that statement to a third party, and that your neighbor knew the statement was false or thought the statement was true but lacked reasonable grounds for that belief. The last element tends to be the trickiest. If your neighbor was drunk at the time the statements were made, that may complicate the issues, because the element of negligence tends to get blurred.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
Let me analyze these separately:
the Mother and the actual home owner made the statement first to our mutual neighbor
This would be actionable. The statement was published to a third party.
who then repeated it to his wife
This would not be actionable if the neighbor was merely telling his wife what the neighbor told him.
who told me ,
Not actionable. The statement was not published to a third party.
her daughter repeated the statement 3 days later to me and the neighbor
Would potentially be actionable, although the statement was only published to the third party that made the statement in the first place.
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