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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 99436
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I was getting a refinance loan through a major lender. A woman

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I was getting a refinance loan through a major lender. A woman came to appraise my house (which I paid for through the loan process). During the appraisal she noticed a garden hose and an exhaust fan in a basement room in my house. She began to ask questions like why do you have an exhaust fan and why are there water marks on the floor. She walked out of her way to look into a kiddy pool which had potting soil in it. She acted suspicious and turned her appraisal into an investigation. I am pretty sure she turned me in to the law for growing marijuana although there was no marijuana growing in the room at that time. I was told by one civil litigation lawyer that this would fall under libel and slander. When the police came about 5 weeks later there were 4 marijuana plants growing in the room at that time. If I find out for sure that she turned me in this way should I file a Civil suit?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow ups and my replies because I am typing out my answer, or taking a quick break.

I am sorry for your situation. Let me confirm - the marijuana plants were yours, correct? Or at least, under the ownership of someone in the house?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes, they were mine
Expert:  Ely replied 4 years ago.
Thank you.

In sum, you may not have a case here. Slander/libel essentially means defamation. The essential elements of defamation are: 1. a falsity, 2. about the plaintiff, 3. which is published (told someone, and 4. which causes injury to reputation. Restatement (Second) of Torts § 558 10; Columbia Sussex Corp., Inc. v. Hay, 627 SW 2d 270 - Ky: Court of Appeals 1981.

The problem here is that they did find marijuana plants. She did essentially tell the truth if in the end, pot was found. So no defamation exists since no falsity has been said. The fact that the seeds for the plants may not have yet been planted at the time that she observed the property does little to nullify the overall matter since in the end, they did find the plants.

Ergo, I am sorry to say this is not defamation.

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