First of all, let us discuss what DEFAMATION
is. Slander is verbal defamation and Libel is written defamation - they are two sides of the same coin. Randall's Food Markets. v. Johnson, 891 S.W.2d 640, 646 (Tex.1995); Rogers v. Dallas Morning News, 889 S.W.2d 467, 472 (Tex.App.-Dallas 1994, writ denied).
The elements of a defamation claim are
(1) The defendant published a statement;
(2) The statement was defamatory concerning the plaintiff;
(3) The defendant acted with negligence.WFAA-TV, Inc. v. McLemore, 978 S.W.2d 568, 571 (Tex.1998).
Having said that, let us discuss how one find/confirms out who the actual culprit is. Postings online can be anonymous. However, not really. Every user leaves an IP trace. IP means Internet Protocol and is a way to identify someone.
What the Plaintiff can do is first file suit, and then subpoena the website owner
for the IP of the user that left that remark. Most of the time, the owner will have these records. Once the IP is ascertained, it is still mostly a series of numbers, but the IP's Internet service provider (ISP) may be identified.
The Plaintiff then files a subpoena with the ISP to get the name and address of the individual whose IP matched up with the IPS's records.
Then the individual is named as Defendant in the suit via filing a Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint
, is served, and the suit goes forward.
Some attorneys may agree to work with you on a contingency basis. May I recommend the Austin Lawyer Referral Program - here
. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.
The PI is typically hired VIA the attorney, not before. Whether or not the PI agrees to work for free is unlikely, however, many do work on a payment plan
and will work with you on payments and scheduling of them.
According to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code sec. 16.002
, Texas has a one year
rule on statute of limitations for defamation.
However, unless this defamation was THREATENING in nature, no criminal act applies. If it was threatening, then REPLY and let me know, and we can touch base on this as well.
If the individual responsible for the defamation acted within the scope of their employment while doing so in any way, then the employer MAY BE held liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.
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