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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 88185
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I want to send a letter demanding a retraction of defamatory statements made in a business

Resolved Question:

I want to send a letter demanding a retraction of defamatory statements made in a business and a non-profit organization environment.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I can provide a sample letter if you would like. However, please understand that it would be just a sample as JustAnswer experts cannot draft legal documents for customers. However, I am confident that you will find this sample useful and it will be tailored to Washington.

If this is acceptable, please tell me in short what exactly happened and this will allow me to render the sample as needed.

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
( If you are not familiar with parental alienation, you will have difficulty understanding what I tell you.)
My daughter is the exec. director of a non-profit organization. In a formal presentation to the Seattle Chamber of Commerce Leadership Conference, she spoke untrue things about me that were defamatory. (Her father, in violation of court orders, did not allow her to see me after the age of eight. She is now 42. And she is an environmental attorney.) The presentation she made at the conference is now on the internet. I want to send a letter to her organization and to the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, requesting/demanding a public retraction of the defamatory statements.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
J,

Thank you for your clarification. I would be happy to provide you with a letter, but I will leave blank as what exactly was stated, so that you may fill this in - would this suffice?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Probably so. Thx.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Excellent.

To Whom It May Concern:

This correspondence is in regards XXXXX XXXXX verbiage printed on (url, address, etc) in regards XXXXX XXXXX (name). Specifically, defamatory language states: "(quote)."

Demand is hereby made that this article be taken down, as it is defamatory to me. If this action is not done within ___ days of your receipt of this certified letter, I may have no choice but to pursue legal action against you for defamation.

According to Washington law, defamation claims have four elements: falsity; an unprivileged communication; fault on the part of the defendant; and damages. Herron v. KING Broadcasting, Co., 776 P. 2d 98 - Wash: Supreme Court 1989.

In addition, punitive damages as well as attorney fees and court costs shall be sought with judgment. Upon judgment, every post-judgment step to satisfy judgment shall be utilized not limited to garnishment, levy, lien, and attachment.

While I am confident that we can settle this matter amicably, I shall not hesitate to resort to legal means to seek relief.

Sincerely,

Signature

Name


About 90% of parties simply take down the article to avoid even the chance of litigation upon receipt of such a letter.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Realistically, I am not in a position to mount a lawsuit if they fail to retract. Should I nevertheless include the strong admonitions?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Friend,

I understand. This is exactly why the letter is worded as it is - notice:

Demand is hereby made that this article be taken down, as it is defamatory to me. If this action is not done within ___ days of your receipt of this certified letter, I may have no choice but to pursue legal action against you for defamation.

Not "I must," or "I will," but "I may." This allows you to save face if they call your bluff, simply reasoning "Well, I said I may, and I am have decided not to."

Of course, at the time of reading the letter, the overall "threat" is still very real to the receiver.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 88185
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 14 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, since once posted on the internet (as it is), "taking it down" is not a remedy. I think a public statement in the Seattle Chamber's website and the non-profit organization's website might be more appropriate. Is it feasible to make such a request/demand?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
J,

I understand. Hopefully, if they take it down soon, then it would not get "copied" by other sites and eventually erased from the cache of search engines. You may find that it would not be online after all after they take it off.

I think a public statement in the Seattle Chamber's website and the non-profit organization's website might be more appropriate. Is it feasible to make such a request/demand?

It is more standard to simply demand that they take it down. An apology may be stretching it somewhat, but, depending on how much they fear a possible suit, they may agree to do so.

Amended letter:

To Whom It May Concern:

This correspondence is in regards XXXXX XXXXX verbiage printed on (url, address, etc) in regards XXXXX XXXXX (name). Specifically, defamatory language states: "(quote)."

Demand is hereby made that:

1) this article be taken down, as it is defamatory to me; and

2) a public retraction to be posted on the same medium confirming the mistake.

If this action is not done within ___ days of your receipt of this certified letter, I may have no choice but to pursue legal action against you for defamation.

According to Washington law, defamation claims have four elements: falsity; an unprivileged communication; fault on the part of the defendant; and damages. Herron v. KING Broadcasting, Co., 776 P. 2d 98 - Wash: Supreme Court 1989.

In addition, punitive damages as well as attorney fees and court costs shall be sought with judgment. Upon judgment, every post-judgment step to satisfy judgment shall be utilized not limited to garnishment, levy, lien, and attachment.

While I am confident that we can settle this matter amicably, I shall not hesitate to resort to legal means to seek relief.

Sincerely,

Signature

Name


Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
AOK. Thx.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome. Good luck, and please don't forget to rate my answer in one of top three faces and then SUBMIT – it is the only way I get credit for my time with you – or, please REPLY to keep on chatting – I want you to be satisfied.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thx . I sent an $18 tip. I am waiting for it to go through. Have a great weekend. Good work.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your generosity and have a great weekend yourself as well.

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