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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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I am the former president of the fraternal order of eagles

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I am the former president of the fraternal order of eagles in my hometown. I have been since removed from office under the accusation of deleting records from the jointly used computer. I am currently under suspension for 90 days and cannot run for office for 3 years. No proof has been presented, obviously because I am innocent. My suspension an false accusations were read to the organization's membership. I spoke with the agent that had the power to suspend me and was told by him that the records were found that I supposedly deleted. There were no grounds for removal or suspension, however I am only concerned about my innocence. Like I said the false accusation was made public. Do I have a defamation case?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Yes, you may have a case for defamation. In order to win a case for defamation, you must prove that the defendant made a false statement to a third party, and that your reputation was damaged as a result. Generally, damage to reputation is proved by showing monetary loss. However, there are a select few situations where monetary harm is not required. For example, when accused of a crime.

In this case, I'm not sure that deleting records rises to the level of a crime, so proving damages may be difficult absent monetary harm. Moreover, without monetary harm, you may not have good cause for a large monetary award. I have seen cases in which a plaintiff wins, but is only awarded $1.00. Granted, that may be worthwhile for you in the sense that it may help to clear your name.

If I were you, I would ask the current president to send out a notice to all members that you have been exonerated, and that you no longer suspended. That may be as good as any lawsuit, and it sure would be cheaper. But if you'd like to sue, then you should retain a local attorney to file the lawsuit on your behalf, as it is not a small claims type of lawsuit. I would expect to spend at least $10k in legal fees, however, and possibly more.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is much appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

If you would like to direct additional legal questions to me in the future, then please type "To VAMD" in the subject line of your question.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

There is proof that this was read to a third party and more. I am not seeking monetary gain, however, I would seek that they would pay the legal fees if I were the victor. Would that be possible?

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again.

I'm sorry to say that it would not be possible to win attorneys fees. Attorneys fees are only awarded when there is a contract which states that the other party will pay attorneys fees (such as a car loan, for example), or when a statute specifically allows it, such as the civil rights statutes. Unfortunately, in a defamation case like this, there is not a contract that would allow it, and there is no statute that allows it.

I wish that I had better news about that.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10008
Experience: JD, MBA
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TJ, Esq.
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