I recently presented a case in Small Claims
Court, and the defendant committed obvious acts of libel and character defamation
. Although the judge questioned certain statements as describing as criminal behavior (to which the defendant readily agreed), nevertheless he allowed all of this testimony
unchallenged and without proof as part of the public record.
I contacted an attorney and after citing a few cases in Washington State law, he said that our state has an absolute privilege for statements made in court. He said that because the judge allowed these statements, therefore they are protected and no charges of defamation of character can be filed.
The statements made were truly libelous and have caused financial and character hardships. Among other things, the defendant made false accusations of violations against human rights
, and I don't understand how this sort of speech is "protected".
Is there someone who can help me with this? It seems there should be some guidance in the law which outlines what sort of speech is protected and what is not.
Thank you for your help.