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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
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If a cop tells a family about an arrest that he/she made,

Resolved Question:

If a cop tells a family about an arrest that he/she made, and the family member then tells others including identifying the person arrested, is this unethical or libel per se. The person arrested has not yet even had a court date and has not been convicted of the charges placed on him yet. This is a small town and it feels like a violation of privacy.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Joseph replied 11 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

While this is unethical, unfortunately it is not illegal. Arrests are a matter of public record. Additionally, libel or defamation has to be based on a FALSE statement of fact.

If the police officer told the truth, and the family member is relating the truth as was told to him or her by the officer, unfortunately that would be insufficient to constitute defamation. (Take for example, every celebrity who is arrested. Arrest videos and reports regarding the arrest are always released to the media prior to the person even having a court hearing).

If the person had not been arrested, or there is false information on top of the arrest (like the person being drunk when he or she was sober, etc.) that would likely constitute defamation, as long as damages from the defamation could be proven.


I realize the above information is not what you wanted to hear and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service. Definitely contact me if you are contemplating leaving me a negative rating, as I’ll be happy to continue to address your concerns until you are satisfied with my service.

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Thanks and best of luck!

-Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5028
Experience: Attorney with significant and substantial experience in multiple areas of law.
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