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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  I am a practicing attorney with more than 30 years of experience in the legal field.
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Customer posted negative review but also slandered me in the

Customer Question

customer posted negative review but also slandered me in the process by saying was the village bicycle. this is a negative term which mean "slutty person". he does not know me and getting his car service does not give him license to slander me. can i sue for slander in calif. small claims court?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Yes, a suit for Defamation may be brought in small claims court in CA.

From a legal standpoint, defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm.

1. Slander typically involves an oral (spoken) representation.
2. Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as the internet, a magazine or newspaper.

In order to win a defamation case, you must prove the following:

  1. A false statement was made about an individual, generally yourself;
  2. The statement was made to a third party;
  3. If the defamatory matter is of public concern, (for example if you are a famous person) fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher.
  4. Finally, you must show that you have suffered damages.

While in some cases of defamation you must actually prove that you have suffered some sort of damage, in other circumstances where there has been Defamation Per Se, the damages are presumed and you may simply ask for money.

The law generally recognizes four types of Defamation Per Se:

1. Where an allegation is made that a person has a loathsome disease. This is typically an allegation of a sexually transmitted disease.

2. The second type is a statement that a person committed a crime of moral turpitude. This can include everything from rape or theft to child abuse.

3. The third category deals with allegations of sexual deviance or the lack of being a virgin.

4. Finally, damages may be presumed if the false statement of facts affects a person’s reputation in regard to their business or profession.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2015,

Doug

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Generally a bad yelp review can cause a loss of up to 9 percent in business. In addition, we will be selling soon and this negative comment could affect loss of potential buyers. Would this constitute damages?
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

To the extent that the defamatory statements were made against you in conjunction with the operation of your business and you suffer a business loss, yes, absolutely, you would be able to make a claim for damages to your business brought on by the defamation. In that case it seems to me though that you might be better served filing suit in a court other than small claims---simply because on the limitation of damages you can be awarded in small claims court.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Kindly, remember to rate my service to you. That is how I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best in 2015,

Doug