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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36375
Experience:  I am a practicing attorney with more than 30 years of experience in the legal field.
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Nov. 3th was election day Pa. I was a candidate -election.

Customer Question

Nov. 3th was election day Pa. I was a candidate for re-election. The day before a flyer was past out in our borough stating that I proposed to cut the 2016 police budget by 50% and that I also circumvented the 2016 budget process. The flyer also listed 4 other candidates to vote for. On election day 2 of the candidates on the flyer handed out the same flyer to voters at the election poles. Both statements are false and I lost the election by 4 votes. Do i have a case for defamation from these false statements? Thank you *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good evening Gordon,

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

I presume that given the absurdity of the false allegations, that you will be easily be able to prove that the misstatements were at a minimum negligent for the person responsible to have published them, if not outright intentional and intended to do you harm. Based on that, yes it appears that you have a meritorious case for defamation. Let me explain.

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.

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