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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33803
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I have a stepson of 25 years old that does not live with us

Customer Question

I have a stepson of 25 years old that does not live with us but bad-mouths me to everyone. His lies causes people to get into arguments with me. Everyone is blaming me because his life is bad but I am fed up with it. My husband does nothing to help. What can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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I am sorry to hear that you are running into this problem with stepson..

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Is he making comments that are untrue that you can prove are lies?

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What type of things is he saying about you?.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Basically, his mother died and his father remarried. He states to landlords and anyone he can how much he dislikes me and that I took his Dad away and all his money. He thinks his mother left him money. In 4 years he has lived in 8 places. he rents a room n someone's house but gets thrown out constantly for trashing the place. Once again I stepped in and found him the current place. Guess what same old story and the landlord harassed the hell out of me last week calling me terrible names over the phone thanks to what this young man is saying. My husband twists everything to protect his dysfunctional son and I am made to look like the mad woman
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The son has aspergers but I did not know how bad or I would never have remarried. It is like dealing with a 10 year old child . I am in my 60's
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, in order to have a cause of action for slander or defamation you would have to prove damages and the following elements:

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a defamatory statement;

published to third parties; and

which the speaker or publisher knew or should have known was false.

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So the problem here is that he is expressing his opinion about you, which would likely be considered protected speech under the First Amendment to the Constitution..

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However, if he is engaging in this type behavior simply to annoy and disturb you, you could file criminal and civil charges for harassment.

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The Modern Penal Code section 250.4(MPC) defines harassment as a petty misdemeanor if with purpose is to harass another, he: 1) makes a phone call without a legitimate purpose; or 2) insults, taunts or challenges another in a manner likely to provoke violent or disorderly response; or 3) calls at inconvenient hours or inoffensive language; or 4) subjects another to offensive touching; or 5) engages in any other course of alarming conduct serving no legitimate purpose of the actor.

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Under the United States Code Title 18 Subsection 1514(c)1. Harassment is defined as "a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such a person and serves no legitimate purpose".

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Put simply, anything that people do for no good reason or lawful reason or purpose and they know it distresses you is harassment.

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You could file a civil harassment suit against the person and be awarded monetary damages and injunctive action if you can show proof he is harassing you with her actions. A judge could also issue a restraining order against the person for no communications to be directed towards you.

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thanks

Barrister