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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer
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My name is ***** ***** and my issue is regarding about

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Customer: my name is ***** ***** and my issue is regarding about libel/oral defamation and restraining order
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: yes.
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Customer: a few days ago, on the social media Facebook, few of my friends has been nonstop messaging and calling me regarding of something that was publicly posted on my wall. i was on vacation overseas that time that is why i'm not online all the time. they told me that the wife of my long time (12 years) friend ryan has posted humiliating things for public to see about me. she stated on the post that she knew that i was having an affair with her husband (which is a lie), was telling on the post that i cheated numerous times with my ex husband (which is a lie) and was threatning to expose more things about me. i live in washington state while this person lives in calgary, alberta canada. is there any way i can file a restraint order against this person and sue her for defamation or libel? i have a sworn statement fromm the people that saw the said post and was notarized by the prosecutor in the philippines. the post was removed after 10 minutes of being there when they are trying to get a screen shot of it.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

A restraining order typically is for when someone is threatening you or your family with immediate, physical harm, and you have reason to believe they are willing and able to carry it out. This person has no way of causing you a physical injury while you're in the Philippines or Washington state, if she's in Alberta, Canada. You can, however, block her on social media and ask your wife to do the same, so she cannot post things on your wall for your friends to see. You may also want to look into changing your account so people can't write on your wall or tag you in posts without you approving the message.

As for the post itself, it is defamation of character to tell people that you're having an affair when you're not. You would have to bring the people who saw the post into court with you to testify about what they read - a written statement is hearsay, because it can't be cross-examined (even if they signed under oath, a judge can't base the entire case on hearsay). The bigger problem, though, is where to sue. You can file a lawsuit in Calgary, but you cannot ask a judge to order her to pay your costs of traveling there. You can sue her in Washington, but it will be extremely time consuming and expensive to collect a judgment unless she owns property or has bank accounts in Washington. Since the post was only up for a few minutes before being removed, unless she posted it again, it's possible that you'd be spending a lot of time and money trying to collect just a few hundred dollars. There are valid reason for doing this, but I just want you to know that you might wind up not getting money from her.

What she's doing is considered cyber-stalking, which is illegal under Washington law. RCW 9.61.260. You can file a police report, but since the Washington police can't arrest someone in Canada, you may have more luck with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

https://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx

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