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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27218
Experience:  Lawyer
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I just want to know where I stand....Someone posted my

Customer Question

Hi there, I just want to know where I stand....Someone posted my picture without my permission on facebook, called me a racist, called me gay, and asked people to punch me if they see me.
is that something I can chase legally....the lady involved is DJ so have a very large following, and I am worried that it, may effect my career to be accused to be a racist?
I commented on one of her posts, saying 'stop hating' far as I am concerned that is the very opposite of racist....
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.


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

When someone makes an untrue statement of fact about a third party, of a sort that tends to harm their reputation, it can be actionable as defamation of character. Generally, a statement that someone is gay is not considered one that can hurt you reputation as a matter of public policy - courts don't want to enforce the idea that being gay is bad. However, you could have a cause of action against her for calling you a racist. Opinions are protected, but there's a huge difference between saying "I think that person is rude" and "I think that person is racist." Calling someone racist implies that there's something that happened, a factual basis for the statement. So you can sue on that basis.

Also, if she's asking people to assault you, with the intent that they do it, that's a crime. You can report her to the police. You can also include a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress - asking thousands of unknown people to hit you is extreme and outrageous, and it serves no legitimate purpose other than to make you live in fear.

In New Jersey, you're limited to seeking $3,000 in Small Claims Court. If you feel that's enough to compensate you, it is a faster and easier process, and you don't need a lawyer. But you also have a right to sue in the Superior Court for any amount you feel is appropriate. The judge will consider the number of followers when deciding just how wrong her behavior was, plus the number of likes/shares/comments on the post if that indicates a large number of people saw it.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Lucy, one of her 'followers' said he would love to 'beat some sense into me'.....acting on her post....I'm not scared at all, I know it is social media bullsh*t, but i really don't like the accusation that I am a I want to know how I take action...
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

You can report the post to Facebook as a violation of their terms of service, but make a screen shot first. There are three other ways to take action:

  1. Report it to the police. It IS illegal to try to talk people into beating someone, even if they're trolling.
  2. File a civil lawsuit. You can't get IIED damages if you're not worried about it, but you can still get defamation for her calling you a racist. You could probably bring it in Small Claims if you haven't suffered any economic loss.
  3. Send a cease and desist letter, giving her one chance to remove the post to avoid you exercising options 1 and 2. She may post the letter on Facebook, too, though, which won't necessarily help anything.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
how much does it cost to file a civil lawsuit? and do I have to call the police first?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

You do not have to call the police first. Filing fees vary by county, but they have waiver forms available if you can't afford it. Contact the county where this other person lives. You can also request that she reimburse your fees as part of a judgment.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Do i have to file in the county where she lives, or can I do it in Jersey?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

If she also lives in Jersey, it has to be the county where she lives. If she doesn't live in New Jersey, you can still sue her in the county you live in, because that's where the damage is being done - but you can't use Small Claims. Small Claims is only for people who live in the state. You'd have to draft a Complaint and file it in the Superior Court. You'll also have to explain why the court has jurisdiction over her, so it could help to see if a local attorney will draft the Complaint for you.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
thanks you....I guess then, damages can be higher?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Yes. You could ask for any amount you think is fair.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Do you have any more questions about this?