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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 33911
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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My husbands orders were cancelled due to libelous and slanderous

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My husband's orders were cancelled due to libelous and slanderous statements made about my husband to the IG. We are planning to file a defamation suit in the civil courts. This person contacted the IG on their own and is a civilian who doesn't work for the government. Does this person have absolute privilege as a "witness"? In other words, is the IG process considered a "legislative or judicial" process?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

The IG process is not legislative. Not is it judicial.

It is administrative in nature.

Can you tell me, do you know the name of the person in question? So you could file suit now, and not require the IG to disclose records? Or is that the are worried the IG will not disclose records?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes, we know the person, because the person put the threats in an email that they would do this. We plan to FOIA the records. The initial accusation was not even considered but they kept piling on statements. This person has basically thrown slanderous accusations at him in the past. We hope to get record of everything because he lost his assignment because of how long they investigated.

In a perfect world, he would be given the name of the accuser. Currently, he is being taunted about going to military jail, which is ludicrous. He's already been questioned and we are waiting for the findings. It has been a very brutal process for us both and prompted him to throw the retirement card down. Once this is wrapped, he is eligible to retire.

In my legal research for defamation it says people have absolute privilege as witness, so that is a relief.

It is true that a witness in a criminal trial can not be charged with defamation for the testimony. So, for example, if the IG held a formal investigation, and questioned a witness, the witness could claim immunity.

But if this person initiated a false complaint against your husband, specifically they lied about your husband....and that complaint damaged his reputation or standing in his community? That is defamation and that is something you can seek to recover damages.

The key what prompted this

If person A made a report complaint to IG, and a person B was interviewed? And person B provided a statement to the IG? Then Person B may well have privilege in their statement.

But if a A person filed a complaint that was a lie? That complaint would not be privileged so you could sue person A for defamation.

P. Simmons and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Your last statement applies. Thank you

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