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You father could have a suit for defamation. In this case it would be libel, as the comments are written. Defamation is viewed as statements meant to injure a person’s reputation or business. According to Mississippi defamation law, statements are deemed libelous or slanderous if they “are considered as insults, and calculated to lead to a breach of the peace.” Such communication must be made to a third party without the consent or knowledge of the defamed person or business. Comments on Facebook can be considered libelous. You might first print copies of this as evidence then contact Facebook to see if you or your father can get the comments removed. Your father must prove that someone knowingly made a false statement about another and passed it off as the truth in an attempt to harm the person's reputation. There is no US Code pertaining to this as defamation is not based on federal law. Also, there is no Mississippi statute that addresses defamation. Instead, defamation is a product of "common law", which is law made by judges based on common law civil claims. Thus, defamation is governed by common law from court decisions made in Mississippi courts. The most recent reported defamation suit is Simmons Law Group, P.A. v. Corporate Mgmt., 42 So. 3d 511 (2010). This case says the following:
To establish a defamation claim, an ordinary plaintiff must show: (1) a false and defamatory statement concerning the plaintiff; (2) an unprivileged publication to a third party; (3) fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher; and (4) either actionability of the statement irrespective of special harm or the existence of special harm caused by the publication.
He can seek damages for emotional distress, harm to your reputation, the impact the defamation has had on his ability to be employed/lost wages and any other damages he can articulate.
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