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Yes, you can sue your neighbor, for trespass to property as well as for defamation.
Trespass may be sued on when another person interferes with your personal property or comes onto your property. Defamation may be sued for if you are the victim of someone spreading false facts about you.
From a legal standpoint, defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm.
1. Slander typically involves an oral (spoken) representation.
2. Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as the internet, a magazine or newspaper.
In order to win a defamation case, you must prove the following:
1. A false statement was made about an individual, generally yourself;
2. The statement was made to a third party;
3. If the defamatory matter is of public concern, (for example if you are a famous person) fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher.
4. Finally, you must show that you have suffered damages
While in some cases of defamation you must actually prove that you have suffered some sort of damage, in other circumstances where there has been Defamation Per Se, the damages are presumed and you may simply ask for money.
The law generally recognizes four types of Defamation Per Se:
1. Where an allegation is made that a person has a loathsome disease. This is typically an allegation of a sexually transmitted disease.
2. The second type is a statement that a person committed a crime of moral turpitude. This can include everything from rape or theft to child abuse.
3. The third category deals with allegations of sexual deviance or the lack of being a virgin.
4. Finally, damages may be presumed if the false statement of facts affects a person’s reputation in regard to their business or profession.
In the non-business setting, where is it not your business which has been defamed, most cases involving defamation can be appropriately handled in your local small claims court. Filing your lawsuit is easy, and your case will typically be heard in 30 to 60 days.
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