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Questions on Defamation Law

What is defamation? Defamation occurs when one person makes a claim that is implied as truth against another person in a negative manner. Slander and libel are two types of defamation. Slander is spoken remarks made about another person, while libel is a written statement. Below are a few of the more commonly asked questions regarding defamation that has been answered by Experts.

How do I go about a issue were a Co-worker has done Defamation of my character and threatened me?

A person may be liable for defamation if they make untrue statements about another person. There are two types of defamation; slander and libel. Slander is the act of voicing defamation while libel is writing the defamation. Also, anyone who repeats defamation in a negligent manner can be held liable for liability. In order to prove defamation, a plaintiff will have to show:

1. The defendant made a statement about the plaintiff to a third party;
2. The statement was false;
3. The statement caused harm to the plaintiff (monetary loss, loss of a job, public humiliation)

Generally, when a person wants to deal with this type of activity, an attorney will draw up a letter that demands the defendant recant (take back) the untrue statements, the defendant cease the defamation, and include an amount of compensation for the harm that the defamation has cost the plaintiff in which the defendant will pay to the plaintiff. In the event that the other person doesn't agree or comply with the demands, your attorney can proceed with a lawsuit.

Making threats towards another person's well being or safety is usually considered a crime and the threats can be turned over to the police. Once you report the threats to the police, they can pursue charges if they consider the threats criminal.

How can I sue my ex-husband for defamation of character? He is making untrue statements about me and this can hurt me profoundly.

The first thing you should do is hire an attorney. This is not a lawsuit that can be taken care of in small claims. If your ex-husband is lying and making false statements that could hurt your reputation, this is defamation of character. Defamation is an act of making untrue statements about another person to a third party that results in harming your reputation. This act can be committed in two ways. Libel defamation is by writing or by photo, and slander, which is oral defamation. Keep in mind, there is a difference in one person speaking an opinion about another person and a person telling partial facts with false pretenses. For example, person A can say Tom is a thief. This would be considered defamation because it is a statement, however if person A tells person B that person A doesn't trust Tom, this would be an opinion; therefore it wouldn't be considered defamation.

However, if person A says to person B, I don't trust Tom; I think he is a thief, person A is edging toward a statement of fact. It is all in how a person words a statement that will determine if the act is defamation.

A former coworker is suing me. The summons said defamation of character, libel and slander. They are suing for half a million dollars. This is all based on an anonymous posting where I ranted about a situation where he lied to the owner of the company we worked for and maliciously got me fired. He is claiming that he lost work and suffered emotional damage due to my comments, yet he was working there well after I was fired.

A case like this will generally go away on its own. Your attorney will probably file a Motion to Dismiss based on the fact that the other person cannot justify the claim. In order to have a strong case against you, the other person will have to show that you intentionally defamed his/her character and they suffered from the defamation. This means the other person will have to show that because of your actions, other people believed you and the outcome cause the other party to lose their job, home or that your actions damaged the person's reputation.

Defamation can cause a person undue stress as well as a monetary or social injury. Many people are unaware that a simple statement about another person can land them in court with a defamation lawsuit. Before you make statements about another person, you should understand the legal ramifications that could be placed against you for such an act. If you have questions concerning defamation, you should ask an Expert to assist you.

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Recent Defamation Questions

  • I complained to my Town Home landlord about neighbors partying, making loud noise and caus

    I complained to my Town Home landlord about neighbors partying, making loud noise and causing a nuisance via a private e-mail between the two of us. She shared the specifics of that information with other employees and other tenants. Now they are mad it me, even though I didn't name names. Is she violating privacy laws and defamation of character? Should I send a cease and desist? I live in Ca.
  • I am not sure what to do in regard to a civil matter. I have

    I am not sure what to do in regard to a civil matter. I have asked several questions a couple of weeks ago, all of which Lucy answered very satisfactorily. Long story short, I lent some money to a neighbour of mine who I thought I knew, my own fault, I knew she had money coming in when she came up short for rent a couple of month ago. Anyway, she did a 180 on me, I have nicely asked for it back, sent her notes, called her, to no avail. Instead I am accused of harassing her on a regular bases, which is a complete lie. On two occassions she has called out the lawenforcement late at night, claiming that I am driving after her in the parking lot purposefully HITTING HER with my car, and then I take off. Yes, there is mental issues. The Police saw no injuries, no report was made, however, the manager of the apartments here is not happy hearing of the police prescence, and, for unknown reasons, chooses to not fully believe me, or does not care. Perhaps it is easier to get rid of me, evict me, than it is dealing with a mentally unstable person, having to evict her. I know he does not need a reason to evict anybody, with proper notice, however, I am convinced that my neighbours mission is to get me evicted, her malicious plots have escalated, I am going to seek a restraining order tomorrow against her and her son, her partner in crime. Last weekend I was again accused of hitting her with my car; assault with a deadly weapon(!), as well as, burglarizing her apartment, stealing all her jewelery, and, after my sordid crime spree, leaving a crack (!) pipe behind. None of these allegations were substantiated or believed at all by the police. But, they told me to make sure I get that restraining order ASAP because, she absolutely is capable of "planting" something on me. No doubt. How awful, horrible thought, I will be the first in line filing papers at the court house in am. My question is; in addition to the incriminating actions against me, the maliciousness of false police report, assassination of my character, and, very tangible threats of physical violence by her son, getting evicted doesn't sound very bad at all...... But, after reading through the rental agreement, the section explaining the rights of all tenants to enjoy "Crime Free Housing", and, any single violation of this provision will terminate a rental lease, criminal conviction is not neccessary. Sounds logical to me. Now, the police officers told me that I should not try and convince my manager of my innocense any more, rather I need to bypass him and contact the Property Managers/owners directly. I understand their reasoning, I am definitely not my managers favorite, however I have been a renter in good standing for 4 years, and even though I know he will despise me if I go over his head, talk to upper management, but I might avoid eviction........ If I go and speak to him directly; I must tell him that I finally had to call the police today after my neighbours son continued to harrass ME, calling me, threatening me with violence for harrassing his mother, all done by texts and phone messages by the son. I finally had enough and called the police, and I am glad I did. I was so tired of it.

    But, I stand an overwhelming risk of being thrown under the bus by my manager, yet I am really struggling with the thought of not approaching him first, then I throw him under the bus..... Is it naive of me to think that if I tell him the truth, he will see the light, and only the right people will be thrown under the bus???? Or, am I just being not very realistic about the situation?????

  • I have received a very derogatory review of my book CONDEMNED

    I have received a very derogatory review of my book CONDEMNED PROPERTY? on Amazon.com from someone I do not know. His comments are "completely false and uncalled for. They are accusatory without any base whatsoever and extremely degrading not to mention damaging to potential future sales of the book which I count
    on for partial income. My personal character was defamed badly, not to mention the men
    I served with in the Vietnam War as well as my family.While the reviewer provided a
    name I know nothing else about him. I have reported this with a serious complaint to
    Amazon but have not heard from them yet. What other recourse could /should I take ?
    Getting the bogus review removed is of course my wish, but people will have seen it before that happens, IF it happens. Is Amazon liable for what people say publicly on their website, especially if they can be proven to be 100% incorrect and viscious with intent to harm ? Trimmer
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