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Law Maven
Law Maven, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 164
Experience:  Lawyer & Instructor at Algonquin Careers Academy
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I need to know if I can sue someone or send a legal notice

Customer Question

Hi! I need to know if I can sue someone or send a legal notice for defamation All I have are Viber messages, some missed calls and an anonymous letter sent to my office, calling me "Bitch" and other words and saying sexually incriminating things about me. The letter has no name but my boyfriend and I know who it is from, for sure. Her phone number shows on the viber messages. Do I have any legal grounds to sue for defamation? I live in Canada and the person lives in the U.S. Please advise.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Law Maven replied 2 years ago.
Hello – my name is***** am a Canadian lawyer, and I’ll be happy to help with your question today.
Expert:  Law Maven replied 2 years ago.
You can sue for defamation based on text messages or voice messages, or on the basis of a letter -- although you would need to be able to prove that the letter was sent by the person you suspect. The problem you might have is that defamation is really about making other people think less of you. So the message needs to go to someone other than just you. If Person A sends a letter (or Viber message) to your boss, or a co-worker, or your boyfriend saying negative things, then it's defamation. If the nasty letter is addressed to you, and you show it to other people, that's not considered to be the fault of the person who wrote it, so it doesn't count as defamation. And if Person A just sends the letter and messages to you directly, it's not defamation at all. That said, if someone is sending you nasty messages -- and especially if there are any threats included -- you might consider calling the police because that is harassment, not defamation. Finally, the fact that the person is in the USA does not matter for a defamation case. You have a choice between starting the suit where the person lives, or where the messages were distributed. If the person sends the messages to you in Canada, then you can start the law suit in Canada. Your only problem is that if you win, it can be harder to enforce a Court Order across borders. So if she is ordered to pay for the damage to your reputation, you may not end up collecting much unless you're willing to involve the US Courts (and a US lawyer) to enforce the order for you. I hope I have fully answered your question, but please do not hesitate to ask for more information if needed. If you are looking for more detail, please let me know whether any of the defamatory messages/letters have gone to someone other than yourself. When you are satisfied with the answer, kindly provide me a positive rating so I can receive credit for my answer. My answer here contains only general legal information and not legal advice. No solicitor/client relationship has been created by this communication.

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