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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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My son has been falsely accused of child abuse by neglect.

Customer Question

My son has been falsely accused of child abuse by neglect. The people that reported him have reported on thier adult children when they get mad at them. They have been spreading rumors about me and my wife at the school where this lady works. She is making our lives very difficult. What options do I have?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 8 years ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma and that of your son's.

Based upon the allegations you've set forth it appears that you may have a meritorious claim for defamation.

Generally, 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 and defamatory statement was made about an individual;
  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.

In the non-business setting, 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.

You and your wife should consider filing suit against this other lady. Often, just the filing of such a suit will have the effect of stopping the behavior.

Your son should probably consult with a local attorney concerning the child abuse charge--as I presume that this lady reported the alleged abuse in her formal capacity as a school employee. Child neglect is an ugly allegation and may have lasting ramifications if not dealt with promptly and decisively by your son.

I wish you and your family the best.

Thank you very much for having allowed me to assist you. It would be greatly appreciated if you would click the green Accept icon so that I can receive credit for having assisted you.

Best regards,