I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
In order to sue for slander, you need to have some evidence that the landlord is making untrue statements of fact about you in a way that's damaging your reputation or you need to have a reasonable believe that the discovery process will uncover evidence of these statements. Statements of opinion are legally protected and cannot be the basis of a lawsuit, so it helps to know exactly what was said before filing. A lawyer can subpoena text messages or emails between the parties, and can reach out to the individuals involved on your behalf to see if they're more willing to talk to a lawyer than to you personally.
You as an individual can only obtain a subpoena after filing a lawsuit. Once a lawsuit is filed, you can also schedule depositions of the people involved. The problem is, there tends to be limited discovery in Small Claims Court cases, so you'd have to file in the Superior Court, which costs more. It's a good idea to gather information to support your claims when you can, especially in this type of case where there's a lot of protected speech they could be having. But again, a local attorney could help. Or you could hire a private investigator to talk to them.
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