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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34530
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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I am being sued for Defermation of character an non disclosuire

Resolved Question:

I am being sued for Defermation of character an non disclosuire of private policy small claim court for $ 5,000. I am a landlord and she was the renter. What elements does the plaintiff (Renter) have to prove in the state of Oregon and is there relief???
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 8 years ago.
If you do not show up and were properly served, there is no evidence presented...the plaintiff will win a "default judgment"

So the elements of defamation of character will not come into play. They also will not come into play on your appeal...since if there is a default judgment the only appeal you have will be jurisdictional...if you can show that you were not properly served, then the appeals court will reverse and you start again.

So, if you have evidence that you never received service (an affidavit is a good start), your on your way

Please let me know if you have further questions; if so I will do my best to answer them. If not please hit the accept button, its the only way I get credit for my work.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I do understand about getting the default set aside, but after that happens and we start over I will request a hearing and that is why I want the information for the small claim case hearing in the near future. I want to be prepared this planitiff is going for the max. amount and she is a single mother of (4) kids I could get a soft Judge. Plaintiff is very good at getting other to believe her ( she is a nightmare for me)


Thank you for your time



Expert:  P. Simmons replied 8 years ago.

Do you have a copy of the judgment or summons...or anything that gives the pleadings (what the suit was for)

Is there a ref to ORS (oregon revised statutes)?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I have a copy of the summons, the small claim notice, garnishment and proof of service


I am being sued for $ 5,000 reason: defermation of character and non disclosure of private policy total garnish from my checking acct. was 5224.35 which included filing fee copies charges etc.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 8 years ago.
What is Defamation? "Defamation" is the term that has essentially subsumed the older terms of libel, which concerns written or printed defamatory statements, and slander, which concerns spoken defamatory statements. Although the law may sometimes still use the older terms, there is really no substantive difference between the two: both amount to defamation. Defamatory statements can be written, oral, broadcast, or pictorialized.

A plaintiff who sues for defamation must generally prove three things: (1) that a defamatory statement was made or communicated; (2) that the defamatory statement was published, and (3) that the defamatory statement caused the plaintiff to suffer damages.

Oregon courts have set forth the following definition of a defamatory statement:

A defamatory communication is one which would subject a person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or tend to diminish the esteem, respect, goodwill or confidence in which one is held or to excite adverse, derogatory, or unpleasant feelings or opinions against one.

Newton v. Family Federal Savings and Loan Association, 48 Or App 373, 376, 616 P2d 1213 (1980). A person who is not directly named in the defamatory statement may still bring suit if he or she can prove that persons hearing the remarks would understand them to refer to the plaintiff.

Several types of statements are considered defamatory per se; in other words, the mere utterance of the statement is sufficient to defame someone. Historic examples of statements that are defamatory per se include statements that impute an inability or unfitness to perform the duties of one's employment, accusations that one has committed a crime, or assertions of unchastity in a woman, or of having a "loathsome disease." When a statement is defamatory per se, the plaintiff is not required to prove that he or she was damaged by the publication of the statement.

At the other end of the spectrum are statements that are not defamatory as a matter of law. Opinions — defined as statements that cannot reasonably be interpreted as stating actual facts — are protected by the United States and Oregon constitutions and are therefore not defamatory. Nevertheless, when an "opinion" implies the existence of undisclosed defamatory facts, it is actionable as a defamatory statement. Statements that are not defamatory per se nor capable of a defamatory meaning are considered reasonably capable of a defamatory meaning and are almost always resolved by the jury.

The second element a plaintiff must prove is that the defamatory statement was "published." Publication means merely that the statement was disseminated or reproduced to another person. In the case of a broadcaster, newspaper, or other publisher, the publication will be obvious.

Finally, the plaintiff must show that he or she suffered damages as a result of the publication of the defamatory statement. Although this chapter will discuss in greater detail the types of damages for which a media defendant might be liable, it is worth reiterating here that statements which are considered defamatory per se are presumed to cause damage to a person's reputation.

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