How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Dimitry K., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

If someone is accusing you of something that is an out and

Resolved Question:

If someone is accusing you of something that is an out and out lie and have filed a claim but no charges are being laid so far because the police have told me they don't believe this person can I charge this person with Defamation of Character or Slander.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

Defamation is not a "charge" since that means that it is a criminal violation. Defamation is civil rather than criminal, and in this instance while you can possibly choose to pursue this civilly (as in sue the individual via the courts), most likely you will not prevail because one of the conditions of proving defamation is some sort of "damages". You do not possess "damages" because the police did not believe the claim and your reputation therefore was not in any way injured or that you suffered harm. On those grounds while it might be possible to sue, I do not see that as something where you stand a strong chance of success.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

In this case since the police don't believe the individual can charges still be placed and if so can I then charge this person with Defamation or slander because it will hurt me. What you are saying is only if I get damaged will this apply. But I feel damages have happened because others know about it even if I'm not charged. My character has been attacked. I don't want money i want a public apology.


Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your follow-up.

You cannot sue for a public apology. Civil courts are used to make you "whole", specifically financially whole. Therefore to be successful with a defamation claim you have to show that you obtained some sort of financial injury, and you do have the right to attempt to show that based on the fact that you were pursued your reputation was injured, and try to equate it to some sort of a financial amount. That as a plaintiff would be your responsibility, but since there is nothing that you can point to directly which is an injury (for example due to this false information you lost a job making $40,000 a year, or you weren't hired for a job making $40,000 year), your injury is extremely difficult to prove.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
This may seem silly to you but my reputation is already harmed I am not going to lose any money over it but the damage I feel personally and my reputation with what this person is accusing me of is damaging to my being. I don't know what I am asking right now. I am very disturbed that a person can do this and not have to correct it publicly to reinstate my reputation. Time will fix I am sure but it's not fair. Can one sue for $1.00 just to clear a reputation and maybe make a person think twice before making such lies?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your follow-up.

It is not silly at all, if it is important to you, you can pursue redress. And to answer your $1.00 question, the answer is "yes", you can. That is called "nominal damages", and that is what the courts typically place in a situation where they determine an injury took place but cannot figure out the amount that the injury caused to the victim. Just please keep in mind you cannot sue in small claims for defamation, you would need to go to county or district court, and more importantly you would likely need to obtain counsel to represent you, and as a consequence pay that counsel out of pocket. That is absolutely possible but keep in mind that in a case of "nominal damages" the courts will not award you attorney fees. I am not trying to talk you out of an option, that is always your choice, just please be aware of the risks and the expense.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you Dimitry for your time. I will think hard about your advise.


Thank you again.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 5 years ago.
You are most welcome and good luck to you.

If you found my information useful please do not forget to press the green 'accept' button so that I can be compensated for my assistance. Thank you.


Dimitry, Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you