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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  Lawyer
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This is an internet social forum issue. A member has been spreading

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This is an internet social forum issue. A member has been spreading rumors and lies to other members that I am unstable and have threaten another member with a gun.

She has a personal problem with me for reasons I can only speculate. I don't take issues of these accusations lightly especially in light of the gun issues today. The rumor and lies have finally reached me in a private message from a friend of mine that was told by this member that is spreading these lies to other members.

What is my recourse or options? I have contacted the administrator but she has done nothing to control this member and her attitude on the forum pertaining to me.

This member that is spreading the lies is not posting on the forum openly she is engaging with other members under the forum in emails and private messages but it has affected me with my interaction with other members on the forum. And has affected me emotionally due to the way I have been treated on the forum. I tried for the most part to ignore being treated poorly by this member the others ignore me. Now I know why finally.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

"Unstable" is typically a matter of opinion. In and of itself, it likely wouldn't be considered actionable. Except in the hands of a licensed psychologist, that is a word that many people throw around, and it carries little weight without anything to back it up. However, if someone is telling people that you threatened them with a gun, that is defamation of character. Defamation of character is an untrue statement of fact, made to a third party, that tends to harm the reputation of the person about whom the statement was made. When the statement is about the commission of a crime, reputational harm is presumed. Thus, you may have a claim for damages against the person who made the statement.

The administrator unfortunately isn't responsible for this other person's actions, unless she is repeating the statements or telling other people that they are true. Under federal law, the owner of a website or person who hosts a forum is not liable for comments made by third parties on the site.

Typically, these cases are brought in Small Claims Court. If you are able to tell me where you are located, I can get you more information about the Small Claims Courts in your area.

Please rate my service positively before signing out, as this is the only way that I get credit for the time I spend helping you. I hope that you are 100% satisfied - otherwise, please reply so we can continue the conversation. Good luck.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I live in Hawaii the person making these claims lives in CA

Unfortunately, that means that you have to sue in California if you want to use Small Claims Court. In California, a person can seek up to $7,500 in small claims.

You can, however, sue a non-resident in the Hawaii Regular Claims Division, which hears disputes of $5,000-$25,000. Because you are located in Hawaii, and the other person's intentional wrongful act is affecting you and causing damage to you in Hawaii, the Hawaii courts have jurisdiction. This site has more information, and some forms for the different counties.

Another option is to draft the Complaint yourself, if you cannot find the forms. There are books at any law library that will show you the format, and the Complaint need only allege sufficient facts to establish that the other person is making untrue, negative statements against you, and that these statements are causing harm to your reputation. Websites such as LegalZoom or USLegalForms also may have something that will help you file the case, if you prefer not to hire a lawyer.
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