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LegalEagle1
LegalEagle1, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Practicing attorney licensed for over 25 years.
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I am a officer that was accused of being a gang member and

Customer Question

I am a officer that was accused of being a gang member and now my co workers don't want to work with me and my reputation outside of work is not the same aim labeled as a gang member is this a slander case
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. I would like to assist you with your question today.

Before I can answer your question I need some additional information.

How exactly was the accusation made and under what circumstances?

Which state did this occur?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I was told that I was under investigation but not what for than I found out that I was accused of being a gang member from co workers family and friends hawaii
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 4 years ago.
In your example are claiming that people falsely stated that you were being investigated when you were not? Or, were you in fact investigated and you now want to sue the person who made the initial allegation that you were a gang member?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes I was under investigation I was even relocated
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

The elements of a cause of action for libel and defamation under Hawaii law are: (1) a false and defamatory statement concerning another; (2) an unprivileged publication to a third party; (3) fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher [actual malice where the plaintiff is a public figure]; and (4) either actionability of the statement irrespective of special harm or the existence of special harm caused by the publication. Gold v. Harrison, 88 Hawaii 94, 100, 962 P.2d 353, 359 (1998).

You would be suing the person who made the initial allegation that you're a member of a gang. Those who made the statement that you were under investigation were making true statements, so their statements would not be considered libel, but rather would be the result or harm caused by the initial false statement.

To answer you initial question, yes this would be a slander or defamation case. The difficulty you will face is discovering who made the initial false allegation and then if you do, there is the chance that they do not have any assets for you to collect damages.

I hope that I have answered your question. Please let me know if you have more questions or need more information.

_________________________________________________________________
Please rate my answers with a positive rating (three or more stars) as this is the only way I receive credit and compensation for my work. If you have additional questions or need more information, please ask.

My goal is to provide with best assistance that I can. Please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Also keep in mind that the law may not always be settled or may not support the position you want. My role is not to tell you what you want to hear. but to provide you accurate information as to what the law provides. Please do not rate me poorly just because the information I have provided does not support the outcome you desire.

You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-legaleagle1 also begin your question with “For LegalEagle1”
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The state made the statement I mean the gang unite for the state do I go for the state or the individual or the gang unite
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I wanted to know in my slander case if the gang intel (the state) would be liable or would it be the individuals of the gang intel
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 4 years ago.
Welcome and thank you for your question!

I see that your original expert is not online right now. Do you wish to have a different expert answer your re-listed question?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I would like it to be answered by the original expert
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the clarification.

For future reference, there is no need to re-list the question. Re-list means you would like the question to be answered by a different expert. I am sorry if we didn't explain that well on the website.

I will opt out of this thread so that your original expert can jump back in when he returns online.

Thank you for your patience.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok I didn't know can you help
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 4 years ago.
If you would not mind answering some follow-up questions I have for you, I am happy to share my insights.

It's your call. How would you like to proceed?

~~ J.B.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 4 years ago.
Very well. I want to err on the side of caution and not make any assumptions. Please respond to each of the following:

1. Am I correct to understand that you are a law enforcement officer?

2. What was the outcome of the investigation that were you involved in gang activities?

3. Did others in the state say that you were being investigated for suspected gang activity? It's really important to know (a) who said what, (b) to whom, and (c) for what purpose. The reason why this is so important is because the state could be protected by immunity, depending upon the details.

I look forward to your reply.

~~ J.B.
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 4 years ago.
Generally lawsuits are not permitted against the state under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Most states, including Hawaii have created exceptions to this doctrine where they permit citizens to pursue claims against the state. Hawaii has enacted what is call the State Tort Liability Act. §§ 662-1 thru 662-19.

http://statutes.laws.com/hawaii/volume-13/title-36/chapter-662

Actions for libel against state employees are not one permitted causes of actions under Hawaii's State Tort Liability Act. §662-15(4). You will have to sue the person as an individual and show that they were acting in there capacity of an individual and not as employee of the state.

I hope that I have answered your question. Please let me know if you have more questions or need more information.

_________________________________________________________________
Please rate my answers with a positive rating (three or more stars) as this is the only way I receive credit and compensation for my work. If you have additional questions or need more information, please ask.

My goal is to provide with best assistance that I can. Please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Also keep in mind that the law may not always be settled or may not support the position you want. My role is not to tell you what you want to hear. but to provide you accurate information as to what the law provides. Please do not rate me poorly just because the information I have provided does not support the outcome you desire.

You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-legaleagle1 also begin your question with “For LegalEagle1”
_________________________________________________________________
Use of this service does not create any attorney client relationship. Information provided is intended to explain general legal principles and assist you in finding an attorney in your area.

Please click "Great" or better to rate service.