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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55711
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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My now ex husband and I signed a land contract house.

Customer Question

My now ex husband and I signed a land contract for a house. Shortly after we decided to get divorced. Well I started having trouble with the woman that the contract was with and ultimately we ended up in court and came to the agreement that she would take back the house and she would pay me $9,000 back in payments of $300 a month until paid in full. So I have a court ordered judgement. Since then she continues to call me and harass me making lies about damage being done to the house and how I owe her money and she isn't going to pay me the court ordered monthly payment. So I went to the court house and filed a writ of execution to garnish her wages and she too went and filed papers to stop this but now we have to go back to court again. I just want the money owed to me and to not have to deal with her. Can she be sued for harassment and or for the amount she owes me ? What can I or do I need to do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
Hi! My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you!
You have the leverage here because this issue was already litigated and you were awarded the judgment. She does not now get to basically re-litigate the issue by claiming that you aren't entitled to the award and to tell lies about you. If there were issues about damages, those would have needed to have been raised initially. But, now by lying about you, you have a new cause of action against her....for defamation. Let me first explain what constitutes defamation. I'm going to provide you information on both slander and libel since they are so closely related and so often confused with each other. They are civil injuries that harm reputation, cause a reduction in respect, regard or confidence, or cause disparaging, hostile or disagreeable opinions or feelings against an individual or entity. The laws regarding libel and slander are the same. To prevail in a defamation suit for libel or slander and recover damages, a person ("Person A") must prove 4 things: (i) another person ("Person B") conveyed a defamatory message they knew or should have known to be false; (ii) the material was published (i.e., conveyed to someone other than Person A); (iii) Person A can be identified as the person referred to in the defamatory material; and (iv) Person A suffered an injury to Person A's reputation as a result of the communication. Your letter satisfies all the foregoing elements. Typically, before actually filing the suit, you would send them a letter detailing the situation and demanding that they: i) retract all prior defamatory statements made, ii) pay you a specified amount to compensate you for the past defamatory actions, and iii) cease and desist from making any in the future. In that letter, you would also demand that she adhere to the judgment and pay you as agreed. In my experience, the letter is generally sufficient as the offending party will comply with your demands rather than risk the costs of a suit they are sure to lose, the actual and possibly punitive damages that may be imposed by a court, and the judgment being on the record. If not, thought, file suit against her for both the defamation claim and for the default on the agreed payment schedule regarding your previous judgment and ask the court to award not only actual damages, but punitive damages due to her intentional bad faith.
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