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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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My wife and I have been the victims of abuse by two

Customer Question

My wife and I have been the victims of abuse by two neighbors - not physical abuse, but rather verbal assaults including the libelous contention that we are hiding and/or using illicit drugs. Although preposterous, these defamatory statements have taken a toll on us both mentally and physically. My wife called the Sheriff after the latest incident, but other than filing a report, no known action was taken. Could you please advise if we have grounds for a civil defamation action? Is there a possibility, considering that these neighbors are acting in a concerted & organized manner to harass us, that a DA would consider criminal prosecution under state gang statutes or federal RICO law?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of this situation.

Based on what you have posted, it is likely that you do have a viable claim for defamation (the defendant is stating something they either know to be false, or reasonably should have known to be false, to third parties). However, this is not a RICO matter.

Short of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.