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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37639
Experience:  I am a practicing attorney with more than 3 decades of experience in the legal field.
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My neighbor is accusing us of directing our home security

Customer Question

my neighbor is accusing us of directing our home security cameras at her daughters bedroom window. She is spreading this nasty rumor around the neighborhood and anyone who comes in to work in her home. My husband is a doctor here in town and we can't have this ruin his reputation. What can we do about this?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: texas
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawTalk replied 3 months ago.

Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

The security camera is either pointed in the direction of the neighbor's window or it is not. If it is, then the "rumor" is fact and perfectly legal for the neighbor to tell others. If it is not, then the neighbor is defaming the two of you and you have a right to sue the neighbor for defamation.

If the neighbor has gone so far as to state that you are specifically spying on their daughter, then that is a different situation altogether. It is important to understand the difference between being accused of your camera pointing in the direction of the window/house---and spying on a child.

From a legal standpoint, defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm.

1. Slander typically involves an oral (spoken) representation.
2. Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as the internet, a magazine or newspaper.

In order to win a defamation case, you must prove the following:

  1. A false statement was made about an individual, generally yourself;
  2. The statement was made to a third party;
  3. If the defamatory matter is of public concern, (for example if you are a famous person) fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher.
  4. Finally, you must show that you have suffered damages.

While in some cases of defamation you must actually prove that you have suffered some sort of damage, in other circumstances where there has been Defamation Per Se, the damages are presumed and you may simply ask for money.

The law generally recognizes four types of Defamation Per Se:

1. Where an allegation is made that a person has a loathsome disease. This is typically an allegation of a sexually transmitted disease.

2. The second type is a statement that a person committed a crime of moral turpitude. This can include everything from rape or theft to child abuse.

3. The third category deals with allegations of sexual deviance or the lack of being a virgin.

4. Finally, damages may be presumed if the false statement of facts affects a person’s reputation in regard to their business or profession.

In the non-business setting, where it is not your business which has been defamed, most cases involving defamation can be appropriately handled in your local small claims court. Filing your lawsuit is easy, and your case will typically be heard in 30 to 60 days.

You may reply back to me again if you have additional questions, and I will continue to assist you.

I am not an employee of this site and I am only paid for helping you when you rate my service to you. Please remember to rate my service to you by clicking on the rating stars on your screen (preferably 5-Stars) so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours well in 2017,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 3 months ago.

Good afternoon,

Is there anything else I can assist you with today? It is possible that your questions and issues might be better served by an in-depth conversation with me. If you are interested, for a very nominal charge I can offer you a private phone conference.

Please know that I answered your question in good faith, providing you with the information that you asked for, and I did that with the expectation that you would act likewise and rate my service to you. If I have already provided you with the information you asked for and you have no additional questions, would you please now rate my service to you by clicking on the rating stars so that I can be compensated for assisting you? Rating me costs you nothing as you have already paid the deposit for my help. All rating does is ensure that I am paid for my time in working with you.

Thanks in advance for your rating of my service. It is greatly appreciated.

I wish you the best in 2017,

Doug