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Can I sue someone for defamation if they spread false

Can I sue someone...

Can I sue someone for defamation if they spread false information and insulting words about me and my character? To the point they have people who don’t know me calling me “the black widow”?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Virginia

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

None as of yet

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

They are also texting my boyfriend with insulting words about me

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
3/26/2018
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. There is no specific course of action is proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege formed within this conversation. (You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.)

I am sorry to hear about this situation. The answer is yes. This is what defamation is, actually. In Virginia, the elements of a defamation claim are publication of an actionable statement with the requisite fault on the part of the defendant.

In addition, if the falsities:

  1. attributes to the plaintiff the commission of some criminal offense involving moral turpitude, for which the party, if the charge is true, may be indicted and punished;
  2. indicates that the plaintiff is infected with a contagious disease;
  3. attributes to the plaintiff unfitness to perform the duties of an office or employment of profit, or lack of integrity in the discharge of the duties of such an office or employment; or
  4. hurts the plaintiff in his or her profession or trade.

- then this is called defamation per se. In such cases, the damages are ASSUMED - they do not even have to be proven. See Fleming v. Moore, 221 Va. 884, 899 (1981).

"I STRIVE FOR FIVE!" My goal is to answer your question to your satisfaction. Please rate with five stars (★★★★★) and click SEND. It does not cost anything extra to rate. You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars. Rating my answer the bottom two stars or failing to submit the rating reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. If you are not satisfied for whatever reason, or, have follow up questions, please simply reply with SEND before or after rating and let's continue to chat until you are satisfied. This is what I am here for.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
What if she isn’t accusing me of a crime, sexually transmitted disease, I don’t hold an office and she hasn’t caused me to lose my job? She has spread false rumors causing me to have a negative reputation and has called me out of my name and is constantly texting negative, untruthful things to my boyfriend; whom is her ex. I have copies of some of those text messages

You misunderstand - those numbered things are defamation per se, which is a special type of defamation.

But even if the lies do not fall into those categories, it is still actionable as regular defamation.

Kind Reminder: Please, use SEND button to keep chatting, or please rate positively and click SEND to submit your rating once satisfied. You may always ask follow ups at no charge before or after rating. "I STRIVE FOR FIVE!"

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ok. Thank you. Could I use his text messages, my text messages and verbal conversations as evidence in this case

YES absolutely.

Kind Reminder: Please, use SEND button to keep chatting, or please rate positively and click SEND to submit your rating once satisfied. You may always ask follow ups at no charge before or after rating. "I STRIVE FOR FIVE!"

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you for your assistance

No problem at all. Good luck.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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