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Can a slander, libel suit be addressed in small claims court?

Long Beach, CA |

I would like to file a counter suit against someone that has slandered me because I wasn't able to make a payment on a loan she made to me. I had a cease & desist letter sent to her & she mocked the letter & is continuing with the slander & defamation. She even went as far as calling me and leaving me a voicemail saying she is going to ruin me for everything because I'm not paying her back. She has filed a small claims suit against me to get her money back but continues to slander me. Can I counter sue her?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best bet is to just repay her, and get her out of your life.


  2. Potentially. Contact an attorney in your area if you really think that it is worth it.

    *PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU COMMENT, EMAIL OR CONTACT ME. I am only licensed in Washington. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship. This answer does not constitute legal advice.


  3. Sure you can but it is over your head and you will probably need legal assistance.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.


  4. Not likely. She will argue that all statements she made to you related to the small claims lawsuit and are barred by California's litigation privilege. I have linked below Civil Code section 47 which describes the litigation privilege. Your better bet is to either: 1) pay the debt if it is owed; or 2) contest her debt collection tactics. Good luck.

    Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between you and Jeffrey Lewis. If you have a legal question, you should contact an attorney and seek legal advice based on your specific circumstances. Do not take any actions or refrain from acting based on any information contained in this website. Jeffrey Lewis disclaims any liability or responsibility for any actions taken or not taken in reliance on this website.


  5. Dupe post.

    This is a difficult area of the law. For a number of reasons, it's simply not sensible to sue for it in small claims.

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