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Can I sue police department for slander ?

Waterloo, IN |

I own a bar in a small town, I am not from here originally and have been treated as an outsider as no one knows my story. For the past 4 years I have heard rumors that I sell cocaine, marihuana, have won the lottery and many other stories that explain my owning a bar. In reality I am a struggling bar owner and have greatly suffered from these rumors. About a year ago i ask an officer to quit parking across the street from my bar, his responded by asking me "what would you say if i told you i heard you were selling drugs out of your bar" Recently a new police officer has joined the police force I was informed by a customer that he told her to stay out of the place because they were taking me down for drug sales. Today a college student that bartends at another bar told me the same thing.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

You can sue anyone for anything, the questions are whether you have a legal right that has been infringed upon, whether you can prove this and can you recover damages. It appears that the police are only repeating what others have said. We have freedom of speech so you have to show that not only did they say it, but also there was an intent to harm. Finally you have to prove actual damages flowed from that statement. In your case, this sounds unlikely. If you think you can, then find a local lawyer to discuss the case with.

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Posted

Both people he made these statements to would testify. He made these statements while on duty. And I have lost a large majority of my customer base since these statements from authority began. I would rather not sue but I can't have everything I have worked my life for destroyed because of these false statements. It is to the point where I may have to let staff go due to losses revenues.

Posted

I agree it may be vey difficult to find an Attorney on these facts alone. Especially if the police are being informed of this by other people.

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced 39+ yrs. I can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practicein Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. I give only appointments over the phone., these services do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend as I do not believe in pulling punches or sugar coating the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ and I would appreciate it if you feel like marking my answers helpful or best. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are court documents , less expensive.

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Asker

Posted

So a member of civil service can make public claims of illegal activity with no evidence against a person and his business instructing his custom or base to stay away and not be held accountable?

Asker

Posted

So I could in theory tell people this person is a child molester and not be liable?

Stephen Ross Cohen

Stephen Ross Cohen

Posted

No, because you are not a police officer, look at what Adam said above, there are immunities and more importantly, how do you prove your damages and pay for the attorney and costs of a lawsuit? You are shooting a shark with a bbgun.

Asker

Posted

True, spoke with the narcotics detective and chief of police today and they were furious. Informed me that this rookie is already on probationary status due to misconduct. They are starting and investigation and insured me he would be terminated if the witness statements point him out. Guess sometimes you just loose your job. I also believe your statement about immunity is false, police officers are not exempt from the law.

Stephen Ross Cohen

Stephen Ross Cohen

Posted

only to some degree, I am glad I was wrong. Even Attorneys can be wrong.

Posted

Also, defamation lawyers typically want a 5k retainer just to begin work, and without significant damages, the costs can exceed a recovery.

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Posted

Thanks for the information guys, like I said this officers superiors are appalled at the information I provided them with. Both witnesses contacted me tonight letting me know that a detective interviewed them this evening. Suing someone is not my style, hopefully a angry police chief will get this rookie to quit talking nonsense.

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