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Can statements in an affidavit be used to prove slander?

Beverly, MA |

can a case for slander/defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress me made against someone who submitted an affidavit to probate court full of false allegations of theft and physical and emotional abuse?

Attorney Answers 2

  1. Unfortunately, there is what is called the litigation privilege to defamation claims which provides that “Statements made in the course of a judicial proceeding which pertain to that proceeding are, of course, absolutely privileged and cannot support a claim of defamation, even if uttered with malice or in bad faith.” This basically means that even if what is contained in the affidavit is defamatory, as long as it relates to the litigation or in probate, that statement contained in the affidavit cannot be used as a basis for a defamation suit. An affidavit is however made under penalty of perjury and if the affiant knowingly provided false statements, that person may be subject to perjury charges. If you are part of this court proceeding, inform the court or your attorney that the affidavit contains false information or file your own affidavit. You may want to consult an attorney for further information or assistance. Best of luck.

    Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. (It lets us know how we are doing.) Attorney Kremer is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. Please visit her Avvo profile for contact information. In accordance with Avvo guidelines, the following disclaimer applies to all responses given in this forum: The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.

  2. The privilege provides attorneys with immunity from liability for making alleged defamatory statements so long as they relate to those proceedings.

    The reason for this privilege is to ensure free access to the courts, to promote complete & truthful testimony, to encourage aggressive and zealous advocacy, and to give finality to judgments, and avoid unending litigation.

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