Skip to main content

Defamation in New York: How to prove and calculate maximum damages

Rego Park, NY |

If my landlord, its representatives, and/or attorney have accused me of having engaged in extortion, fraud, harassment, coercion, and filing false complaints to HPD, DHCR, the courts in Queens, and the Department of Buildings, what do I need to do to prove these parties engaged in defamation and determine the maximum damages I can sue for? One of my landlord's superintendents also falsely claimed I told him that I have a gun and would shoot someone with it. My landlord is 65-60 Realty Company, LLC and its attorney is Mark Friedlander.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. If these false allegations were made in court filings or said in court before a Judge and they are in any way related to the court case then they are immune and cannot serve as the basis for a defamation case.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 17 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


  2. I agree with Mr. Rothstein's response. If they were not made in court filings, but to others, then you may have claims for Defamation and Defamation Per Se. Calculation of damages is more complicated than a simple response would do justice to on here.

    You should speak with a Personal Injury Attorney immediately. Be aware that these are not cases that are typically taken pro bono or on a contingency. They are very time consuming and labor intensive, and to make matters worse, difficult to win. For that reason attorneys require a money retainer prior to beginning work on these types of cases.

    Here are the basics on Defamation:

    Defamation is a false statement of fact against an individual’s character or reputation, either intentionally or negligently published to a third person, holding the defamed person up to ridicule, contempt, hatred, shame, or disgrace. There are two types of defamation: Slander and Libel. Slander is an untrue spoken statement about a person that harms their reputation and standing in their community. A person injured by slander can bring a civil lawsuit against the party that made the false statement.

    Where a person is defamed in writing, it is called libel. Libel also includes television broadcasts. In many ways libel is more serious because it is more likely to reach a far greater audience. In New York a libeled person’s damages are presumed because the defamatory statement is preserved for a greater period of time.

    It is important to note that the statute of limitations for defamation is different in each state. A statute of limitations is the time that a civil or criminal action must be brought forward. The limitations period begins when a defamatory statement is communicated to someone other than the plaintiff. For instance, in New York, New Jersey, and California the statute of limitations is one year. However, in Washington and Indiana it is two years. Because the time to bring an action defamation is shorter than a negligence action, it is imperative that a person who believes they have been defamed speak with an attorney immediately.

    I assisted my brother in writing several articles on this topic. Two of them are listed below:

    http://www.suite101.com/content/defaming-the-innocent-a136272

    http://www.suite101.com/content/will-justice-be-served-in-hofstra-rape-fraud-a149714

    Contact a personal injury attorney to discuss it further. Avvo has a wonderful find a lawyer tool. When looking for the lawyer on Avvo look at their rating, as well as client reviews that have been left for them. That will give you some idea of whether they are some who you will be able to work with.

    I wish you the best of luck.

    If this Answer was of assistance please mark it as "helpful." Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.

Personal injury topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics