Defamation Lawsuit (Slander, Libel, Harassment) etc

Asked about 2 years ago - San Francisco, CA

I am considering filing a lawsuit against an individual in Michigan who has routinely went out of their way to track my activities (online and in person), wrote false information via text messages, emails and social networking to my spouse, lied verbally to my family members, and continues to harass me. I do have A LOT of proof to show that all of the claims this person has made about me and everything they have said about me is not true. I know that "truth is the biggest obsticle with proving defamation" However, I have never done anything this person claims- and I have SOLID proof.
So my questions are...
Would this be a case filed in California or Michigan ( I live in CA, the other person lives in MI) ?

Additional information

Are there any lawyers who work on a contingency basis for these types of lawsuits? (Seeking $30+k in lawsuit, grounds based upon emotional distress and loss of wages)

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Andy I Chen

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Jurisdiction in cases that involve interstate electronic communication can be tricky and are very fact dependent. Between California and Michigan, my gut tells me that it should be filed in California, but again that could easily change depending on the situation.

    I also agree that you're unlikely to find a lawyer who'd want to take this case on contingency. Most lawyers understand that people can't afford to pay hundreds of dollars per hour, but no case is ever a slam dunk and most lawyers don't want to bear the risk. You're most likely going to need to pay at least a few thousand dollars initially.

    Sorry. Hope that helps.


    The answer provided above is based upon California and/or New York law and is based solely upon the limited... more
  2. Alison Swicker Gokal

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with the two prior attorneys who responded. California is a better location to file as your damages (injury from the defamation) would be proven in CA.
    The worst that could happen is that the case gets kicked to a California Federal Court.

    While I am an attorney, I am not your attorney. You should always speak with your own attorney to gain full and... more
  3. Christian K. Lassen II


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Most defamation lawyers want an upfront retainer of at least 5k, which will probably be used up in a week or two, and could be very expensive. Might be better to just have a Michigan lawyer send a cease and desist letter.

    The answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is for informational purposes only.

    Only 29% fee deducted.

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    1515 Market St #1510
    Philadelphia, PA 19102

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  4. Richard Eric Anthony Dwyer


    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . File your lawsuit in California where you reside and where you have likely suffered a loss of reputation (damages). Have a process server serve the lawsuit in Michigan on the defendant.

    Check Civil Code section 47 as the defendant will almost certainly raise some aspects of the statute as a defense.

  5. Panda Lynn Kroll

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . While filing a defamation lawsuit in California may be convenient for a California plaintiff, generally speaking California's strong protection of public speech (including Internet speech) exposes defamation plaintiffs to sanctions ("anti-SLAPP" defense motions) that could be costly. If you decide to find a lawyer, be sure the lawyer is aware of the anti-SLAPP exposure.

    This answer is not a substitute for legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Seek the... more

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