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Does this qualify as libel defamation/slander?

Akron, OH |

My adoptive father and I have been on the outs for over 10 years. Recently he tried to run me over with his car so I pressed charges and we are going through court for that. Even more recent I read on facebook that he is telling people I use and sell drugs, that I am a baby killer, a prostitute, a stripper, a liar, a thief, and mentally unstable. He also contacted my sons paternal grandmother and was telling her I jumped in front of his car and also that I do not take care of my son. When I was 16 I was arrested when a group of people I was with was caught shoplifting but was never charged, and I did smoke marijuana at that time but have not since I was 17. We are well known in and out of out community and he has a lot of my long time friends on his facebook, so everyone can read this.

Attorney Answers 4


I'm not an Ohio lawyer, but according to general principles of defamation law you may have a technical case. Defamatory statements generally have to be objective statements of fact and not just vituperation. There is a general rule in some jurisdictions that says a statement impugning a woman's virtue or alleging criminal conduct is defamatory per se. The statement must also be false to be defamatory. There is also the problem of damages. In many states, unless you can show economic damages, i.e. that the defamation cost you money, you can't get punitive or exemplary damages. Personal defamation cases are difficult to win as a rule, but maybe a threat of a lawsuit will make the guy think twice about what he posts about you. You should seek the advice of an Ohio lawyer.

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Talk with an attorney in your area about whether a restraining order might be equally satisfactory to prevent and end this course of harassment. A civil restraining order is faster, less expensive, and far more readily obtained than a judgment for defamation that may be difficult to collect.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

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I suggest you may want to review the Legal Guides I have published on, one of which deals with defamation. You can access the Guide through my profile page.

Does your adoptive father have a lot of money or assets? If not, pursuing a claim against him may be a hollow victory.

Legal Disclaimer:

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. 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 timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

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I agree with my colleagues, specifically on the points of a restraining order and the fact that pursuing litigation may be enough to stop his shenanigans. Defamation cases are very difficult, though you do have an interesting set of facts. I would be interested in talking to you about possible damages in terms of the effect on your job or status in community. If you would like to set up a consultation, you may reach me at (216) 209-3639.

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