I am being threatened to be taken to court for alleged defamation ... what are my recourse options?

Asked 9 months ago - Bishop, CA

I began a relationship with a man who had just temporarily moved to the town I live in. I was mislead my him to believe he was separated and in the middle of a divorce. I unfortunately believed him, and continues to have a public relationship with him until I realized he was not being honest with me, at which time I broke up the relationship. I created an alternate Facebook page that documented our relationship and publicly posted it to expose his lies to his wife. I don't believe I have done anything illegal and I have not posted anything that is a lie or misleading. This man says unless I remove the FB Page he will spend every dollar in court to make me take it down. Does he have a case? Because he misrepresented his self to me do I have a case? What are my options?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Christine C McCall

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    Answered . It is always troubling to see people cloaking themselves with assurances that they have posted or stated nothing but the "truth" when faced with the possibility of a defamation suit. Yes, truth is a complete and wonderful and valedictory defense. But truth is all too often in the eye of the beholder. And even if you have posted only a truth that will survive the ages, if you get sued (and you can be sued) it takes several thousand dollars of defense work to get to the point of establishing your truth in court and causing the case to be dismissed for that reason. You don't just greet the process server at the door and refuse the matter because "it is all true." And you don't just stroll into court and let the judge know that the case can be flushed because you only stated the truth. If you get sued, you will be defending in court and with an attorney for as much as a year before the court turns to making an assessment of your truth.

    There is nothing laudatory about you posting personal info for the explicit purposes of causing trouble in someone else's marriage, even if that person shouldn't have done what they done. And your ear is sorely out of tune if you are expecting that any judge or jury would ultimately see you as the noble one here.

    And, no, you can't sue him successfully for misrepresenting himself to you. Of course he deserves it -- but that is not the policy or position of the law.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as... more
  2. Andra Marie Vaccaro

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    Answered . If everything you have posted to date is 100% TRUE and you can prove that its true, there is nothing he can do. However, the most important thing you must ensure is that what you are posting is PROVABLY true. Your best option is to put him and your relationship with him behind you. The sooner you move on with your life, the less stress this will cause you.

  3. Christopher John Gansen

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    Answered . Ms. McCall, as per usual, delivers a well-thought and empathetic response. Best to you, poster.

  4. Lars A. Lundeen

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    Answered . I am not sure what you mean about you creating an "alternate Facebook page." Is everything on this "alternate" Facebook page true and correct?

    You may benefit from reviewing the Legal Guide I have published on Avvo.com which deals with defamation issues. You can access the Guide through my profile page. Truth is a defense to a defamation claim. In the interim, I suggest that you make sure that you have appropriate renter's or homeowner's insurance which covers you for liability regarding defamation claims.

    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.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
  5. Christian K. Lassen II

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    Answered . I'm not sure why a grown person would be creating a fake Facebook page???

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