My 56 year membership was revoked from an organization. A letter was sent to them on an alleged happening 33 years ago.

Asked over 1 year ago - Bay City, MI

Do I have a legal right to find out who sent the letter and its contents? I've appealed and its in the process now with the organization. But I'm told its a cut and dry situation and my membership will be denied. I have limited knowledge of what the letter is about. How to I obtain this letter and what are
my options pursuing defamation of character in the courts? Thank you.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have asked a number of loaded questions. Without knowing what is in the letter and the reasons behind your membership termination, it is impossible to say. If the allegations are false, then you can sue for defamation. Whether or not the person or group is still around after 33 years, or whether there is another party involved is not clear from your summary. It seems as if there is some information you have held back, and that makes it much tougher to answer. If the allegations are true, then truth is an affirmative defense to a defamation action.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******... more
  2. Jason Matthew Shinn

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A number of questions would need to be answered before any meanginful assessment of your options could be provided. For example, the type of organization, what its by-laws or applicable membership documents provide for, whether the alleged event was true, etc. However, there are generally legal avenues that could be pursued under similar circumstances to discover the contents of the letter and identity of the author. To assess those avenues, however, you'd need to meet with an attorney.

    I'm licensed to practice law in Michigan ( My response is provided only to educate the public... more
  3. John F. Brennan

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Without knowing the circumstances it is impossible to form an opinion. What is your "membership" really worth. What will your loss be if you lose the membership? Is it worth the legal fees?
    I understand this is a matter of principal, but be warned, it can be quite expensive.
    It the allegations are false you may have an action for defamation, slander or libel if there was a knowing or reckless statement of fact. If, on the other hand, the allegation has a basis in fact then there is a valid and complete defense.
    I would suggest you counsel with an attorney about your options.

    To the PROSPECTIVE client, please call myself or another attorney for your choice with more detaiils and an... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

22,078 answers this week

2,887 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

22,078 answers this week

2,887 attorneys answering