We are a mortgage company in Texas that just had an audit done. As part of the audit, TXSML is doing routine checks with some of our customers that we wrote mortgages for. Someone sent a slanderous email from an anonymous hush.com account telling all the realtors we work with that we are under investigation by Texas SML and even named the auditor with their phone number. They also spun stories about our company in a very negative light. What can we do?
If you suffered economic harm, document everything and bring it to a personal injury attorney who handles defamation cases. Good luck.
The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
First, as the defamation was in writing it was a libel not a slander. Second, as you have the email address and you know the website (hush.com), your company should hire an attorney to obtain a pre-lawsuit subpoena to get the identifying information for the person who the "anonymous" source who posted the email - the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and Internet Protocol (IP) address of the user. Third, you will then need another pre-litigation subpoena directed to the ISP to get the name address of the subscriber.
You and your attorney should take it from there to determine what kind of tort claims may be made under TX law., certainly, if the company suffered real damages
I agree with the answers posted here, but would caution you that unless the posting entity has resources to pay a judgment, you may not have any remedy available to you other than some sort of an injunction to stop further posts. Consider carefully whether it warrants the expense of hiring an attorney. This is one that the attorney may do on a hybrid (part contingent and part hourly) fee arrangement. Otherwise, they stand a good chance of working for free. Most Personal Injury lawyers do enough of this as it is. It is not likely to be cheap.
Responses to questions asked on this internet forum are not intended to form an attorney-client relationship. These responses are intended as general information only, and are based upon the attorney's understanding of Texas law ONLY. Other jurisdictions may have different laws, or may interpret the laws of the jurisdiction differently. For a more detailed response, contact Todd Kelly at the Carlson Law Firm: 512-346-5688.