I have a rival of mine that has always tried in various ways to defame or belittle our business. It all was started with Ripoff.com in which he made up a ton of lies are not true and cannot be substanciatied. I am so over that now and have since proven my innocence ... but currently this guy has set up a blog with pictures he took from my website and put information about a past drinking problem. Which I really don't care about but also made straight out lies say our business . except I actually saw one on Google images...hit it thinking it would go to my site but it went to his twisted slanderous site.. all on his own homepage. He is not even hiding it. Is there anything I can do? I have pleaded with this guy to stop trying to damage my business but he just chuckled at me. My question can I at least take him to small claims court on defamation charges. Considering that it is on his site there is no denying he is trying to damage my business. He is actually well to do and has several businesses. I would be happy to donate any punitive damages to attorney. I have plenty of other information since it has been going on for years. I just know in NC I only have a year to file defamation
Legal representation is not required, and is often not necessary, in small claims, but the magistrate will want to see very specific proof of quantifiable damages. I do not think small claims is the proper venue for a defamation lawsuit; that should either be District Court (if the damages shown are $25,000 or less) or Superior Court (over $25,000). Leave small claims suits only for those instances where you can itemize and quantify specific damages (in small amounts, that is). There appear to be a lot of facts and issues here, so a consultation with a lawyer is appropriate, to help you narrow in on and identify the key legal issues. Best wishes to you.
Mr. Robinson is exactly correct and frankly I don't see any attorney taking such a case on contingent unless there is an insurance company (not in a defamation suit) you can collect from. I have a couple of active intentional tort law suits going on right now and they are all hourly billable retainers. Magistrates can only hear very simple matters in small claims court, and this is something that would likely be tried before a jury. You would need to be in "big boy court" for that. You need to get an attorney and plan on paying them.
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