Can I sue someone who lied to get me arrested?
6 attorney answers
Yes. Intentional false statement by business owner to police with intent that police act on the statement is not privileged or protected speech. But can you prove that in court or will he claim he misunderstood the circumstances?
Yes, you can. What are your damages, though? It sounds like you were arrested for reasons beyond just what flowed from the alleged "lie."
The comments listed here are of a general nature and should not be understood to create a formal attorney-client relationship -- that is, I am not, and I cannot give you legal advice here. I am licensed in Iowa and to become your attorney, I need to understand the particular facts and circumstances of your legal question.
On the facts as posted, a lawsuit likely would be fruitless, but speak to a local Storm Lake attorney to discuss in full.
Defamation is, generally speaking, a false statement of fact about another person that damages their reputation. There is a doctrine in the law known as the "substantial truth doctrine." If there are isolated or cherry picked errors in a statement, that will not make it defamatory, if the truth would have had no different effect upon the recipient of the message than the erroneous (or untruthful) statement.
In this case, you admit that you slapped your girlfriend. You were then at a bar, and there was a confrontation, which you failed to walk away from until things seem to have escalated. Do you really think that there would be a difference in the mind of any listener if you slapped your girlfriend *that* night or another night? I think not.
The ultimate result of the story is that you're a guy with anger management and substance abuse issues. Whether you slapped your girlfriend on one particular night or another is irrelevant.
So, you CAN sue the guy for saying that - but you will probably lose. Even if things go 100% your way, and you win, I can not imagine anyone giving you more than nominal damages. I can assure you that no attorney worth his law license would take the case on contingency, so even if you were to bring the case, (which would be foolish) you would be paying out of pocket for the fees. That means after $10,000 to $100,000, you'd get an award of $1 or so, at best.
I am not your lawyer. This is not legal advice. If you were my client, you would know it.
You should get help with your drinking and the resulting anger issues you have. If this pattern of conduct continues, your problems will only get worse. In the meantime, hire a criminal defense attorney to help keep you out of jail. Most people, including Judges and Jurors will have no sympathy for you when you attack women.
Sounds like you were arrested for being drunk and disorderly, not for hitting a person, because otherwise you would have been arrested for assault, and possibly domestic violence. Under the facts presented, it doesn't appear as though you have a claim.
This is general advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.