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Can I sue the county for defamation of character since I have been burdened by their inability to detect Identity theft?

Gulf Breeze, FL |

The year before last a man I have known through my life was pulled over and arrested in Osceola County FL. claiming to be me, he used no ID to do so, knowing my full name and DOB, my address ect.
He used my name thinking I had a clean driving record and at the time my liscense was suspended, when realizing he was being arrested he fled and was caught. He was booked under my identity even though his finger prints were already in the database due to priors.
I found out shortly after and called local authorities and pressed charges. Since then, I have had 100% failure at finding a job, one day I typed my name into google and this mans mug shot popped up with all my info attached and the list of links is extensive, without me ever actualy coming up. I feel my life has been altered forever!!!

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Attorney answers 5


If there is a prosecution, the Court has authority to issue orders to correct public records. See Section 817.568(9)(b), Fla. Stat. I would not take your case against the Sheriff on a contingency fee basis. You should review your credit reports ASAP. It would probably be a good idea to review your credit report prepared by Equifax, Trans Union and Experian. You can do so for free once a year by calling 877-322-8228. It is a lot simpler and quicker than jumping through all the hoops on the internet and you do not risk mistakenly agreeing to waive your right to a jury trial by arbitration. Please be sure to stay on the line until you have ordered all three reports. You should file a police report if you have not done so already. You should obtain an EXTENDED fraud alert on your credit reports.

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Great advice from Attorney Fahlgren

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.


There is no case against the County of the Sheriff's Department for the intentional tort of libel. They both have immunity for the intentional torts of their employees. However, their may be a case against either or both of them for negligence. For a negligence case to work against the County of the Sheriff's Department you have to give the appropriate pre-suit notice within three years of the negligence, wait six months to file suit and then sue them. I doubt that you will find anywhere to take the case on a contingent basis since your damages are unclear. You might however find a lawyer to take the case on an hourly basis if you want to do that.

This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client relationship is intended to be formed.


Good advice from Fahlgren.

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The other attorneys have given you good advice. Your chances of success in a suit against the sheriff are not high. However, you don't say where you found your mugshot. If you found it on the sheriff's site, I would say you should move for a correction of that information with the court. However, if you found it on a private site like, I would send a request to them to correct it. If they refuse, then you may have a case for slander. However, those are generally expensive, and you would need to prove damages. If the facts as stated above are all of your damages, you will not get enough to cover your attorney's fees.

My response to this question does not mean I agree to represent you in any proceedings. This information is also not subject to attorney-client privilege.

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