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Can you file a lawsuit against someone that filed false assault charges against you?

Los Angeles, CA |

I was arrested for assault by an individual that I called the police on for a noise complaint. He claimed that I threw a "water bottle and aluminum can" at him and feared for his life. Both were untrue and the DA rejected the case. However, this occurred at my University and it was posted about throughout the school online "rumor message boards" with the story turning into this grand tale. Is there a defamation of character lawsuit to be had?

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Attorney answers 5


Defamation lawsuits are difficult at best...Firstly, truth is a defense. Secondly, you must be able to quantify your damages. Other than being embarrassed, what financial harm have you suffered? That's the big question and the only one that will attract a lawyer's attention.

San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney--19 years experience. Law Offices of Jay S. Finnecy



As someone going into business, those within my university are the base of my network and my future clients.


I agree with Mr. Finnecy, just move on. You do not sound like you have suffered much.

My offices does represent people from Avvo if they contact me but only in the Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside County in Southern California. The answers I give here are not meant to create an attorney client relationship. When accepting clients I conduct interviews face to face and they often take 30 minutes or more. I approach trials and issues from a legal and common sense approach, This is how the majority of judges I have appeared before in 40 years also make decisions. I do not intend by my advice to enter an attorney client relationship and in most cases advise to obtain legal representation. Sometimes if you can not afford it a consultation or limited scope representation is available. As an experienced attorney I can tell you, judges can be impatient, hate emotional arguments and over exagerations or lies. A brief outline of the problems and desired solutions is often best and I d0 limited scope representations advise clients on how to proceed at time of hearing or trial and my fees are considerably less when I do not appear in court as it takes much less of my time.

Jay Scott Finnecy

Jay Scott Finnecy


Thank you, Mr. Cohen. Based on the follow up comment posted, I can assure you any alleged damages are purely speculative. (**sigh** we are such a litiguous society these days)


Maybe. Defamation is a civil action dealing with an injury to one's reputation. Can you show a measureable amount of damage to your reputation as a result of the individual? Attorney fees? Moreover, was the complaint objectively untrue and made without a good faith belief in its truth? That is where is may get really hard for you to show. Plus, what would be your real damages if you were somewhat "vindicated" by the DA rejecting the case? If you can show you were denied a job based on the report, that may help. Were you evicted from your housing because of the complaint? Was there other measurable damages?


Defamation, along with abuse of process, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment may be possible causes of action. However, we all appear to be criminal attorneys providing advice to a civil matter. Contact a civil rights attorney for your best advice.

The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


A civil action could be brought. Speak with a local civil attorney.

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