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Do I have a defamation of character case and, if so, whom do I sue?

Morgantown, WV |

I recently moved to Morgantown, West Virginia (3 days ago) from Holland, Michigan. I did this without consulting my roommate in Holland. He filed me as a missing person and my name was subsequently aired on local news broadcasters as a missing person. This, however, is not the problem. The problem is that the news broadcasters ALSO described me as a "violent man". Such a description resulted from the fact that this roommate divulged content from some private conversations I had with him. I've known this "friend" for about a year and a half and I never said anything more innocuous to him than "sometimes I'd like to take a gun and shoot people". This is the extent of my "violence". I have never been in a fight in my life and I've never been in trouble with the law. What shall I do?

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Attorney answers 1


Defamation requires proof that incorrect statements of fact, not opinion, were made to third parties and that it caused harm to you. Here is a link to a guide on defamation law to help you determine whether the law applies to your circumstances.

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This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.

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