I have been dating someone for 11 years. last year his family came to my house and asked for my hand in marriage. After that they said everything was great and our marriage was fixed the date was pending. I found out all of the sudden that they decided not to go through with the marriage and told me it was because of my weight. They also filed a false accusation restraining order against me. I would like to sue them for defamation of character as well as for deception. Do I have a case?
You might. Illinois law recognizes claims for breach of a promise to marry but limits a plaintiff's recovery to actual damages (i.e., wedding expenses). The law also has some tight notice requirements--you can find more information, including the statute (740 ILCS 15) describing the claim, by doing an internet serach for "breach of promise to marry." As to a defamation claim, you might have a claim if you can show (a) they made a false statement about you; (b) there was an unprivileged publication of that false statement to a third party; (c) they either knew or reasonably should have known that the statemetn made was false; and (d) the publication of the statement damaged you (if the statement is defamation per se, then damages are presumed). Note that privilege can attach to court filings, such as filed restraining order documents, but that privilege may not apply if the party publishes the documents to other third parties unrelated to the court proceeding. Another possible claim (which may or may not apply, depending on your specific circumstances) is intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), which, if it applies, may entitle you to compensatory and punitive damages.
This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. It is also not intended as advertising.
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