Slander is a legal cause of action which must include the following: A false statement, which the speaker knew was false, uttered to the public at large, which causes damage. Typically, statements made under oath in court are protected. It is unclear in your question what, if anything was said, outside of court, to the public at large, was false. Certainly, if false allegations included statements accusing your husband of being a liar, a violent criminal, or a thief were involved, these would likely be actionable. However, at this time, there is not information to determine whether anything actionable has been said, or more importantly, what, if any damages your husband has suffered to his reputation. I recommend you visit an experienced civil attorney in your jurisdiction to discuss your options.
This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. This response is provided for informational purposes only. It is recommended that you consult directly with a licensed attorney regarding your legal concern.
You would need to provide more information about how the name is being dragged through the mud. In most cases, with defamation cases you need to prove damages from the defamatory conduct. This is not always the case, for instance, in libel per se cases. However, it is the general rule. Similarly, you often need to show that the comments were made maliciously, or with reckless disregard for their effects. Your state's laws will determine the precise requirements to establish defamation. However, it is not as easy as simply "people are saying bad things about me." I do not say that to demean your case, only to give you a reality check that there are legal requirements that need to be met. Furthermore, defamation cases are risky, expensive, and time consuming. And they often end up exposing information publicly that can be MORE defamatory than the original statements. For instance, if your lawsuit becomes publicized, the allegations against your husband may be reported again in the media. So speak to a defamation attorney in your jurisdiction carefully about whether this is really the right thing to do.
The author is a Maryland attorney; however no answer given on Avvo is intended as legal advice or intended to create an attorney-client relationship.
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