Skip to main content

What are the statute of limitations in Maryland for emotional distress (NIED)/defamation of character?

Bowie, MD |

My father has abused me emotionally, mentally, and physically on and off for years. Ever since I was an infant. I am 19 now and it still continues. Everything from threats, to insults, mental/emotional attacks and more. The list goes on and on.

I mean, due to all of his abuse, I have suffered from many illnesses and sicknesses. I have have 4 alternate personalities (MPD). This is just a SMALL bit of suffering I have to go with. he even stole my house from me and left me homeless!

What are the limitations to sue for this?

As I said, it HAS continued. It still goes on today. I've tried pushing him out of my life, he continues to force himself back into it. He always does something and refuses to leave me alone. I just want to know the statute of limitations for this. For those of you who haven't read what I wrote. I said there is a LOT more, then what I have listed here. I know what the legalities in this are. I also know what defamation is. Thank you. Please DON'T give advice on what I should do. Just answer the question.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


The statute of limitations is the least of your worries. Your main problem is that Maryland still holds the common law doctrine of parental immunity, i.e., minor children cannot generally sue their parents for negligence. There are exceptions, but they're narrow.

If he's done things to you since you've turned 18, that's potentially actionable, but it's doubtful that you can go back and sue for things that happened when you were a minor now that you've reached majority age. Figuring that one out will require you to consult a Maryland personal injury attorney.

Further, whatever this is, it's not defamation. Defamation requires the publication of a defamatory statement, i.e., something bad said about you *to other people*. Insults paid directly to you cannot be defamatory, because there's no publication. Wrong cause of action.

This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


Every lawsuit has a legal side to it, and a practical side. Here, I believe the practical issues in such a lawsuit outweigh the legal side. It would be more practical for you just to move away from your father and get away from him, and protect yourself from any further abuse until he learns to treat you with respect and kindness. A lawsuit will simply address a few money issues, and probably would cause you many more problems than what it would solve. So please focus on solving this problem with common sense. Unless you provide more compelling facts, it appears that a lawsuit will just be another opportunity for your father to abuse you a lot more. Run, don't walk away from the abuse. Hopefully, you are receiving some kind of therapy for the emotional pain you have been suffering for so long.

This answer is GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY and does NOT constitute Legal Advice and does NOT establish an Attorney/Client Relationship because you have not provided me with a COMPLETE set of the FACTS, and therefore my answer cannot address your specific situation. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California. A Consultation, Retainer and a fully signed and dated Legal Services Agreement (a contract) will be required if you would like to obtain my representation. Office: (410) 381-1656. David Mahood, Esq.


I'm sorry to hear about the abuse which you have sustained, however, your best bet is to move as far away from him as possible, get some counseling, and concentrate on your emotional recovery.

Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755



Sadly, that isn't exactly possible. He's made it impossible. He owns are vehicle, stole our home, etc. :/ We've been homeless 3 years and can't get ANY help. So moving just isn't an opinion.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer