What constitutes slander?

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What constitutes slander?

A year ago I was involved in a verbal confrontation and was arrested. The case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal. However, the mother of the other party has gone to a number of places (including my church) and complained about me. So much so, that the church told me I am no longer welcome. Does this rise to the level of slander?

Asked on December 29, 2015 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Slander is oral (i.e. not written; spoken) defamation. Defamation is the making of untrue factual statements which damage your reputation. True facts are not defamation, even if negative; and opinions, however harmful, are not defamtion, either. People have a right to state true facts or give their opinions. So, for example:
1) She says you were arrested after a confrontation. That is true based on what you write, so it is not defamation.
2) She says that you are mean and disrespectful; that is an opinion, and not defamation.
3) She says you hit her, when you did not; that is a false factual statement which damages your reputation and would be defamation.


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