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Recently my local paper stated I went to jail. Which
was untrue. I only received a citation and never
arrested. Can I sue the paper?

Asked on March 6, 2017 under Personal Injury, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Possibly: what you describe appears to be an untrue statement of fact which damages your reputation; based on what you write, this seems to meet the defination of defamation. A question, though, is how much this may be worth: given that while it's incorrect, it is not wildly incorrect (e.g. you did receive a citation), unless you can show some harm to your business, employment, or economic interests, you might not be able to recover enough compensation ("damages") so as to justify the cost and effort of suing. Compensation in a lawsuit is generally closely related to the provable harm you suffered.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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