If I thinkI am being slandered by someonewho lives in a different state, what canI do?

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If I thinkI am being slandered by someonewho lives in a different state, what canI do?

A relative has been accusing me of committing a crime. They have been shown physical proof that exonerates me but continue to tell other members in our family that i stole things. They do this by either writing or calling my other family members.

Asked on January 2, 2012 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You could sue your relative for defamation.  Defamation is a false statement made with knowledge of its falsity communicated to a third person  who recognizes the defamatory content and the statement is injurious to your reputation.

Libel is written defamation.  Slander is spoken defamation.

A lawsuit can be filed where the plaintiff resides or where the defendant resides or where the claim arose.  You are the plaintiff.  Your relative you are suing for defamation is the defendant.  You can file your lawsuit in the state where you live or in the state where your relative lives or where the claim arose.  Each repetition of the defamatory statement is actionable as defamation.  For convenience purposes such as filing documents with the court and court appearances, it would be advisable to file your lawsuit where you live.  You can have a process server in or near the city where your relative lives serve the summons and complaint (complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons) on your relative.  You can find process servers listed under attorney services in the Yellow Pages or online.

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for defamation) would include mental distress, loss of friends and associates resulting from the defamation, and if applicable physical illness and medical expenses.


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