California City, CA asked in Civil Litigation and Libel & Slander for California

Q: Does absolute privilege mean it is impossible to sue someone for false statements in court?

Someone sued me and and accused me of doing something dishonest that didn't happen. They should have known better because we both had the same records and receipts from a job I did. I'm an independant contractor in a small community. If this gets out I'm afraid it will make it hard for me to find work. Is there any way to make them pay for this?

2 Lawyer Answers
Dan Rowan Cortright
Dan Rowan Cortright
  • Rohnert Park, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, unfortunately the litigation privilege is nearly absolute (rare exceptions relate to crimes, mostly), so something false said in a court document/complaint is privileged and shields the plaintiff from liability. However, if you win the lawsuit and can show the evidence that what plaintiff said in the complaint is not true and s/he knew it, then you can sue them (after this lawsuit is over) for malicious prosecution.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, absolute privilege means you cannot sue that person or entity in court.

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