Baltimore, MD asked in Civil Litigation and Libel & Slander for Maryland

Q: I would like some more information about a possible defamation suit please if possible. Thank you

My ex is spreading nasty rumors about myself and my friends that have severely damaging my reputation and mental health. I would like to get more information on the best way for me to proceed.

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: If you want quick action to stop his behavior, then I suggest you contact a lawyer to discuss whether his specific conduct meets the legal standards for obtaining a court order for protection from domestic violence. Such orders are available to prohibit harassment, stalking, threats, assaults and the like. Harassment is a pattern of repeated communication or contacts that seriously annoy another after having been told to stop. If what he is engaging in qualifies for such an order, you can obtain one that can last up to two years. Violation of such an order, once issued, is a criminal offense subjecting the violator to conviction and possible jail. These court proceedings are heard quickly, with a temporary order obtainable within days and a final hearing and order within two weeks.

As for a defamation suit, it will take at least a year to come to trial, and unless your ex is wealthy, and owns ascertainable and valuable assets like real property and large bank accounts, then obtaining a judgment that cannot be collected is just a waste of time. No lawyer will take such a case without clear likelihood of being able to collect, certainly not on a contingency fee basis. You will not want to pay hourly fees for such a suit, as you’d likely sink $50,000 on fees to obtain an uncollectable judgment, assuming you can meet the evidentiary requirements to prove the case and sufficient damages to justify the litigation.

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