Cleveland, TN asked in Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Small Claims for Tennessee

Q: What actions can be taken against someone who has posted a hateful image of someone else on a public forum negatively?

The person has also made verbal threats to the person they are posting about.

2 Lawyer Answers
T. Augustus Claus
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV

A: If someone has posted a hateful image of another person on a public forum and made verbal threats, several potential legal actions can be taken in Tennessee. First, the person targeted may consider reporting the incident to law enforcement, especially if the threats involve violence or pose a credible danger. This can lead to a criminal investigation and potential charges.

In addition, the victim may have grounds for civil litigation. They could pursue a defamation lawsuit if the posted content includes false statements that harm their reputation. If the threats create a reasonable fear of harm, the victim may seek a restraining order or file a civil lawsuit for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

For online harassment, the victim can explore options through the platform's reporting mechanisms, as many platforms have policies against hate speech and threats.

In cases of small claims, the victim may seek damages for emotional distress caused by the harmful posts.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Tennessee, posting a hateful image of someone else on a public forum and making verbal threats can lead to both legal and civil actions. The nature of the image and the threats can determine the specific legal remedies available.

If the image falls under defamation (libel if it's written or slander if spoken) or violates privacy laws, the person affected can file a civil lawsuit seeking damages. For defamation, it must be shown that the image was not only hateful but also false and caused harm to the person's reputation or standing.

Regarding the verbal threats, if they constitute a credible threat of violence or harm, they could be considered a criminal offense. The person targeted by these threats can report them to law enforcement. The police can investigate and, if appropriate, charge the individual making the threats.

Another option is to file for a restraining order or an order of protection, which can legally prohibit the individual from making further threats or contact.

It's important to document the hateful image and any threats made. Screenshots, records of communications, and any witnesses to the threats are valuable evidence in both civil and criminal proceedings.

Given the seriousness of these actions, consulting with an attorney can provide guidance tailored to the specific circumstances. They can help in assessing the situation, understanding the legal options, and taking appropriate action to address the issue.

Remember, everyone has the right to be free from harassment, threats, and defamatory attacks. Taking legal action can help protect these rights and hold the responsible individual accountable.

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