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Virginia Libel & Slander Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander, Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Virginia on
Q: My ex is filing a damaged property claim against me. If I haven't done anything wrong, how can I defend myself?

If my ex has threatened taking me to court before and never did anything. My ex also stated in a phone call "you just made your life harder for you"... Can I sue for emotional harassment?

My ex is also in possession of my cat (which I pay monthly vet bills for) can I 1) get reimbursed for... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Feb 1, 2019

Rather than suing for emotional harassment, which may require your physiatrist's testimony to prove your claim, you would be better served to go to the Court and apply for a "protective order" based on harassment.

I do not handle domestic cases, especially with regard to cats. Sorry.

Q: I want to go back to work after this workers comp injury is healed. I hired an attorney. Was I wrong for doing that?
Daniel P Leavitt
Daniel P Leavitt answered on Oct 26, 2018

Your attorney should be able to guide you through this process and advise you. Good luck.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: If my husband babymother (child he had iutside our marriage) is always talking bad about me /our kids what do we do?

If my husband babymother (child he had iutside our marriage) is always talking bad about me in emails to my husband (for ex: she would call me b*tches and etc when all he would do is ask her how son doing or address an issue that son told us about her and her boyfriend hitting him (only 3 years... Read more »

Daniel P Leavitt
Daniel P Leavitt answered on Oct 15, 2018

I don't actually see a question here just a statement. I would recommend you document everything and keep your cool but document everything the best way you can and if they break the law or threaten you, you can contact law enforcement. If you have a question regarding custody rights, etc, then you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Libel & Slander and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My mother died and left my only sibling, a "deed of trust" which reduced me to 1/3 of estate. How can I contest this?

My sister has negatively interfered with my relationships with my mother and father for years. She lives in the same town as they do (did, in my mother's case), and I live 7,000 miles away. I traveled to Virginia to be with my mother last December during her last days on Earth in a hospice. My... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on May 4, 2018

It certainly sounds like you need a lawyer. What I don't read in your story is a question. Let me infer that you are asking how to find a good estate litigator. I suggest you visit Avvo.com. Navigate to Find a Lawyer. Type in the county where your mother resided at time of death. Type in "probate"... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: I was asked to take down my review because it was libelous, but I only spoke the truth to warn others, what should I do?

I posted a bad review on Zillow about a property manager. I listed my facts about why I thing she is not someone I would recommend. Everything I mentioned was true. My username was some randomly generated username as well. But I received an email from her saying I have 24 hours to take it down... Read more »

Lee E. Berlik
Lee E. Berlik answered on Apr 24, 2018

You can find a quick summary of Virginia defamation law at https://www.virginiadefamationlawyer.com/2013/02/defamation-of-character-libel-and-slander-law-in-virginia.html. You'll see that falsity is a required element of any defamation claim. This means that if, as you say, everything you wrote was... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: Can I be liable for what others state on Facebook if I'm a administrator or moderator of a group?

Have a civil case in VA where a person is trying to sue me for what others are stating on a Facebook Page. I'm one of the administrators of the page, however, I don't really monitor the page much. I understand the basics of libel, however if someone people are stating things that might be libel,... Read more »

Timothy R Johnson
Timothy R Johnson answered on Apr 9, 2018

Generally...no. If you did absolutely nothing else to "re-publish" the statement, then there's almost no possible way that the plaintiff can allege you engaged in any wrongdoing. It would only be wrong if you know that information posted is wrong, and defamatory (impugns on the reputation of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Employment Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: I know Va is an at will state, but I was just fired without warning based on false information.

I know Va is an at will state, but I was just fired without warning based on false information about me provided by our executive director to our CEO. Nothing was done by either to determine the truthfulness of the information-nor was I even asked about the situation. I was just called in the phone... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Feb 16, 2018

You certainly can file a lawsuit but you have the burden of proof so get your evidence and witnesses together since those will be required to support your claims.

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: My ex-girlfriend is posting horrible false stories about me on social media.

She knows they are untrue, but she does it anyway. Even if I get Facebook to take them down, can I still sue her for libel?

Lee E. Berlik
Lee E. Berlik answered on Feb 5, 2018

If you have a valid libel case, then yes, you can still sue her regardless of whether Facebook takes the posts down. The only effect Facebook's actions would have on your libel claim is that your damages (i.e., the harm caused by the defamatory posts) would be reduced due to the shorter time the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: Can I file harassment charges if someone calls my office and makes false accusations about me that get me in trouble?

My fiance's ex has been stalking me on social media and harassing us both by sending him everything I've ever posted in a support group that was supposed to be private and helpful for me as a stepmom to their daughter. I have her number blocked on my phone but she's still attacking me through him,... Read more »

Susan Fremit
Susan Fremit answered on Jan 19, 2018

You can go directly to the Magistrate's office in the county where you live and file a complaint. That way, you aren't involving the police at all since you say they won't help you.

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander and Personal Injury for Virginia on
Q: Can I sue a car dealership for filing criminal charges on me and for wrongful dominion control over car

Two days after I received the car, the car dealership filed criminal complaint I stole the car. Two months later they did a supplement complaint I stole the car all while I was making my payments twice a month and i never received any demand. The criminal charge was dismissed. Can I sue?

Mr. Beau Correll
Mr. Beau Correll answered on Jan 7, 2018

Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. You need to consult with an attorney that specializes in defamation cases. The wrinkle in your case may pertain to whether the statements were legally privileged or not.

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander, Criminal Law and Employment Law for Virginia on
Q: single occupant bathroom is it unlawful to record audio of person inside without consent from other side of closed door

Woman was in single occupant bathroom and supervisor audio recorded her in said bathroom without her knowledge from other side of the door and is threatening her with the recording.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 12, 2017

My law practice does not cover unauthorized recorded conversations. Sorry.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: I posted a review for a company and it was an honest review but not favorable and now he wants to sue me.

Do I have any recourse? And is he allowed to? I'm assuming anyone can see you anyone, but still...

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Aug 22, 2017

That is unfortunate. I sympathize. You can defend yourself in court. The party bringing the lawsuit has to prove liability and also prove damages. You can attack his claims of liability and the damages he claims were suffered. You should probably have a lawyer present you as the case will be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: Hello, A background check on me provided false information re: a sexual assault conviction. Can I sue?

Upon volunteering with Catholic Charities (CC) in N. Virginia, I provided complete information for a background check. CC engaged a firm (SSCI) in GA that replied with a sexual assault conviction complete with a prison sentence.

This is completely false. I have never been to the city or... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 9, 2017

In Virginia, there is no cause of action for "misidentification." If you have evidence and can prove that SSCI intentionally defamed you, you may have a cause of action for that issue. Then you will need to show how you were injured and what was the monetary damages. This will be an uphill battle.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: I would like to know when u r arrested for duid and they put in the paper I used profanity what can I do ?

Can I get the arresting officer for slander. He did not tell me I was under arrest, he did not read me my rights I did not get a summons or a ticket with the deputy's name on it, all they gave me was a paper that said at the top RECONIZANCE. Can I not get him for slandering my name for putting it... Read more »

Susan Fremit
Susan Fremit answered on Apr 10, 2017

Slander is when someone announces something that is not true which has negative financial consequences. I am a criminal defense attorney and your question deals with civil issues. However, it does not appear that you have a case of slander. You can speak to a litigation attorney for second... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Communications Law, Libel & Slander, Personal Injury and Employment Law for Virginia on
Q: How frequently is social media content and other forms of electronic communication such as, text messages used in cases?
Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Nov 9, 2016

It's used quite often in many different types of cases. If the messages are relevant and overcome any hearsay objections, electronic communications can make or break a case. If you are in a case reliant on what was said on social media or in text, work with an attorney to plan for the appropriate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: undue influence

one of my friends is unduly influencing my wife and child. because of this my wife is seeking separation and my son wants to change his school. what can I do to prevent this undue influence

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Sep 8, 2016

This post is intentionally vague, which may be appropriate, given the subject matter. It sounds like you need to speak with a local family law attorney to give the full details of what's happening in a private consultation.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: why is it that the VA Code § 18.2-417 only speaks of females in context? do slander and libel laws not protect males?
Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Sep 1, 2016

They do. You have to break down the reading of the statute in this way that skips over the language specific to females by paying particular attention to the use of "or":

"Any person ... who shall falsely utter and speak, or falsely write and publish, of and concerning another person, any...
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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: if you accidentally mark wron box on concealed carry app do they have a perjury case against you
Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jul 28, 2016

It is possible; consider speaking with a criminal defense / gun rights attorney in your area to discuss if it would be prudent to bring the error to the court's attention. Best to consult sooner rather than later. Good luck to you.

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3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: Person A is arrested and being charged with a felony because Person B said they stole car keys. Can person A countersue?

If they reach a plea deal or settle out of court, can Person A sue Person B for damages for tarnishing reputation or causing distress or for anything?

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jul 8, 2016

Only if it can be shown they didn't--apparently person A had the keys or the car.

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1 Answer | Asked in Communications Law, Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: If someone is on supervises probation and got put out from a so called friend resident could they be vol.

Also the person who set there belongs outside called their 15 year old a nasty name is that consider slander or defamation.

Susan Fremit
Susan Fremit answered on Dec 25, 2015

If a condition of the supervised probation is to reside at a certain address, the probation officer must be told immediately if there is a change of address.

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