Defamation

In law, issuance of false statements about a person that injure his reputation or that deter others from associating with him. Libel and slander are the legal subcategories of defamation. Libel is defamation in print, pictures, or any other visual symbols. A libel plaintiff must generally establish that the alleged libel refers to him or her specifically, that it was published to others (third parties), and that some injury occurred as a result. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that public persons (e.g., celebrities or politicians) alleging libel may recover damages only if they prove that the statement in question was made with “actual malice”—i.e., with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard for the truth (New York Times v. Sullivan, 1964). [snip] The defense in defamation cases often takes the form of seeking to establish the truth of the statements in question.

I am trying to do my research and while I’m getting all kinds of threats and crap in my email and in the moderated comments of this blog, so far I have not received a letter from an attorney nor have I been served papers to get an attorney of my own or to show up in court.  I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I feel that I have two things in my favor.

  1. There is no proof of actual damage.  There are links to places that show who I am and one photo of me but nothing that shows who he is.  It’s highly unlikely that the strangers who read this blog would find this person based on my photo or my name and even less likely that they would try.  All 35 of you.  It’s highly unlikely that the 2 people who know me that read this blog care about the person in question.  The other two people I know who read the blog, one of them IS the person in question and one is his partner.  To the best of my knowledge this person has not been harmed in a tangible way.  His feelings are hurt but his reputation, character, and livelihood have not been harmed.  I’m certain no one has stopped talking to him on any level because of what I wrote.  I’m certain that my one post would never be enough to sway his friends and there are no potential customers here.   I have not harmed this person in their community or to the public at large.  Perhaps his attorney will make this more clear for me.  I did include third parties (that is you dear reader) but I’m not sure, given what I wrote, that you would know who I’m talking about.  I am certain that you don’t care.   I just don’t get where the damages are, I can’t see how it can be proved that I caused injury to more than his feelings.
  2. I went to great lengths before writing and publishing the post to remove all reference to this person.  His photos, his links, his name were all removed.  I went through again today and removed what little was left that I could find.  I made and have made a good faith effort to make sure readers wouldn’t know who he is.  I never intended actual malice to him, I did not write anything that I did not believe (and still believe) to the core of my being to be true, and I don’t believe I was reckless.  I think the tone of my post makes it clear that his behavior hurt me deeply and that I was very saddened (also angry) that I had been pushed to that point.  Also, I believe it is clear that what I wrote was my opinion.  I had also changed the title of the post from the initial, more angry title to something less so.  But the URL remained the same as the initial title.  Even a URL change which WordPress now allows still has a redirect on the old title URL.  I did what I could at the time.  But I think my changing the title several months ago makes it clear that I was not trying to cause far reaching harm. What I was trying to do was defend myself against malice that I felt was being directed at me.  That does not make me malicious.  I feel that the malice is still directed at me.   It is my intention to get this person out of my life, not to harm them in the real world.

One day I might be required to defend myself in court in this matter.  I hope not.  Really I do. It will cause harm to so many who until now were not a part of this.  This person had made sure that they are now.  He has written other people and made phone calls.  He is doing all he can to make sure that people who were completely oblivious to my post know about it.  Isn’t he perpetuating the potential harm himself?  But I honestly don’t see how I’ve done anything other than hurt his feelings.  He is making it very difficult for me to care about his feelings I must admit.  I might have to pay for that in the after life, but I stand by what I said.  I do have witnesses that I can call to testify to this person’s behavior over a number of years.  I have letters he’s written that prove he’s gone out of his way to cause me harm.  The stream of emails I’ve receiving today, including attempted comments to my blog, are doing him no favors.  He would be wise to stop writing me and let his attorney handle all contact.  He is not making himself look good in the eyes of anyone that I know.

I found this online.  It is just a fraction of the things folks do to get people in their life to do their will.  I had put the items that I could claim.

Abusive Behavior Checklist how many do I have to check off before you qualify as a verbal abuser?

  • Frequently blames or criticizes you
  • Calls you names
  • Ridicules your beliefs, religion, race class or sexual preference
  • Isolates you from your family and friends
  • Withholds approval, appreciation or affection
  • Repeatedly harasses you about things you did in the past
  • Threatens to leave or told you to leave
  • Checks up on you (listens to your phone calls, looks at phone bills, checks the mileage on the car, etc.)
  • Tells people you suffer from a mental illness
  • Minimizes or denies being abusive
  • Uses drugs or alcohol to excuse their behavior
  • Uses loud or intimidating tone of voice
  • Criticizes the way or amounts of money you spend
  • Throws objects
  • Destroys property or your possessions

I really can’t imagine what it is he hopes to gain.  It’s not like I have any assests.  Well I have halloween decorations, an old couch, lots of fabric, a laptop that crashes every other day, and a car that will be repo’d at some point.  He’s made his point.  He’s drawn the line in the sand.  I just don’t get what it is he wants.  I expect to be invited to the Jerry Springer show any day now.

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