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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Is It Defamation of Character if It's the Actual Email

    My question involves defamation in the state of: AZ

    I was looking for a photographer and had sent a request for info to several. One replied asking for more info. I replied with a list of questions recommended for each vendor. They replied with their own list insulting our intelligence, looks, financial standing and making several sexual remarks (can be provided if desired.) I replied to try to get a response out of them to see if this was a real email or a joke. They replied saying our questions deserved theirs in response. Police recommended I tell them no more communication or it will be considered harassment, which I did. They responded anyway within 25 or so minutes. A police officer called to instruct them not to make any more contact with me. A couple hours later they texted my phone from a website with telling my fiance and myself to "watch yourself" ... "your not in (home state) anymore." Police officer called again to instruct them not to contact anymore.

    We had never met face-to-face, never spoke by phone, and had no previous history.

    I asked the police if it was legal to forward the emails to various sites that recommend him, etc, feeling an obligation to warn others. He said yes.

    Now a police officer called and said the photographer is talking of suing me civilly for defamation of character.

    If I contacted others and said I've received disturbing, obscene email from so-and-so and then forwarded the actual string of emails, is this defamation of character? If all I'm saying is he sent this awful email, and here is the email, this isn't false information, is it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,011

    Default Re: Is It Defamation of Character if It's the Actual Email

    Now a police officer called and said the photographer is talking of suing me civilly for defamation of character.
    I think someone is having one over on you. The police do not play messenger to tell people that someone is considering suing them in civil court. They're far too busy chasing down criminals to be bothered.

    But, let's say it wasn't your photographer "friend"...

    The truth is an absolute defense to a claim of defamation.

    If the photographer really wrote and sent that e-mail, he's not being defamed. You're within your rights, when someone is showing his ass, to share that with whomever you please, perhaps in the hopes that he puts some pants on.

    He can certainly attempt to file suit if that's what gets him out of bed in the morning, but he's not going to get anything out of it except a hefty legal bill. It's actionable when someone else yanks your britches down and embarrasses you publicly, not when you do it yourself and moon the entire assembly of your own free will.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,837

    Default Re: Is It Defamation of Character if It's the Actual Email

    You claim you instructed them not only once but twice to cease and desist communication with you. Here is AZ's law that I believe would apply criminally, review it. If you feel they have broken the law under it, file a police report. Save ALL correspondence if you can.


    http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/13/02921.htm


    Forwarding communciations to others that were sent to you is not defamation.

    When a person is sued vexatiously, that is, a frivolous complaint that has no basis in law, or is a factual set of lies, you can countersue for Abuse of Process.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Is It Defamation of Character if It's the Actual Email

    Thank you both so much for your information. I feel a little bit better about the idea of a civil suit now. I will not forward the emails to anyone else. I felt obligated to warn others (particularly women), but I've done all I can do at this point.

    Now my main concern is how he got my cell # and whether he has any other personal information. I'm frightened he might elevate it personally (as in physical, etc), especially if his business is harmed by his email getting out. If he sends such an awful email in response to business questions, and ignores a police message to not contact again by sending an attempted anonymous text that was pretty much threatening, I'm afraid what he would do if he feels I've done anything else to upset him.

    Thanks again for the civil suit information.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,837

    Default Re: Is It Defamation of Character if It's the Actual Email

    Keep your eyes and ears open. IF you feel he has violated any harassment law, including the one I cited, file a police report.

    Some think there are NO repurcussions to filing a lawsuit frought with lies or has no basis in law. Simply because facts are true on his part that does not mean it creates a Cause of Action, by any legal stretch.

    I can sue you for wearing a red shirt, sure. I can also be countersued and sanctioned by the court too.

    Best wishes.

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