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  1. #1

    Default 15 Yr. Old Son, Slandered by Neighbor

    My question involves defamation in the state of:
    PA, son and friends fished for 2.5 months in neighbors pond with pond owners permission, catch and release only. Pond owner always stopped to see how they were doing, other neighbor could oversee entire property (From home on hill above, clarified boys were behaving, often talked with the boys himself) stated boys and pond owner often seen talking together at pond while boys fished.

    Now pond owner stating to others, and overheard by my son and friend that, "they never asked permission to fish in his pond."

    My son and his friend are very upset about this, as they asked permission several times and were given permission from this man several times.

    They purchased bait from him each time they fished in his pond. They talked with him many times as they fished with no indication that the man had changed his mind and did not want them to fish there.

    If they had not been given permission to fish there by this man, they are intelligent enough to obey and respect the pond owner's wishes and not fish there. We would have made sure that they followed his wishes as parents.

    We believe these boys both have been slandered with this pond owners statements to others in this same fashion.

    It will be their word against this pond owners with the other neighbor as a witness.

    Is it advisable to seek civil action for slander or defamation for these young men?

    (We believe this pond owner is retaliating against charges the State Police brought against his grand son for shooting at our house a few years back. We reported it, but pressed no charges. The police were the ones who pressed the charges because the young man was shooting across two state roadways, killing all the birds in his grandmother's bird feeder and hitting our house with the shot from his shotgun.)

    Thank you.

    Landowner NW PA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: 15 Yr. Old Son, Slandered by Neighbor

    You may have a case. You may even win.

    This screams as a $1 award case.... you know, the kind where the judge awards you a dollar because you have no damages?

    Unfortunately, you will have spend ten thousand dollars in legal fees to get that dollar. The guy is lying... you know it and your son knows it. Tell your son to fish somewhere else.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: 15 Yr. Old Son, Slandered by Neighbor

    Quote Quoting Landowner NW PA
    View Post
    Thanks!.......he does....and loves every minute of it!! What a great way to grow up?! : )
    I don't understand that statement at all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,307

    Default Re: 15 Yr. Old Son, Slandered by Neighbor

    Is it advisable to seek civil action for slander or defamation for these young men?
    To what end? What damages have been incurred?

    Slander/defamation suits are notoriously expensive to bring forth, and it's completely useless to do so unless there are demonstrable financial damages - frex, someone is heaving bricks through your window or flinging flaming Coke bottles at your house, or your son has been denied employment as a result of the "slander".

    Such cases are never taken on contingency, unless there is a clear path to a huge settlement. If Tom Cruise wanted to sue the National Enquirer for claiming he's gay, he'd have a clear shot at a huge settlement. If you want to sue because some jackass claims he never gave your kid permission to fish...well, not so much.

    Your son's best option when anyone brings up what this guy is saying - provided anyone even CARES - is to roll his eyes, mutter something about "Oh, him again. *sigh*", and change the subject. It's both less expensive than bringing forth a useless civil suit, and a great exercise in learning how to deal with unpleasant people.

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