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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    6

    Default Sued for Defamation Over a Yelp Review

    My question involves defamation in the state of: California

    Hello all, I am new to expertlaw. I live in California and was recently sued for posting a truthful but negative review on YELP for a local store where I encountered a bad experience. The lawsuit if for Defamation and although I am probably not the first to be sued from a YELP review, it is a pretty recent epidemic I am assuming. I would greatly appreciate any advice or and lawyer referrals people could send my way. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    OH10
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    17,019

    Default Re: Being Sued for Yelp Review

    Be prepared to substantiate anything you said in the negative review in court.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    18,926

    Default Re: Being Sued for Yelp Review

    This forum can't do lawyer referrals. There are links to lawyers elsewhere on the site. Many county bar associations have either a referral program or at least a list of local lawyers by specialty they can provide you.

    As Dissy points out, the truth is almost always a defense for a defamation action. Opinions that are not made with malice usually aren't actionable anyhow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Sued for Defamation Over a Yelp Review

    If you have homeowner's coverage, you should see if you are covered for defamation claims.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    6

    Default Re: Sued for Defamation Over a Yelp Review

    Disagreeable, thank you very much for all your valuable advice. Yes, I can back everything up in court, as I stated above my review is the absolute truth. And I have sent the complaint to my homeowner insurance company yesterday to see if I am covered, also great advice, (thanks Mr. Knowitall)

    Thank you for the valuable information flyingron. As far as lawyer referrals, my main question is this; I make above poverty level income, but do not make enough money to afford an attorney. Are there options out there for people like me to get lower cost lawyers? Or do people like me just need to let the plaintiff win a default judgement?? I have never been in any kind of trouble before and never have needed a lawyer, but after making a few calls yesterday to lawyers, they all are requesting retainers of between $5k - $20k. Which is an amount I simply do not have and cannot afford. Again, any information someone can send my way would be extremely appreciated. I still have some time to file an answer to the lawsuit but as of now I cannot afford an attorney to represent me or to file an answer. Any help would be appreciated, thank you in advance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,217

    Default Re: Sued for Defamation Over a Yelp Review

    Quote Quoting Yelper
    View Post
    Disagreeable, thank you very much for all your valuable advice. Yes, I can back everything up in court, as I stated above my review is the absolute truth. And I have sent the complaint to my homeowner insurance company yesterday to see if I am covered, also great advice, (thanks Mr. Knowitall)

    Thank you for the valuable information flyingron. As far as lawyer referrals, my main question is this; I make above poverty level income, but do not make enough money to afford an attorney. Are there options out there for people like me to get lower cost lawyers? Or do people like me just need to let the plaintiff win a default judgement?? I have never been in any kind of trouble before and never have needed a lawyer, but after making a few calls yesterday to lawyers, they all are requesting retainers of between $5k - $20k. Which is an amount I simply do not have and cannot afford. Again, any information someone can send my way would be extremely appreciated. I still have some time to file an answer to the lawsuit but as of now I cannot afford an attorney to represent me or to file an answer. Any help would be appreciated, thank you in advance.
    Wait and see what your homeowner's insurance company says. While its preferable to have an attorney, representing yourself is better than just losing the case by default.

    I suspect that what they are hoping is that it won't actually go to court. They are likely hoping that you will settle with them which would include taking down the bad review.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    732

    Default Re: Sued for Defamation Over a Yelp Review

    just wondering,, how did they know you were the one who wrote the review, did you sign your name on it or something?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Sued for Defamation Over a Yelp Review

    "IIworking", thank you for your comment, I just received official word, my homeowners insurance has denied to take the case do to no "Bodily Injury" or "Property Damage". So I am officially on my own now.

    That being said, "tonynewman" asked a very important question, how did the store owner know the review was mine?...They don't and my name is not attached to the Yelp review as all reviewers have "handles" we use. It is my understanding that Yelp does not reveal true identities of their reviewers unless under court order (Can someone confirm?) so I believe the store owner used my personal information to match up the Yelp review in question and obtain my residence address and serve me. The store owner had made a photo copy of my I.D. for the purchase. Any thoughts guys? Again, thank you in advance.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,217

    Default Re: Sued for Defamation Over a Yelp Review

    Quote Quoting Yelper
    View Post
    "IIworking", thank you for your comment, I just received official word, my homeowners insurance has denied to take the case do to no "Bodily Injury" or "Property Damage". So I am officially on my own now.

    That being said, "tonynewman" asked a very important question, how did the store owner know the review was mine?...They don't and my name is not attached to the Yelp review as all reviewers have "handles" we use. It is my understanding that Yelp does not reveal true identities of their reviewers unless under court order (Can someone confirm?) so I believe the store owner used my personal information to match up the Yelp review in question and obtain my residence address and serve me. The store owner had made a photo copy of my I.D. for the purchase. Any thoughts guys? Again, thank you in advance.
    Why did you allow someone to take a photocopy of your ID for a retail purchase?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    not in a prison
    Posts
    732

    Default Re: Sued for Defamation Over a Yelp Review

    I really don't think yelp would give info to a private party,, if they did get such things,, I would think that evidence would have been in the papers you were served. for the most part those sites will only give personal info to police.

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