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  1. #1
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    Default Can I Be Sued for Making Complaints to a Regulatory Commission

    My question involves defamation in the state of: Ohio

    I filed complaints with the attorney general, state department of Agriculture, IRS, State Department of taxation, HSUS, USDA, National Dog Breed Club, and AKC concering a breeder violating different laws and policies. By the time the sheriff dragged his butt out to backyard breeder's house, she'd cleaned up most of her yard (dog diarrhea) and bought dog 4 thirty pound bags of fresh dog food. Funnily enough, she told the sheriff she only buys dog food weekly. He caught her several other lies, so he's going back for another friendly visit in a few weeks (he's suspicious too). He mentioned the backyard breeder had several of the letters from the agencies notified. The sheriff mentioned she could technically sue me for defamation of character in small claims court. She hasn't gotten the letters from the IRS, State Department of Taxation (breeding dogs, cows and goats for sale. I attached ads for all these animals she's posted around the internet) and Foresty svc about the trees she let a logging company cut down and remove (she lives on Nat'l Park Property.

    Yup, I'm madder than a red hornet.

    Oh, and I called the EPA and zoning commission about a collapsed structure on her property.

    Is it defamation if I believe these things to be illegal?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can I Be Sued for Making Complaints to More Than One Regulatory Commission

    Defamation is the making of a false statement of fact to at least one person other than the subject of the statement, which statement is harmful to the subject's reputation, and (generally) which statement results in actual, monetary damage to the subject of the statement. Except where the subject of the statement is a public figure, the subjective belief in the truth of the false statement is not a defense.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can I Be Sued for Making Complaints to More Than One Regulatory Commission

    Once upon a time I was acquainted with a women who tended to do things like that, whenever she got mad at someone or someone's child. Finally someone was so upset that they got the police involved, and she was arrested, had to pay fines of over 8000.00 and was prohibited from reporting anybody for anything during the 5 years she was on probation.

    So, not only can you get sued, but if one of the agencies decides you did false reporting, you could actually be arrested.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can I Be Sued for Making Complaints to More Than One Regulatory Commission

    in what time frame did you make all of these complaints? Did you allow any of them to actually have time to do anything about the situation?

    Dude, no matter how bad, you definitely went overboard with the complaints to an unreasonable extent and that can be proven. And even if not illegal you can bet you pissed that neighbor off completely! If enough of those agencies find "no cause", you might have issues.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can I Be Sued for Making Complaints to More Than One Regulatory Commission

    You can't be sued for defamation when you report something to a state agency. However you can be sued for damages as a result of the complaint that that made public and is proven false where there are damages . But it is not a defamation claim.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can I Be Sued for Making Complaints to More Than One Regulatory Commission

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    You can't be sued for defamation when you report something to a state agency. However you can be sued for damages as a result of the complaint that that made public and is proven false where there are damages . But it is not a defamation claim.
    But again, an arrest for false reporting is also possible.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can I Be Sued for Making Complaints to More Than One Regulatory Commission

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    You can't be sued for defamation when you report something to a state agency.
    That's not true. Anyone can sue anyone for anything. While such reports may be privileged, thereby giving the defendant a viable defense, the suit can still be filed, and the defendant will still have to deal with it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can I Be Sued for Making Complaints to More Than One Regulatory Commission

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Once upon a time I was acquainted with a women who tended to do things like that, whenever she got mad at someone or someone's child. Finally someone was so upset that they got the police involved, and she was arrested, had to pay fines of over 8000.00 and was prohibited from reporting anybody for anything during the 5 years she was on probation.

    So, not only can you get sued, but if one of the agencies decides you did false reporting, you could actually be arrested.
    I guess if I made it a habit, this seems quite reasonable. I'm in my 40's, never made anything more than a noise complaint or a car being broken into. And it's been about 15 years since I've had cause to even do that.... Though I have had a recent small disagreement with a neighbor dog. But I documented all the conversations prior to filing any complaint. I provided the neighbors with information about the breed of dogs we own (Cattle Dogs), they are territorial and pointed out their dog's are smaller terriers. When it kept happening, I provided a photo of their dog's inside my fence. We put up the fence bc their dog's were bothering mine, leaving a twelve foot area on both sides. I feel like I was super reasonable about that. I asked for, and followed animal control's suggestions.

    I actually, really do try not to have any unnecessary contact with law enforcement. They're busy, with really awful things. I don't want to be a waste of resources.

    Quote Quoting hr for me
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    in what time frame did you make all of these complaints? Did you allow any of them to actually have time to do anything about the situation?

    Dude, no matter how bad, you definitely went overboard with the complaints to an unreasonable extent and that can be proven. And even if not illegal you can bet you pissed that neighbor off completely! If enough of those agencies find "no cause", you might have issues.
    Probably about 3 weeks.

    While probably not the most prudent thing, I followed directions from an animal rights group. They didn't suggest the forestry service, I noted that on my own. They suggested any kind of social welfare benefits, but I don't have any reason to believe that to be the case. So I didn't do that one. I actually did try to stick to the legitimate.

    I carefully documented and quoted each law, giving my understanding. Then clipped supporting documentation to the complaint, noting what each document was. I always gave the reader an out. If I'd demonstrated inaccurate understanding and they found no reason to follow through, based on what I'd submitted; please disregard and I apologized for any inconvenience.

    She's since gotten a handful of fines. Can she still sue if she got all those fines?

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    But again, an arrest for false reporting is also possible.
    I tried to keep it factual. I mean I am mad, and it was a struggle. I slept overnight on each one; rereading the following day. But like I said above, I documented each point.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can I Be Sued for Making Complaints to More Than One Regulatory Commission

    Quote Quoting Cow Dog
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    I guess if I made it a habit, this seems quite reasonable. I'm in my 40's, never made anything more than a noise complaint or a car being broken into. And it's been about 15 years since I've had cause to even do that.... Though I have had a recent small disagreement with a neighbor dog. But I documented all the conversations prior to filing any complaint. I provided the neighbors with information about the breed of dogs we own (Cattle Dogs), they are territorial and pointed out their dog's are smaller terriers. When it kept happening, I provided a photo of their dog's inside my fence. We put up the fence bc their dog's were bothering mine, leaving a twelve foot area on both sides. I feel like I was super reasonable about that. I asked for, and followed animal control's suggestions.

    I actually, really do try not to have any unnecessary contact with law enforcement. They're busy, with really awful things. I don't want to be a waste of resources.


    Probably about 3 weeks.

    While probably not the most prudent thing, I followed directions from an animal rights group. They didn't suggest the forestry service, I noted that on my own. They suggested any kind of social welfare benefits, but I don't have any reason to believe that to be the case. So I didn't do that one. I actually did try to stick to the legitimate.

    I carefully documented and quoted each law, giving my understanding. Then clipped supporting documentation to the complaint, noting what each document was. I always gave the reader an out. If I'd demonstrated inaccurate understanding and they found no reason to follow through, based on what I'd submitted; please disregard and I apologized for any inconvenience.

    She's since gotten a handful of fines. Can she still sue if she got all those fines?



    I tried to keep it factual. I mean I am mad, and it was a struggle. I slept overnight on each one; rereading the following day. But like I said above, I documented each point.
    You reported her to the IRS and the Department of Taxation when you could not possibly know anything about her taxes and what she does or doesn't claim on her taxes.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can I Be Sued for Making Complaints to a Regulatory Commission

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    You reported her to the IRS and the Department of Taxation when you could not possibly know anything about her taxes and what she does or doesn't claim on her taxes.
    People have varying degrees of what level of personal information they share on social media. My attorney practices animal law, he asked a lot of questions concerning her income. Once my memory was jogged, I knew more than I realized.

    I have hired an attorney who practices animal law; he's provided a lot of free direction. So I try to keep my questions to a minimum.

    Back to my question, if found in violation of laws cited, can she win if she sues me?

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