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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Are Statements Slander If Made During a Report To the Police

    This story is TRUE. Exactly one year ago, my ex-girlfriend (we cohabitated for 13 years) began accusing me of cheating. Mind you, she made no specific claims, just general "I think you're cheating" comments. I left home for six days for a business meeting in Orlando, and when I returned, she started accusing me of doing " bad things". When I asked her what she was talking about, she stated "Bill (neighbor) told me everything". Within 24 hours, she proceeded straight to the police station and filed a domestic abuse complaint against me. Mind you, THERE WAS ABSOLUTLY NO EVIDENCE TO BACK THIS UP. She had three fingertip size discolorations on one arm and told the police that I "rared back his fist and coldcocked me". The fact is that she had recently seen a doctor for frequent , unexplained bruises. The doctor concluded that these were a result of her medication which made her more likely to bleed and/or bruise. She has been diagnosed with Multilple Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Borderline Personality and has been in the psych hospital seven different times. At any rate, she told the police an unbelieable amount of lies and I was promptly arrested and charged with felony abuse. I have nearly gone mad myself trying to figure out why she would fabricate such lies and be so vindictive. Fast forward to one week ago. During an evidence hearing for my criminal case, the District Attorney was compelled to turn over various pieces of evidence. What I received was so shocking that I still can't believe it. The ex said in her sworn statement to the police that "Bill" told her that I was having an affair with multiple co-workers, running a wife-swapping ring from a hair salon business that I co-own, filming and starring in pornagraphic movies, and that I am a "Vicodin addict". Furthermore, "Bill" said the same things in his sworn statement to the police concerning my character. "Bill" does not claim to be a witness to any abuse, but states that "this man is a bad man". I have never done anything to "Bill" in my life to provoke him. Incidentally, "Bill" and the ex are now a couple. There is absolutely no question in my mind that the lies that "Bill" told is what got this whole mess started. I have spent in excess of $85,000 during the past year to defend myself both criminally and civilly. Yes, you guessed it-I am being sued by the ex for my assets. "Bill" has helped her every step of the way and has recently boasted to people that he "even filled out all of the paperwork for her complaints against him". My question is this: Can I sue "Bill" for slander and libel per se since the lies that he has told are damaging on the face? Does "Bill" have immunity since his sworn statement to the police is being used in a criminal proceeding?
    Since the ex has admitted that "Bill" told her all of these statements, is she considered a third party to the slander? I have suffered extreme damages both personally and professionally from the lies. Please advise. And by the way, NONE of the lies can be proven, so truth as an absolute defense is not an option for "Bill".

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Are Statements Slander If Made During a Report To the Police

    If you can prove that Bill made false statements against you, and that those statements were false, you have a potential defamation claim. His statements to the police are probably privileged, and thus not a valid basis for a defamation claim. I doubt that you will get anywhere trying to recover your legal fees from Bill, given that it was your ex-girlfriend and not Bill who initiated charges against you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Are Statements Slander If Made During a Report To the Police

    Thanks for that insight. I have other witnesses that have come forward on their own in the past four days to say that "Bill" told them the same things that he initially told the police. A friend of mine actually confronted "Bill" on Thursday telling him that he needs to stop saying those things because it amounts to defamation. "Bill" then sent an employee of his to my friend's place of business on Friday to tell him that he really didn't say those things after all and to find out what proof I had. I guess it didn't dawn on "Bill" that I would be privvy to his statements as a part of my rights to a fair trial. Also, a friend of mine now tells me that last December, he saw my ex in the mall. He told her that he was sorry to hear that the two of us had broken up and she replied"Well, Bill told me everthing and I refuse to live with a porn addict". She never mentioned anything about abuse. My question is this: Can "Bill" use the police privilege defense if he told the same lies to people that had nothing to do with a police investigation? Since my ex is also telling people that have nothing to do with the police investigation that "Bill" told her these things, can her statements to others be used as evidence for my defamation case? I guess that the point that I'm now trying to make is that the lies in the police report are What tipped me off in the first place. But now, independent of the police report, I am finding out that the same things have been said to many people that were never in the "police report loop" in the first place. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Are Statements Slander If Made During a Report To the Police

    Any privilege associated with communication to the police would not exist in relation to communications made to third parties, even if the substance of the allegations is the same.

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