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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    Default How to Determine Sender of Defamatory Anonymous Postal Mails

    My question involves defamation in the state of: CA (sender location unknown)

    My widowed / single mom sister received a vicious anonymous letter accusing her of being mentally ill, committing insurance fraud and abusing her child with special needs. It also stated that her other child was sexually assaulted by a man who was previously accused of assaulting her child with special needs but that my sister had "hidden" this information from the cops to "protect" the child's "reputation". The assault case involving her child with special needs was dismissed & the individual had never had any contact with her other child. Both children are minors. My sister lives in California and has no idea who could have written this to her.

    Coincidentally, CPS contacted her a few days after she received the vitriolic letter. It is her suspicion that this letter writer may have also reported her to CPS. Since the allegations are patently false, is there a way she could find out who the sender is? Will USPS even help her? CPS investigated, said they will close the case as unfounded but she has not heard from them after that (maybe due to the lockdown / shut down)? Is there anyway the police would help her or is this purely a "civil matter"? How can she find out who this individual is? Does she have a defamation case against this anonymous person?,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    2,213

    Default Re: How to Determine Sender of Defamatory Anonymous Postal Mails

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    is there a way she could find out who the sender is?
    I'm sure the answer is yes. If your intent was to ask the folks who post here how your mother (a woman who is completely unknown to us) might identify the sender of an anonymous piece of mail, I hope it rather obvious that no one here will have the faintest clue (unless your mother wants to hire a private investigator or see if the police will take any interest in the matter, which they likely won't since it's not a criminal matter).


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    Will USPS even help her?
    No one here can intelligently rule out the possibility, but she won't know unless she asks.


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    Is there anyway the police would help her or is this purely a "civil matter"?
    As mentioned, the police aren't likely to involve themselves. It's barely even a civil matter, and I wouldn't even expect the USPS to get involved unless the letter violates some postal regulation.


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    Does she have a defamation case against this anonymous person?
    Defamation occurs when Person A makes a false statement of fact about Person B to at least one person other than Person B. The statement must harm Person B's reputation and, in general, must cause Person B actual monetary damage. The letter you described may have contained one or more false statements of fact about your mother, but the letter was (as far as you know) only sent to your mother. Therefore, it cannot give rise to a viable defamation claim by her (although the other people mentioned in the letter could, conceivably, have viable claims against the sender because the statements about them were made to your mother).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,080

    Default Re: How to Determine Sender of Defamatory Anonymous Postal Mails

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    I'm sure the answer is yes. If your intent was to ask the folks who post here how your mother (a woman who is completely unknown to us) might identify the sender of an anonymous piece of mail, I hope it rather obvious that no one here will have the faintest clue (unless your mother wants to hire a private investigator or see if the police will take any interest in the matter, which they likely won't since it's not a criminal matter).




    No one here can intelligently rule out the possibility, but she won't know unless she asks.




    As mentioned, the police aren't likely to involve themselves. It's barely even a civil matter, and I wouldn't even expect the USPS to get involved unless the letter violates some postal regulation.




    Defamation occurs when Person A makes a false statement of fact about Person B to at least one person other than Person B. The statement must harm Person B's reputation and, in general, must cause Person B actual monetary damage. The letter you described may have contained one or more false statements of fact about your mother, but the letter was (as far as you know) only sent to your mother. Therefore, it cannot give rise to a viable defamation claim by her (although the other people mentioned in the letter could, conceivably, have viable claims against the sender because the statements about them were made to your mother).
    It was also apparently sent to CPS. Although CPS found the case to be unfounded, that does not mean that the anonymous letter writer won't communicate the same information to someone else, since providing the info to CPS went no where.

    Your sister has to have some clue of someone who is unsatisfied with the fact that the case involving her special needs child was dismissed. Could it be someone in the child's paternal family who felt that your sister didn't pursue the case hard enough? Is the accused in question someone who is still in your sister's life and therefore someone is upset about that?

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