My son, who just turned 19 is currently in a county jail on charges related to stealing some items. In his late adolescence, he was hanging out with kids my husband and I didn't approve of and ended up dropping out of school. After talking with his girlfriend I suspected our son was using alcohol and other drugs. As a family we attended counseling and finally, as parents had to make the difficult decision to send him for drug and alcohol treatment against his will. He was in treatment until he turned 18 and was sober. A few months later he relapsed and began stealing things to fund his addiction. We hired a top notch attorney and as of the present time he is awaiting sentencing. Here is the problem: My sister's ex-husband told his 13 year old son (my nephew and my son's cousin) that Aunt X and Uncle X (us) are 85% responsible for where my son is (in jail) because we weren't good parents. I am hurt, angry and upset because not only did I do what was in my son's best interest, but I am also a practicing Licensed Social Worker in Michigan. I have a close knit relationship with my sister and this nephew in particular, as does my son. The fact is that my son is in jail because he made a choice to steal something to satisfy his addiction. My ex-brother-in-law's statement will likely impact my young nephew's opinion and trust in me and in our family. Furthermore, his statements could potentially impact my credibility as a social worker because I work directly with adolescents. I am considering bringing legal action against him for defamation of character. Would this case have any merit? I would like to send him a message (via legal action) that this is not acceptable behavior and has the potential of negatively impacting my career.