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  1. #1

    Unhappy Can You Be Sued for Libel for Something You Say in a Police Report

    My question involves defamation in the state of: Texas

    I'm very scared & upset. Mostly confused: the police are all telling me different things.

    Almost a month ago I had an argument with my (then) boyfriend. He accused me of cheating on him, due to me having a mixed CD in my car. (I only wish I were joking, and in case you're wondering, NO, I have never cheated on him nor ever had the inkling too). He was driving my car with just him & I in it, reached over, grabbed my CD, and broke it into many little pieces. (I have it saved in a ziploc bag). I told him to pull over (breaking something of mine like that sent out red flags). He wouldn't pull over but proceeded to drive back home (we live in the same apartment complex, not in the same unit though). I told him I never wanted to see him again (because I was now afraid of him, and have NEVER in my life been in this kind of situation). He then replied "I'll make your life a living hell". We got home, he pulled over and gets out of the car screaming profanities. No one was around to witness any of this. This was 5:30pm.

    The very next morning, I was told by my bank that 8 purchases were made online with my debit card. It was NOT me. They knew this and closed my card for me. The purchases were all made at random websites that you couldn't purchase anything tangible at- just websites such as this one, where you sign up, and use their online service, but you have to pay for it. This happened at 8 different websites all within hours of each other. Within the hour, I then get 40-50 phone calls from local and non-local companies saying I contacted them online through my email (the email address they gave me had my 1st and last name in it, BUT it was not MY account. It was a fake one, with my name on it). All of these companies also had my First and Last name. Phone number. The fake/bogus email address with my name on it, and my home address. Of course I thought it was my now ex boyfriend, as he did say he would make my life a living hell not even 24 hours prior to all of this. I asked all of these companies including the bank when this all took place. They were all within hours of each other on the same day. I was SCARED. Mainly because I knew it had to be my ex, and he lived 20 seconds from me. Very very scary. So, I contacted my leasing office and asked them if I could relocate (like I said, to me this is all a big deal, I've never had to deal with someone that scared me like this before). They said I could not relocate but could file a report with the police. After 3 days I filed a report. I was too scared that if I did, he would try and do something back to me. Even if the law was on my side, I was still scared, it didn't matter!

    I filed the report though. Told them everything that happened. It's considered identity fraud I was told. They asked who I thought did this. I told them who, and told them WHY I thought this. I then said I didn't have any proof, but was sure it was my ex. It was too coincidental and not only that, but 3 weeks prior he mentioned to me how he is so smart that he even has my debit card number memorized just from seeing it a few times (I know- weird to tell someone that). He likes to prove how smart he is sometimes, and I ignore it...it's harmless usually. Then weeks later, he says he'll make my life a living hell, and not even 24 hours after that, the same debit card is used on 8 different websites. And all the phone calls. I knew it had to be him.

    The police report was filed. 3 weeks later (being today), I get a phone call from him saying the cops just came to his house and said I accused him of identity theft. He then said he had spoken to the Sergeant and is going to "take it even further than what I did...." and get me "for libel". He said the Sergeant told him to call me and notify me of that and to tell me to not contact him back.

    I knew I did nothing wrong but protect myself, and if I had caught him in the act to begin with & wasn't scared, I wouldn't have asked the police to get involved to catch the criminal. I didn't care who it was, I just wanted them to not get away with it! But, yes, I honestly thought it was him. And still think so.

    I called the police department and told them he said he was going to get me for libel. I thought surely he was saying it to scare me. Well, the police said he CAN get me for libel IF I said I thought he did it in the report, just to be malicious. I don't understand. I wanted it to stop and the person to get caught and YES, get in trouble for it. So, my question is, CAN I get sued or get in trouble for this? I can't believe this is happening when all I was dong was trying to protect myself. I have a very clean record and my whole life have been the "good/boring girl" JUST to stay out of trouble with the law. And now...this....and maybe to some it's silly and not a big deal. But to me this is huge. And I'm afraid that by trying to protect myself, I screwed myself over.

    Can I get in trouble if they find out it was someone else (I honestly do not see how it could have been ANYONE else though)? Or if they can't find the person who did it? What steps do I need to take? When I call the police department, they tell me different things each time. I can't affords a lawyer, or I would already have one and not be here.

    Sorry for the length of this, I didn't want to leave anything important out. Any help at all is greatly appreciated. Please.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Toledo, OH
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    Default Re: Is It Considered Libel for Something I Said in a Police Report

    You told the police what you honestly believed. There is no crime in that. The officer is correct that you could be dragged to court for libel if you were making it up to try to get back at your boyfriend (being malicious), but since you reported what you honestly believed, there's little to be sued for.

    Let him bluster. People claim they're going to sue all the time. Then they find out that they actually have to pay for the attorney, it doesn't work the way it does on TV, most attorneys do not work on contingency (and most certainly not for cases of "My ex-girlfriend said something bad about me, WAAAAH!") - and they don't sue.

    Suing? Is expensive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Is It Considered Libel for Something I Said in a Police Report

    If you swore it was him in a complaint without proof, that is questionable. If you only said it is possible it is him when filing out a police report as you verily believe, for investigative purposes, you are basically immune from suit.

    It is "somewhat" similar to giving testimony on the witness stand.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is It Considered Libel for Something I Said in a Police Report

    Quote Quoting BOR
    View Post
    If you swore it was him in a complaint without proof, that is questionable. If you only said it is possible it is him when filing out a police report as you verily believe, for investigative purposes, you are basically immune from suit.

    It is "somewhat" similar to giving testimony on the witness stand.
    Bor -
    What do you mean when you say it's "somewhat" similar to giving testimony on the witness stand.

    Can someone be sued for saying something about someone on the witness stand? I'm somewhat confused?

    Also, what if she stated to the police "I think" it may be my boyfriend, would that be different?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    9,096

    Default Re: Is It Considered Libel for Something I Said in a Police Report

    I would also completely disregard the story told to you by the man that you just broke up with and then stole your identity.

    If you are curious what the officer said, ask the officer.

    You will find that if you stick to the truth... including using words like, "I have no evidence but I believe....", you will be fine.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is It Considered Libel for Something I Said in a Police Report

    By the way, you did nothing wrong.

    You were being harassed. Any reasonable person would have come to the same conclusion you did.

    This is no different than seeing someone running from your car as the car alarm goes off and reporting that person to the police. You have circumstantial evidence but nothing else.

    You can be wrong.

    You would be surprised at the number of people on DEATH ROW on circumstantial evidence.

    Your ex knows your buttons and is pushing them.

    Don't talk to him again... this may include getting a protective or restraining order if you have to.

    I do believe him to be "one of those" ex's. Take precautions.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is It Considered Libel for Something I Said in a Police Report

    Quote Quoting BeenThroughThis
    View Post
    Bor -
    What do you mean when you say it's "somewhat" similar to giving testimony on the witness stand.

    Can someone be sued for saying something about someone on the witness stand? I'm somewhat confused?
    Generally a witness in court is immune from any tort liability for doing such, as I understand the law. There may be exceptions. I would have to research that further. Perjury, if applicable, is another matter.

    This protection is based on the fact of other immunities granted officials, such as Judicial Immunity, Prosecutorial Immunity, qualified immunity for police, etc. If witnesses did not enjoy such immunity any defendant could sue the person claiming they lied.

    Also, what if she stated to the police "I think" it may be my boyfriend, would that be different?
    Yes, as a person can say a "photo" the police show them "looks like" a person, otherwise investigations will grind slowly if they do not know who investigate.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Is It Considered Libel for Something I Said in a Police Report

    Quote Quoting BOR
    View Post
    Generally a witness in court is immune from any tort liability for doing such, as I understand the law. There may be exceptions. I would have to research that further. Perjury, if applicable, is another matter.

    This protection is based on the fact of other immunities granted officials, such as Judicial Immunity, Prosecutorial Immunity, qualified immunity for police, etc. If witnesses did not enjoy such immunity any defendant could sue the person claiming they lied.



    Yes, as a person can say a "photo" the police show them "looks like" a person, otherwise investigations will grind slowly if they do not know who investigate.
    Thanks Bor.
    One more question.
    If someone continually lies in affidavits, that are so easy to prove that they are lying, what can be done?
    Also, the attorney that keeps presenting these lying affidavits to the court, can she be held accountable?
    The lawyer knows they are lies from questions answered during previous depositions.
    What, if any actions can be taken?
    Basically, what can you do if a lawyer who has yet won one Motion for their client, but keeps inundating the court with motion after motion after motion.
    Who is more at fault? The person lying in the affidavits, the lawyer who is encouraging this, or both?
    Any response would be greatly appreciated.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: Is It Considered Libel for Something I Said in a Police Report

    If that has nothing to do with the original inquiry, please start a new thread and provide enough context for people to figure out what you're talking about.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Can You Be Sued for Libel for Something You Say in a Police Report

    Sorry, I will

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