Legal Question in Civil Rights Law in Pennsylvania

My x fiancÚ left me after cheating on me. He then tried to file civil suit to get back ring. Because he left me with loan in my name & many broken contracts with significant financial looses, he did not win. He then filed criminal suit with 3 charges of harrasment that was unfounded when we went to court with judge dropping all charges. My name was in local paper about the suit & charges against me. I work in that area with kids who have autism & in schools. Can I sue for defamation? He also moved 8 blocks from my home that I own one month after we were in court when he was living 20 minutes away. He is telling all people things like 'I am crazy' ,'I am stalker' & his friends will post jokes about it on Facebook without directly using my name. But I have no contact with him.

Asked on 6/29/13, 11:11 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

You can sue for defamation to the extent he is telling people you know that you are crazy. However, the damages for defamation may depend on whether you have really been harmed financially. If you have not been seriously harmed, you can get nominal damages only. However, him filing frivolous criminal charges is more interesting. You can sue for malicious prosecution and if you had to hire a lawyer to defend yourself you can recover as damages what you had to pay the lawyer. If the civil lawsuit was frivolous you can sue for malicious abuse of process.

Go and see a tort/defamation lawyer and see what the lawyer thinks. If nothing else, pay the lawyer to send the ex-fiance a very nasty letter that might scare the bejeezus out of the ex-fiance and make him stop running his mouth and defaming you. However, you have to be prepared to follow up with a lawsuit. And you also don't want to make matters worse. If he is the one with mental problems you don't want to have a lawyer send him a nasty letter and have the ex-fiance cause you bodily harm.

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Answered on 7/09/13, 9:37 pm


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