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Is it slander to report information to the police?


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#1 Ohiosally

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:36 AM

I reported information to the police about someone that I was told had many guns. I then also called back the police and said I wasn't sure if this is true or not, and they should not listen to me (retracted what I said) and that this was told to me by somebody else (and I gave the name) No damages were done to this person, and no investigation ensued. Now this person is suing me for defamation. Aren't there laws protecting when reporting to police officials? I never did this with any malice but for protection because I had an order of protection against this person, and it had on the TOP, that guns should be confiscated. And three guns were, but not as I originally told the police which was that he had loads and loads of guns. What laws can protect me or what source can I find this online? The person filing the suit is an ohio resident and the defamation suit was filed in Ohio, I called the police in Ohio over the phone when I was in California. I am not a resident of Ohio. I have only been there twice to visit a friend.Thank you.



#2 Fallen

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:39 AM

"Now this person is suing me for defamation."

If you've been sued, unless it's a small claims court-level matter, you definitely talk with an attorney.

Even if the police HAD conducted an investigation, what you describe isn't "slander" or "defamation".

 

"Aren't there laws protecting when reporting to police officials?"

This isn't a relevant aspect of the situation.

 

"What laws can protect me ..."

The truth and, in this case, the fact that the dumbass should have sued you in California.  :)

"... or what source can I find this online?"

Please do not limit your research to "online" (I'll never understand why folks seem to insist that this is the only way to conduct research/gather information).

 

What you can do is research how to file an answer in this Ohio court after you have been served with a lawsuit.  Personally, I'd cite not being an Ohio resident and that the court has no jurisdiction over me and that I've no business there, and I'd also toss in that the dolt was not harmed by your call and in fact I'd mention the protective order.  If you don't figure how to navigate this (and it's not something someone will walk you through online), I suggest you contact an Ohio attorney.


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#3 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 01:25 PM

I agree with the previous poster, this is a matter you may want to discuss with a local Ohio Lawyer to address.



#4 pg1067

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 09:48 AM

I reported information to the police about someone that I was told had many guns. I then also called back the police and said I wasn't sure if this is true or not, and they should not listen to me (retracted what I said) and that this was told to me by somebody else (and I gave the name)

 

Just as an FYI, people sometimes retract things that are true because they regret having reported them.  The police know this.

 

 

 

No damages were done to this person, and no investigation ensued. Now this person is suing me for defamation.

 

Something must have happened.  Otherwise the person wouldn't have known to sue you about it.  Right?

 

 

 

Aren't there laws protecting when reporting to police officials?

 

Yes, but they're not absolute.

 

 

 

I never did this with any malice but for protection because I had an order of protection against this person, and it had on the TOP, that guns should be confiscated. And three guns were, but not as I originally told the police which was that he had loads and loads of guns. . . . The person filing the suit is an ohio resident and the defamation suit was filed in Ohio, I called the police in Ohio over the phone when I was in California. I am not a resident of Ohio.

 

How is it that you obtained an order of protection against this person who lives 2,000 or so miles away from you, and why did you believe you needed to make a report about someone so far away having guns?

 

 

 

Even if the police HAD conducted an investigation, what you describe isn't "slander" or "defamation".

 

I disagree.  That the person in question had the guns is a statement of fact that is of and concerning this person.  It is essentially an allegation that the person committed a crime, which is unquestionably defamatory.  The best defenses likely will be the alleged lack of damages and the possibility that the report was privileged.

 

 

 

What you can do is research how to file an answer in this Ohio court after you have been served with a lawsuit.  Personally, I'd cite not being an Ohio resident and that the court has no jurisdiction over me and that I've no business there

 

There is no jurisdictional issue here.  The poster availed him/herself of Ohio law to make a complaint to law enforcement in Ohio regarding an Ohio resident.  This is textbook Calder v. Jones.



#5 adjusterjack

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 10:17 AM

 I had an order of protection against this person, and it had on the TOP, that guns should be confiscated.

 

Something doesn't make sense here.

 

Why did you have an order of protection? Ex boyfriend, ex husband. If you live in CA and he is in OH why would you even be concerned about his guns.

 

As for the lawsuit I'll bet he's counting on you not responding properly so he can get a default judgment against you and make your life miserable in exchange for you ratting him out about the guns.

 

Hire yourself a lawyer.

 

By the way, reporting that he had three guns would have been a defensible statement of fact, reporting that he had loads and loads of guns could rise to a level of malicious defamation.

 

Recanting your report doesn't count. You made the report and there were consequences. He's got the right to sue you for it.


Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.





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