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slander & defamation laws in texas?? Texas

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  • slander & defamation laws in texas?? Texas

    Thank you in advance for your help and advice. I own a child care center in a small town in Texas. A former friend of mine has been spreading malicious, untrue rumors about me for about 3 years now. I've ignored them until this point, but now I've had enough. Since our friendship ended over my voicing my concern to her about her husband verbally and emotionally abusing her son from a previous marriage (witnessed by many others, too), she has spread many rumors about me. Her favorite one is that I have cheated on my husband (she starts this one about once a year and always a different person), my husband and I are divorcing, and the most recent one is that I have been in drug rehab in Colorado (I've been sitting with my 85 year old grandmother in physical rehab at a nursing home for double pneumonia and congestive heart failure). I've ignored her rumors up to now. At this point, when I've discovered about 90% of our small town have heard the rumors, I've had enough.

    As a side note, her husband is one of the 4 police officers in our small town. While on duty representing our town, he has also spread these rumors. He has spread them throughout our community and throughout the employees at our small city hall. These employees have continued to spread these rumors throughout our community. I've had enough!

    Her sister is a recent graduate from law school and their favorite thing to say is there is nothing I can do about the rumors because there are no laws against slander in Texas. Well, it's time I found out the truth and found a good attorney! If you have any advice or know any very good attorneys in the Houston/Beaumont area, please reply to this thread. I need some very good advice!

    Thanks so much!
    Kim

  • #2
    Honestly, if it is her opinion that you did these things, then she is free to share that opinion. Gossip isn't against the law. If she is always coming up with these off the wall rumors about you, it is very likely making her look much worse than it is you. In order to have a valid claim for slander, you would have to experience some kind of tangible loss or damages. Her shooting off her mouth alone does not give you an actionable claim.

    That said, sometimes a strongly worded letter from a lawyer to cease and desist is enough to make someone zip the lip. Perhaps your dear sister would kindly oblige.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by cantstopshopn View Post
      Her sister is a recent graduate from law school and their favorite thing to say is there is nothing I can do about the rumors because there are no laws against slander in Texas.
      ElleMD says, "Perhaps your dear sister would kindly oblige." How is it that Kim's sister is supposed to kindly oblige when it is the lady that is spreading the rumors sister that recently graduated law school? Just curious if you will ..

      GP

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      • #4
        so I read it wrong. Sue me
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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        • #5
          Gladly, please provide your name, rank, and serial number.
          Last edited by GoingPlaces; 01-24-2008, 10:26 AM.

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          • #6
            Thank you for taking the time to reply ElleMD. Yes, it is her sister. But, the main point is that I own a daycare center in this small town, and I do think all of these rumors have affected my business. Also, she knows they are not true. She's not just spreading gossip. She's been heard laughing about making them up. Regardless of all that, I do think a cease and desist letter will do the job and have a very good lawyer drawing one up for me (learned about them after reading on this site...thank you very much!) As for me, I'll just try to go on ignoring her. Thank you for your help. I truly appreciate it.

            Kim

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