Can I Sue for Defamation and Emotional Distress?
(Takoma Park, MD)
I have a question about a case dealing with marital problems. I do not know how intimate my husband has gone with this girl, I need help to let her know her limits and stop intruding in my home affairs.
She calls him at least 3 times every day and he never denies her any favor. He now takes my son to spend the weekend with her and I can't let this continue. He says she is lonely and when I called her to tell her to stop she said she doesn't know me.
I want to sue her for insulting me, saying I have been pretending and sleeping around and asking me who the father of my son is. I want my husband to take the DNA test and then press charges on her for defamation. She sent it in a text message in my phone. I want to sue for the emotional distress I have gone through because of her, and press charges.
My husband has even slept out 3 times because I accused him of having an affair with her. For over a year we argue about her at least 3 times in two weeks. I need her out of the life of my husband and kids. Can I sue for emotional distress, invasion of privacy, defamation and for her calling me a vile names? I need to do something. Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Can I Sue for Defamation and Emotional Distress?":
Yes you can sue her. Defamation would not be the initial or most important basis of your lawsuit though. The initial basis should be breach of contract. The law considers marriage a contract between two people. If a 3rd party comes along and manipulates either the husband or wife to breach the terms of the marriage contract then the party who interfered (the girl) can be considered by the law to have “Tortiously Interfered” with the marriage contract.
Tortious Interference with a Contract is not a crime; rather it is a civil matter. As part of your lawsuit you can ask the Judge to award you additional money for the mental anguish (emotional distress) the girl’s actions have caused you.
The law does not permit you to sue because the girl called you vile names. There is an exception though. If any one of the girl’s statements accused you of a crime of “moral turpitude” such as calling you a thief, a drug dealer, a person who sleeps around, or a prostitute, to name a few, then you can sue for Defamation of Character.
In your case instead of filing two lawsuits, you can file one and in the lawsuit ask for damages for Interference with the Marriage Contract. As a result of the girl's interference you can ask the Judge to award you money for the Mental Anguish you have endured from the day this whole matter began.
If you have already told her, or you start telling her now, not to call you any more and she continues to call, you can contact the police and tell them you want to report a Crime called “Telephone Harassment”. You can also seek a Temporary Restraining Order against her asking the court to order her to stop calling your home. If she violates the terms of the TRO she can also be arrested. You may have some difficulty convincing the police she harassed you if any of the calls were to your husband, and not to you.
Nevertheless you still can legitimately sue for Telephone Harassment and Defamation of Character. Other than that Berti all you can do is hope she goes away on her own.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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