Visitor Question

Libel of business partner caused violation of constitutional rights…

Submitted By: M (Canoga Park, CA, USA)

I started a company with another individual. He repeatedly operated the company in violation of the law. I advised him if he didn’t stop the illegal operations I would file a complaint with the regulating California State Agency, i.e. the California Public Utilities Commission.

I was fired and not paid $44,500 in back wages nor the 10% of the company’s monthly Net profits (in perpetuity) as per my employment agreement. I filed a complaint with the PUC and the owner of the company filed a libelous and false police report with the LAPD alleging Extortion and Theft.

The owner knew these allegations were untrue and only had the objective of getting a Police Report DRE Number so they could claim that the LAPD had filed Extortion charges against me, which they knew was untrue, and build a story as being the victim of a “disgruntled employee” so they could convince the PUC employee to quash my complaint, which she did.

I never got a response from the PUC regarding my complaint and thus I have been injured by violations of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, my access to the courts, etc.

Federal case law holds that the denial of a constitutional right is a violation of the constitution in and of itself. The company currently brings in about $300,000 per month, and the guy I started the company with just got out of federal prison in August of 2013 for Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud.

My Question: Do I have a valid case for Defamation, i.e., Libel, and what would the Cause of Action be for the libelous document that resulted in my being denied a fair and competent investigation of my complaint with the PUC? Any perspective you could give here would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear M,

Defamation is generally defined as a patently untrue statement made by one or more parties verbally or in writing which causes financial loss to the defamed individual.

If the information given to the police was untrue, you may not have to prove how you were financially “injured” by the statements. This is because Extortion and Theft crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude. They are also considered “per se” defamation.

Per se defamation doesn’t require the victim (defamed party) to prove anything other than the statements were made and they were untrue.

The police report, and/or any other defamatory statements made by your partner have no legal effect in your PUC complaint. That complaint is a separate action and will only deal with alleged violations of the California Public Utilities Commission regulations. Their only power is to investigate violations of those regulations.

From the facts you present, your U.S. and/or California State Constitutional rights were not violated. Your claim lies within state laws regarding criminal and civil matters.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 16, 2014

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