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Defamation of Character letter to Slanderer

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Defamation of Character letter to Slanderer Powered By Docstoc
					                                           August 4, 2006



Slanderer
Address

Re:     Public statements impugning the character of ______________                          made     at
        ____________on ______________ (date), which amount to Slander Per Se.

Dear Slanderer,

       I have been retained by ____________________ (client name) for the purpose of
obtaining a written retraction by you of public statements you made to my client and his two
children while they were shopping at “The Gap” on Milwaukee Street in Boise, Idaho on
____________(date).

       [insert a recitation of statements made, but it is likely that she will try to deny, therefore it
might be better to stay general rather than argue over the content of specific words that may or
may not have been spoken]

        The statements you made constituted an accusation that my client had engaged in
criminal conduct, which constitutes slander per se under Idaho law. [John, note that the
defamatory nature of groundless criminal accusations is treated generally in, Libel and Slander:
Charge of Being a “Crook,” 1 ALR3d 844.] The Idaho Supreme Court summarized the law in
respect to slander per se as follows in Barlow v. International Harvester Co., 95 Idaho 881, 522
P.2d 1102 (1974):

                 Defamatory utterances regarding an individual are slanderous per se, that
        is, actionable without allegation and proof of special damage, if they fall into one
        of four categories. One of these categories comprises utterances which impute
        “conduct constituting a criminal offense chargeable by indictment or by
        information either at common law or by statute and of such kind as to involve
        infamous punishment [death or imprisonment] or moral turpitude conveying the
        idea of major social disgrace.” Cinquanta v. Burdett, 154 Colo. 37, 388 P.2d
        779, 780 (1963); W.L. Prosser, Handbook of the Law of Torts § 112 (4th ed.
        1971); Restatement of Torts § 571 (1938).

95 Idaho at 890. The Idaho Supreme Court continues to adhere to the general precepts of
slander per se, as announced in the Barlow decision. In Wiemer v. Rankin, 117 Idaho 566, 790
P.2d 347 (1990) the court declared in a libel action that, “A statement imputing that a person is
guilty of a serious crime such as homicide is defamatory per se.”
         I have not cited these Idaho precedents merely for the purpose of lecturing you on the law,
but instead to both impress upon you the serious nature of the accusations you have made against
my client, and to allow you to verify the legal basis underlying the Idaho law that applies to these
accusations. If necessary, I will promptly initiate a civil action against you seeking both
damages and a permanent restraining order against you based upon the slanderous accusations
you have made against my client. At this time my client is willing to settle this matter short of
litigation if you will agree in writing to the following terms submitted to my office within ten
(10) days of the date of this letter. The terms are as follows:

          1.     A signed written retraction of the statements you made to my client at “The Gap”
                 on _______ (date).

          2.     A signed written statement that you will never again repeat these statements, or
                 similar statements to the same effect, to anyone in public or private; or in any
                 manner either re-affirm your previous statements by act or deed, or in any manner
                 repudiate or rescind the retraction you have made pursuant to the term stated in
                 paragraph 1.

          3.     A written agreement that you will make no effort or attempt to ever again
                 communicate or contact either my client or his children in any manner
                 whatsoever.

          4.     A written agreement that you will refrain from ever again approaching in any
                 manner or by any means, or coming within 30 feet of my client or his children at
                 any place, private or public.

       Should you fail to agree to these terms within 10 days of the date of this letter, a civil
action will be commenced against you in _______________District Court, ___________County,
seeking compensatory damages for slander per se, compensatory damages for intentional and
negligent infliction of emotional distress, punitive damages for your malicious and outrageous
conduct, and a permanent restraining order, punishable by contempt, preventing you from ever
again having any contact with, or being in near proximity to, my client or his children.

       This is a very serious matter, and under the circumstances, I believe that my client has
made a very reasonable offer in order to quietly resolve this matter without undue expense to
you, or having his family endure further emotional stress arising from the public litigation
involving your slanderous statements.

          I look forward to your prompt reply and acceptance of the terms offered to resolve this
matter.


                                                     Sincerely,

				
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Description: Defamation of Character letter to Slanderer.