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Half brother has being mailing out letters to people to discredit me. Any recourse?

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#1
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?

I live in Iowa.

My sister in law and half brother have been mailing out packets to friends and family listing untrue "facts" about me in order to discredit me.

They claim I have no job. I do have a job. I am self employed and have a 20 year old business that has been in profit the whole 20 years, and for which I file taxes on. In the packet there is a list of untrue things and screen shots of a private conversation I had with my brother in private facebook chat. We had an argument over the accusations when I approached him to ask him to stop saying things about me to people.

I have been the recipient of these untrue accusations and attacks for about 15 years. As a result, there is a lot of hostility from family and former friends being directed at me. It's been very distressful to me.

My aunt received one of the packets and has given it to me. She said my half brother called her and my uncle saying he had sent out many more.

There is a lot of background. I am not sure how much detail anyone needs to answer my question. If so, just ask.
 


quincy

Senior Member
#2
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?

I live in Iowa.

My sister in law and half brother have been mailing out packets to friends and family listing untrue "facts" about me in order to discredit me.

They claim I have no job. I do have a job. I am self employed and have a 20 year old business that has been in profit the whole 20 years, and for which I file taxes on. In the packet there is a list of untrue things and screen shots of a private conversation I had with my brother in private facebook chat. We had an argument over the accusations when I approached him to ask him to stop saying things about me to people.

I have been the recipient of these untrue accusations and attacks for about 15 years. As a result, there is a lot of hostility from family and former friends being directed at me. It's been very distressful to me.

My aunt received one of the packets and has given it to me. She said my half brother called her and my uncle saying he had sent out many more.

There is a lot of background. I am not sure how much detail anyone needs to answer my question. If so, just ask.
On quick glance, I see nothing that can support a defamation claim, despite the falsehoods being told about you.

For one thing, you say that your sister-in-law and half brother have been communicating falsehoods about you for 15 years. Reputational injury would have been evident long before now. Apparently those who have been the recipients of the falsehoods are either ignoring them or not believing them.

Private conversations if published would be true. Defamation requires that what is communicated is false.

And the type of falsehoods you say are being communicated, to the people whom you say are receiving them, would not rise to the level of defamation.

You could consult with an attorney in your area to discuss possible ways to get your half-brother and sister-in-law to stop spreading lies about you (perhaps a civil harassment order or a cease and desist letter) - and you could cease all communication with your half-brother and sister-in-law (on Facebook and elsewhere).

Most family disputes are difficult to resolve with a lawsuit and, although counseling for the entire family might be warranted, this can be tough to orchestrate.

Good luck.
 
#3
We don't need any more detail.

To determine whether or not you have grounds for a defamation lawsuit take that packet to a defamation attorney and review your options.
 
#5
It's been a while, but I wanted to follow up on this with what has happened.

I have an attorney. I live in Iowa.

We have sued, as of this past December.

Within the letter, my brother stated that I committed 4 crimes:

Tax evasion
Repeated felony assaults with hospitalizations required for the injured party
Financial elder abuse
Fraud

In my state we filed on the basis of defamation per se and are proceeding forward on the suit.

I will add, that during the interim of now and my last post, my half brother and his wife have continued their activities.
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
#6
It's been a while, but I wanted to follow up on this with what has happened.

I have an attorney. I live in Iowa.

We have sued, as of this past December.

Within the letter, my brother stated that I committed 4 crimes:

Tax evasion
Repeated felony assaults with hospitalizations required for the injured party
Financial elder abuse
Fraud

In my state we filed on the basis of defamation per se and are proceeding forward on the suit.

I will add, that during the interim of now and my last post, my half brother and his wife have continued their activities.
Why are they doing this?
 

quincy

Senior Member
#9
It's been a while, but I wanted to follow up on this with what has happened.

I have an attorney. I live in Iowa.

We have sued, as of this past December.

Within the letter, my brother stated that I committed 4 crimes:

Tax evasion
Repeated felony assaults with hospitalizations required for the injured party
Financial elder abuse
Fraud

In my state we filed on the basis of defamation per se and are proceeding forward on the suit.

I will add, that during the interim of now and my last post, my half brother and his wife have continued their activities.
Thank you for the update.

Good luck with your lawsuit.
 
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