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Victim of Assault--Libel Issues

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cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
It sounds to me as if Pedas2 really, really, really wants to be sure the HOA board is aware of the incident; perhaps in the hopes that they will somehow force the neighbor out.

I think that Pedas2 needs to either file a police report, or don't file a police report, but other than that drop the entire thing until or unless the neighbor takes additional action.
 

quincy

Senior Member
It sounds to me as if Pedas2 really, really, really wants to be sure the HOA board is aware of the incident; perhaps in the hopes that they will somehow force the neighbor out.

I think that Pedas2 needs to either file a police report, or don't file a police report, but other than that drop the entire thing until or unless the neighbor takes additional action.
I agree that Pedas2 needs to decide how seriously he wants to take this (seemingly relatively minor) assault.

If he wants to avoid annoying the neighbor and possibly irritating other homeowners, he might want to chalk the incident up to an overheated debate and leave it at that.

I still strongly advise that he not risk defaming the neighbor by speaking out against him to uninvolved others. That resolves nothing and can create legal issues for Pedas2 that are best avoided.
 

Pedas2

Junior Member
Because we don’t know what was said by the neighbor during his “rant,” the sweatshirt grabbing might have seemed in person more threatening than it does in print. And the neighbor had no right to grab Pedas2.

But to me this does not sound like an incident that all of the homeowners in the HOA need to concern themselves with.

The neighbor was upset at the installation of a streetlight and kept ranting about it.
 

Pedas2

Junior Member
I agree that Pedas2 needs to decide how seriously he wants to take this (seemingly relatively minor) assault.

If he wants to avoid annoying the neighbor and possibly irritating other homeowners, he might want to chalk the incident up to an overheated debate and leave it at that.

I still strongly advise that he not risk defaming the neighbor by speaking out against him to uninvolved others. That resolves nothing and can create legal issues for Pedas2 that are best avoided.

There were two witnesses, so wouldn't it be difficult to win a defamation case?
 

quincy

Senior Member
There were two witnesses, so wouldn't it be difficult to win a defamation case?
No defamation case is easy to win. Free speech has pretty powerful roots in this country.

But it is costly to be sued and it is costly to defend against a claim of defamation, witnesses or not. In fact, witnesses can add to the cost of a suit because they must be deposed.

They are not small claims actions where you can go into court with little knowledge of the rules of procedure and with little preparation and expect success. These suits almost always require an attorney’s assistance.

I still recommend you say nothing to others about your incident with the neighbor. This was your dispute with the neighbor and your business.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
I'm astonished that we have now entertained TWO threads based on nothing but hypotheticals from the same OP. (Yes, I'm part of the "we" that I refer to.)
 

quincy

Senior Member
I'm astonished that we have now entertained TWO threads based on nothing but hypotheticals from the same OP. (Yes, I'm part of the "we" that I refer to.)
The situation described here is not a hypothetical. Pedas2 is looking for a solution to the problem he is having with his neighbor.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
The next time he starts an email debate with neighbors, if I respond by informing people of the incident, can the neighbor falsely accuse me of libel or sue me for libel? How about if I tell people at an HOA meeting and the aggressor is present? What burdens would that put on me and the witnesses?
It is hypothetical. The OP is hypothesizing that the neighbor is going to start some sort of email debate.
 

quincy

Senior Member
It is hypothetical. The OP is hypothesizing that the neighbor is going to start some sort of email debate.
Pedas2 has as the basis for his questions a specific incident and he is inquiring on how best to handle it. In other words, he is not pulling something out of thin air to discuss what-ifs.

I personally find nothing wrong with his thread here or his other thread.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
I'm astonished that we have now entertained TWO threads based on nothing but hypotheticals from the same OP. (Yes, I'm part of the "we" that I refer to.)
I have never understood why some folks here get all worked up about hypothetical posts to begin with. People seeking to learn things may ask their questions in hypothetical situations and there can be value in getting an explanation of how that situation would play out. No one here is obligated to answer any thread, so if you don't like what appears to be a hypothetical question you are free not to participate. But I find the posts that seem to discourage the posts or are outright hostile to them to be...baffling.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
I have never understood why some folks here get all worked up about hypothetical posts to begin with. People seeking to learn things may ask their questions in hypothetical situations and there can be value in getting an explanation of how that situation would play out. No one here is obligated to answer any thread, so if you don't like what appears to be a hypothetical question you are free not to participate. But I find the posts that seem to discourage the posts or are outright hostile to them to be...baffling.
I'll reply at the SMF
 

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