I have looked at some past post here regarding libel/slander and they have been of some help…but I probably havent found them all…so if anyone can link to them that would be great.
Anyhow…the sitiuation and questions. Any answers, even to one specific point or question would be greatly appreciated.
My girlfriends friend moved into our house after hurricane Ivan damaged hers…
She lived here 7 months, give or take and was the most arrogant, useless, lazy human being I have ever meet.
First part. She had this midsized dog she could not/would not control. It attacked everyone except her. And I dont mean barked at…I mean rabid kujo mode running /jumping/lunging attempting to bite. The ONLY reason it never REALLY got a good bite in was people either dove outa door, leaped onto furniture, or I was right there to grab it by the throat and hold it to ground to show it who the dominant one was. It did manage a fair number of minor bites, scratches and torn clothing. We are talking 6 people give or take.
Well, I’d about had it with her and dog after 4 or 5 months. Then a friend comes over to use the computer for real work. I go inside, ask her to quit playing games so Bob can come in and use it and to put up the dog. The dog had seriously attacked Bob in the past. Well, she hated Bob (for no good reason). We stand outside talking for another 5 minutes then head in. Well, here comes Kujo full bore down the hall, with no verbal warning from her that he was still loose or had gotten loose. I’d bet money she had done it on purpose.
Well, that DID it. I talked it over with the girfriend and we decided something had to be done. I agreed to be the “bad” guy.
The next day I read the woman the riot act. I lay down some serious rules about when and where and how the dog was to be controled (which she later ignores resulting in a few more attacks). I let her know that I have shot at someone in defense of an innocent third party before and therefore I would certainly have no compunction about taking out an outa control dog by any means neccessary to save someone elses butt in another attack, regardless of risk of personal injury to me. Or that the dog might take a one way ride in the country or more likely the county animal shelter. I also let her know how useless and arrogant she was around the house.
Well, I leave, come back a few hours later and she is gone (thank gawd, maybe she moved out). Much later that evening she does come back. Unfortunately, she ends up there another gut wrenching couple of months (roughly a year ago from now).
Finally some peace. Then after awhile my girlfriend starts telling me things “Sheila” told her I had done or said. And these were things I KNOW I’ve never said or done and probably never would. My girlfriend agreed that she thought they sounded pretty out there (gee thanks for the after the fact support).
Well…that simmers in the back of my mind for awhile. Then recently my girlfriend reveals Sheila thinks that I beat her. Which could not be further from the truth. I have never raised a hand, held a gun or knife, or said I was gonna get one, thrown anything at her, or made any physical threats period.
So first question.
I’d bet money that if Sheila thinks I beat my girfriend, she has told other people the same thing (quite the gossip). Now running around telling people such a thing seems pretty darn serious. Its not kinda generic like he is a liar, or cheater, or stupid/lazy, etc etc…That is a VERY serious accusation, BOTH VERY immoral AND VERY illegal.
So, if we go to court, and the girlfriend testifies that I dont beat her (and plenty of character witnesses for me), as well as witness as to the “oddness” of Sheila, what kinda case do I have? What makes even bad for my girlfriend is that she works in a field that deals with spouse/child abuse…and her being talked about behind her back as a current victim herself certainly can’t be doing her any good either.
Which brings up the point of the value “damages”. I’ve a technical degree and have spent most of my adult working life as a civilian on military/weapons work. I have had secret level security clearances in the past. Now, its my understanding that if you DON"T pass a background check, and dont get a clearance, they DO NOT have to tell you WHY, and there is no real mechanism for trying to address any issues they think might be reason to deny it (anyone know if this is generally true?)…so a false charge can really jam you up there…And I would think if they got wiff of domestic abuse allegations, even if unofficial, that certainly would not help matters any.
Now, not getting a clearance could be a real impediment to any future work I do, and I could be working another 20-30 years. Even a 10k a year salary penalty really adds up there…So, would I have to prove I can not or did not get a security clearance ONLY because of the spread rumors? Or would the fact they were done and exist be enough for some serious compensation?
Which brings up why I discussed reading the riot act about the dog to Sheila in the first place. In hindsight, after thinking about other things she’s claimed I’ve done and the rumors of domestic violence. I dont think she was out apartment hunting afterwards. Given her devious nature and her “you’ll never make me leave” attitude, it would not surprise me that she went down to the sheriff’s office and filed some kinda complaint.
Now, the cops never showed up, or sent any letters or calls that I know of. So, could I now have some kinda police “permanent” record instigated by her that day?. Is there some way I can find out about such a record if it exists? (I live in Florida BTW if that helps any).
The possibility of this record worries me even more. It certainly seems a security background check would pick up something like that. Only she and I were present at the time, so could I sue for slander for that one? That it affects my ability to get a security clearance? Could I use the easily to show false rumors of domestic abuse and other blatant falsehoods as indicators that accusations in the police file are false as well?
Gawd, what a mess ehhh?
And the real kicker? It turns out her house was barely damaged in the hurricane…she could have moved back home one week later when the power came back on!
take care and thanks a million for any input!