I am not you client…you are not my lawyer…legal blah blah blah…
Lets assume I have a beef with someone. Its time to get paid and/or hit the court system.
Lets also assume that I do NOT have a history of running around sueing people or harassing my “target” in general. Lets also assume that I am not making up anything or lying in court or otherwise.
Can you get in trouble for harrassement/extortion/blackmail/something bad for threatening to sue someone?
Lets address what I THINK may be the easier aspect first. I threaten to sue for XYZ dollars. I tell the “target” “you know, if you pay me XYZ because you did ABC to me, I won’t sue you”. Would it make any difference (in terms of me getting in trouble with the man) if I actually filed the suit before taking XYZ dollars (or even making the “threat” in the first place). Or can we just exchange words without any legal paperwork being started with me maybe getting my XYZ dollars with the same legal risk (or no risk) to me?
The other part, does WHAT I am sueing for make any real difference?
On one end, I can see a situation like this. You got pissed because you hate Auburn and my Auburn football team kicked your guys ass last weekend so you burned my brand new car (with Auburn stickers) to the ground. It was worth exactly 20K, so if you give me 20k, I’ll be happy, none the worse for wear, and you wont have to go to jail or court.
On the other end of the spectrum, I tell my elderly and somewhat senile neighbor “You know, having pink curtains is against the homeowners association rules and they could throw you in jail for that. Sign over the title of your house to me and I won’t tell them about it”.
The first seems pretty damn legit to me. The other certainly seems IMHO to be somekind of bad thing that would rightly get me in trouble.
Then there appears to be a middle ground to me. Lets say I have reason to believe you are running around telling folks I diddle little kiddies, or drown kittens for kicks, or shoot baby fur seals for fun and profit. So, IMO and point of view I am definitely being libeled/slandered? and am not particularly happy about it. Seems like a legitimate beef. Yet, how “much” thats worth legal compensation wise seems pretty damn vague. I can’t really imagine asking for a few hundred and a promise (perhaps a legal document) to knock it off getting me in big trouble. On the other hand, asking for everything you have of value, with you ending up in the street destitute as a resulf just “feels” like something that would get me in trouble.
Of course I am sure there are a gazillion aspects I havent considered or outlined here.