What constitutes slander?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What constitutes slander?

A year ago I was involved in a verbal confrontation and was arrested. The case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal. However, the mother of the other party has gone to a number of places (including my church) and complained about me. So much so, that the church told me I am no longer welcome. Does this rise to the level of slander?

Asked on December 29, 2015 under Personal Injury, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Slander is oral (i.e. not written; spoken) defamation. Defamation is the making of untrue factual statements which damage your reputation. True facts are not defamation, even if negative; and opinions, however harmful, are not defamtion, either. People have a right to state true facts or give their opinions. So, for example:
1) She says you were arrested after a confrontation. That is true based on what you write, so it is not defamation.
2) She says that you are mean and disrespectful; that is an opinion, and not defamation.
3) She says you hit her, when you did not; that is a false factual statement which damages your reputation and would be defamation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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