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Recently my local paper stated I went to jail. Which
was untrue. I only received a citation and never
arrested. Can I sue the paper?
Asked on March 6, 2017 under Personal Injury, Illinois
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 6 years ago | Contributor
Possibly: what you describe appears to be an untrue statement of fact which damages your reputation; based on what you write, this seems to meet the defination of defamation. A question, though, is how much this may be worth: given that while it's incorrect, it is not wildly incorrect (e.g. you did receive a citation), unless you can show some harm to your business, employment, or economic interests, you might not be able to recover enough compensation ("damages") so as to justify the cost and effort of suing. Compensation in a lawsuit is generally closely related to the provable harm you suffered.
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