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Discussion in 'Defamation, Libel & Slander' started by Confused and helpless, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. Confused and helpless

    Confused and helpless Law Topic Starter New Member

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    This is a little hard to explain. My wife has two children. While in custody with the father of one child, her most recent ex stood and testified for him so that he could gain custody because she didn’t want her with me and was getting back at her for moving on with me. No joke. She decided to tell the court that I beat my wife. To which I do not, since I don’t there isn’t any proof of which. Let’s trot 6 months down the road. Said father was getting legal visitation while this battle was going on. The child continued to come home with SEVERE diaper rash and my wife was told that the father was getting drunk and high and leaving the child in the basement soiled. So, she did the legal thing and got child protection involved. Keep in mind this last court date was 6 mos after the initial hearing, custody still awarded to my wife due to schooling and all. The next hearing comes into play where the judge learned that child services was involved. He stated to my wife in court, “you’ll allow your wife to beat you, but you’ll call child services over diaper rash!?” Her child literally had blisters on his bottom, he has scarring to this day, it wasn’t just that. She named the fact that he was drunk and high. Why did she get called to the house while he was visiting his father? Because he was high. He was drunk. None of that was mentioned. But the judge made the accusation because of her other ex. Is this not slander? I’m just so fed up with my name getting drug around in the mud. I don’t know where else to turn. This judicial system where I live is corrupt. They take hearsay and they will convict without evidence. Can I get the judge and ex for slander? I really appreciate any help!
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Of course not, it is legally protected speech, spoken by the judge as part of a legal proceeding.

    In some cases, perhaps yours, it could violate your state's legal ethics and standards for jurists.

    If you believe the judge's behavior and speech did violate said standards you are free to file a complaint with this state agency:

    A valid complaint must include:

    1. Your name, current address, all telephone contacts.

    2. The name of the judge and the court.

    3. All cause/case numbers [if related to a case(s).]

    4. Names and contact information for all attorneys who represented you at any time (if related to a case.)

    5. A CONCISE, detailed, written statement of the judge's specific conduct you believe to have been unethical.

    6. Your signature on the complaint.

    What is not necessary to include in your complaint:

    1. A copy of the Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct.
    2. A copy of specific statutes and any other legal research.

    What to expect after you file the complaint.

    Complaints are confidential:

    * The Commission is required to maintain the confidentiality of all complaints and investigations unless formal charges are filed. You will be notified first, if that happens.

    * You are not required to keep confidential your allegations or the fact that you filed a complaint, nor is the judge. However, if you do state or write your allegations to anyone outside the Commission, you lose your protection from a lawsuit, protection you otherwise have under Supreme Court rules for any statements made to the Commission without malice.

    How the Commission handles a complaint:

    * You will receive a letter by mail acknowledging receipt of your complaint. (Note: If you need to submit additional information about your complaint you need to follow the same procedure when you filed your original complaint. Please put "Supplement" on the front page of your new submission.)

    * The Commission will review your complaint. (Note: The Commission only meets every other month.)

    * Once the Commission reviews your case, you will be notified by mail of the decision. All decisions of the Commission are final and not subject to appeal.

    How to file your complaint against a Judge:

    1. Open and complete the form, save it to your computer, then attach it to an email, and send it to: jqcinquiry@courts.in.gov


    2. Open and complete the form, print it, keep a copy for your records, and mail it to:
    251 N. Illinois Street
    Suite 1600
    Indianapolis, IN 46202

    This is the Indiana state website where you can initiate an inquiry against the judge:

    courts.in.gov: Filing a Complaint
  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    You cannot sue the judge for statements that the judge made on the bench in the course of his judicial work. Judges are absolutely immune from suit for such comments.

    Moreover, even if that were not the case the judge's statements were not defamatory because defamation requires communication of a false statement of fact to another person that injures your reputation. The judge made the comment to you, not a third party, and the judge's statements weren't what caused the injury.

    As for the ex, that testimony in court is also subject to absolute privilege if the statements made related to the legal matter before the court. "A witness is absolutely privileged to publish defamatory matter concerning another in communications preliminary to a proposed judicial proceeding or as part of a judicial proceeding in which he is testifying if it has some relation to the proceeding." Van Eaton v. Fink, 697 N.E.2d 490, 495 (Ind. Ct. App. 1998). So unless the ex's remarks had no bearing on the matter to which he was testifying his statements are privileged and you could not sue him for the testimony he gave in court.

    However, statements he made outside of court may be fair game for a defamation lawsuit. And even the privileged statements would not protect him from prosecution for perjury if his statements were indeed false and he knew that they were false when he said them. That said, perjury prosecutions are not very common. Typically what needs to be done is for the other side to challenge the false testimony in cross examination of the witness to expose the lies, if possible.
    Michael Wechsler likes this.
  4. Confused and helpless

    Confused and helpless Law Topic Starter New Member

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  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    It would be easier to explain if your pronoun usage weren't so vague.

    When you wrote, "While in custody with the father of one child," I assume you omitted a word or two and that you're telling us a story about a custody battle.

    You then wrote that "her most recent ex stood and testified for him." Are you saying that your wife has so many ex-boyfriends/ex-husbands that they're ganging up on her? In other words, did you mean that Ex-Boyfriend #7 testified in support of Ex-Boyfriend #5's effort to obtain custody of your wife's child that was fathered by #5?

    You then wrote that "she didn't want her with me." Does that mean your wife's "most recent ex" is an ex-girlfriend and not an ex-boyfriend?

    Told by whom?

    Your name? Who said something negative about you? In any event, slander is the spoken form of defamation, and defamation is the making of a false statement of facts to at least one person other than the subject of the statement, which statement is said with the required degree of fault regarding falsity, which statement is harmful to the subject's reputation, and, in most cases, which results in actual monetary damages to the subject. Note that statements in the context of legal proceedings are generally privileged against defamation claims.

    The judge is immune from suit. In order to get a reliable evaluation of any claim against your wife's ex, you'll need to obtain a transcript of the proceedings were the offending statements were made and have it reviewed by a local attorney.
  6. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    It seemed pretty obvious that the OPs wife has an ex girlfriend and an ex that's a male. Probably bisexual which isn't uncommon. She said that the father of one of wife's children...so she may have children with different fathers. Also not unusual.

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