Written by Janique Williams
A false accusation is where an unfounded or unsubstantiated allegation is made against a person. A false allegation can occur as the result of intentional lying on the part of the accuser; or unintentionally or resulting from deliberate or accidental suggestive questioning, or faulty interviewing techniques. The accusations can be broken down in three categories:
-An allegation about alleged events that did not occur;
-An allegation that describes events that did occur, but were perpetrated by an individual who is not accused, and in which the accused person is innocent.
-An allegation that is partly false but the person’s account of the facts implicated the accused person wrong.
-The biggest effect that a false accusation has is on a person’s character whereby the accusations made defame a person’s reputation. False accusations may be made by the police or any other person.
Can I sue for false Accusations? YES
You can sue for false accusations made by a person or the police. The effect of false accusations affects a person’s reputation because they are either falsely accused of a crime or falsely accused of act that did not take place. Common types of false allegations involves sexual abuse, child abuse, domestic violence claims, or the commission of any crime. A person can sue under the tort of defamation which may either be in the form of slander, libel or defamation of character. Slander is untrue words spoken orally with the purpose of harming an individual reputation. It must be proven that the individual made the statements maliciously to harm the reputation of a person for their own personal reasons. While libel is where statements are printed that falsely depicts individual in a certain way that ruin their reputation. To prove libel it has to be shown that the printed allegations were not only insulting and offensive but it was it malice. Defamation of character concerns the act of making false statements about a person which blemishes or tarnishes his/her reputation. Defamation of character can either be libel or slander.
False accusation is considered to be defamatory per se category where of false statements are so innately harmful. Traditionally, damages for such false statements are presumed and do not have to be proven. This shows the serious damaging effects that false accusations may have on an individual’s reputation. An example of this is where someone accuses you falsely of rape. It is common knowledge that being accused of rape tarnishes a person’s reputation. A person is awarded damages for false accusations when a defamation claim is brought against them.
Can I Sue a person for False Accusations? YES
Where someone is falsely accusing you of acts that did not take place or actions which did transpired but you are falsely being accused you can sue them. First it is always best and cheaper to demand the person to cease and desist or to make a public apology. However, because of the nature of the allegations that were made you probably want vindication by the court to state that the person was malicious and vindictive or they did not have probable cause to allege that you did such an act.
Additionally, you may have suffered mental distress as a result of the false statements as such compensation is needed. Compensation is awarded in cases of false accusations to recompense the person for damage to reputation and any anxiety caused by it.
Falsely accusing someone for acts which may or may not be criminal can seriously damage a person’s reputation. Therefore, you can sue anyone who was responsible for making the false accusations. These persons can include police officers where they act without probable cause or anyone acts with malicious intent. The issue of false allegation in the criminal sphere is so serious that proof of loss does not have to be shown by the victim before they can receive damages.
A cause of action for malicious prosecution must allege facts establishing the
(a) the defendant brought the underlying suit, either in a criminal
or civil judicial proceeding against the claimant, maliciously
and without probable cause;
(b) the termination of the underlying judicial proceeding in favor
of the claimant;
(c) some “special injury” or special damage beyond the usual
expense, time, or annoyance in defending the underlying suit.
To win a suit for malicious prosecution, the plaintiff must prove four elements: (1) that the original case was terminated in favor of the plaintiff, (2) that the defendant played an active role in the original case, (3) that the defendant did not have probable cause or reasonable grounds to support the original case, and (4) that the defendant initiated or continued the initial case with an improper purpose. Each of these elements presents a challenge to the plaintiff.