Page 1 of 1 [ 9 posts ] 

Jayo
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 872

15 Jul 2011, 5:55 pm

I've wondered if there has been a precedent of an Aspie suing someone for defamation for any of the following:

a) the offender spread malicious statements to the effect of "Joe Aspie is deliberately behaving 'that way' to piss off people" when the truth is that, as we all know, that 90-something percent of the time the Aspie is not aware of how their behaviour makes other people see them as weird or obtuse. I always found this was a bully tactic b/c you tend to sympathize less with someone if you're led to believe that they act a certain way on purpose so it's a way for a bully to turn people against an Aspie.

b) the offender goes around telling people that Joe Aspie is bipolar, paranoid schizophrenic, or, heck, even ADHD...

c) the offender spreads something blatantly untrue, such as: Joe Aspie is a pedophile or drug-user.

Clearly c) is the easiest one to win a case with...heck when I was in Grade 9, I was relentlessly tormented about being on drugs b/c some bully told the other kids so. This was about a dozen years before my dx though, and it involved minors. :x

For situation a), that might be tricky to prove, unless you got papers from your therapist or physician including notes from counseling sessions about the struggles you were having. That would prove there was no intent on your part to psychologically harass other people. 8)

For situation b), that one's tough...where mental health is concerned, how do you place a value on which accusation of mental illness or handicap is more damaging than another?? :? Still - if someone is going around telling people that I have a condition which is not my actual diagnosis, I would consider that slander or libel.

Trouble is, most people precede these statements with 3 simple words...
"I THINK THAT"
...Joe Aspie is/has bla bla bla.
THAT'S when you can't really sue for defamation. :(



FreedQuill
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Age: 55
Gender: Male
Posts: 34

15 Jul 2011, 7:35 pm

The "I think that..." or "We think that..." ploy is used by some corporations to evade certain legal ramifications about what they say, but this does not apply to defamation.

To be defamed is to have one's reputation harmed through the use of malicious and/or negligent claims.

Technically, in some legal jurisdictions, even if the statement made is true, if the statement made damages the context, or its communication is unnecessary and likely to cause harm, defamation has been committed.

"I think that..." is the coward's way of suggesting they are "only expressing an opinion", yet a lot of defamation is committed with those three words.

In each case, local laws would vary, as will individual situations, so it would be necessary to check with a solicitor/attorney.


_________________
"He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest." - Dylan Thomas


MrXxx
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 May 2010
Age: 59
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,746
Location: New England

15 Jul 2011, 7:58 pm

I THINK THAT....

This is dangerous ground to tread about on. Why?

Simple.

If WE can start suing people for saying what we believe is damaging stuff about us, then should others, who are non-Autistic then be able to sue US when we inadvertently step over the lines of social norms?

Or do we start crying, "But I'm an Aspie, so I can't help it?"

Do you have any idea what a cop-out that is? How many Aspies would be royally pissed off at any Aspies who would use their Autism as an excuse for not even trying to act more sensitively?

People say and do stupid things all the time. Enough with litigious talk. There are already too many frivolous law suits. Why add more?

Ignore the idiots, walk away, and get on with your life.


_________________
I'm not likely to be around much longer. As before when I first signed up here years ago, I'm finding that after a long hiatus, and after only a few days back on here, I'm spending way too much time here again already. So I'm requesting my account be locked, banned or whatever. It's just time. Until then, well, I dunno...


Verdandi
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Dec 2010
Age: 50
Gender: Female
Posts: 12,587
Location: University of California Sunnydale (fictional location - Real location Olympia, WA)

15 Jul 2011, 8:03 pm

We can sue people for anything we want. Not that every case will have merit or go to court.

Also, it has been my experience that many cases characterized as frivolous are not actually frivolous, the people talking about them are simply ignorant.



FreedQuill
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Age: 55
Gender: Male
Posts: 34

15 Jul 2011, 8:20 pm

MrXxx,

First off, I don't recall there being anything in either post about crying about being Aspergian, and offering that as a defence.

Secondly, in general, I don't like litigation either. But I was using my professional writing and editing training to address the validity of defamation in certain cases.

I agree that in general we need to be less litigious, however, legal remedies are a right in most jurisdictions, and in order to exercise a right, an individual needs to be properly informed.

There are times when, sadly, litigation can be the best recourse. There are also times when it can be the worst.

Defamatory statements as described by the OP can do damage. I have been subjected to similar treatment myself.

My response was to one of these was to move house (it was the case of an incredibly bad neighbour) not litigate. In that case, she was spreading malicious rumours alleging I was involved in organised crime, satanism and paedophilia. These defamations could have caused me tremendous harm. Just because I chose to avoid litigation on that occasion, and just because I prefer to avoid litigation wherever practical to do so, does not mean that it is my place to tell others how they must handle their own situations.

Defamation is defamation, and how that must be handled is up to the individuals concerned.

Whilst I agree with some of your sentiments, I stand by my correction of the misunderstanding about defamation as described by the OP.


_________________
"He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest." - Dylan Thomas


MrXxx
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 May 2010
Age: 59
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,746
Location: New England

15 Jul 2011, 9:30 pm

FreedQuill wrote:
MrXxx,

First off, I don't recall there being anything in either post about crying about being Aspergian, and offering that as a defence.


I never said there was. I said:

"IF WE can start suing people for saying what we believe is damaging stuff about us, then should others, who are non-Autistic then be able to sue US when we inadvertently step over the lines of social norms?

Or do we start crying, "But I'm an Aspie, so I can't help it?"

It was intended as a hypothetical question.

The entire post wasn't aimed at anyone in particular. Just a simple statement with questions intended to invoke some thought.

Quote:
Defamation is defamation, and how that must be handled is up to the individuals concerned.


No argument here. It's not for me to say what anyone should or shouldn't do about any specific situation that doesn't involve me personally. At the same time, I reserve my right to feel as I do, that litigation is usually not the best recourse. I've had much better results from just letting things go. The effort and time it takes to take things to the level required to go to court over things I don't like, in my personal experience, isn't as effective as moving on and putting that same effort into something else I find to be more constructive. Something that will better my life with less stress than fretting over harsh words.

Quote:
Whilst I agree with some of your sentiments, I stand by my correction of the misunderstanding about defamation as described by the OP.


It wasn't really a matter of misunderstanding. I understood the OP fine. I just don't agree that thinking along these lines is as constructive as letting it go and moving on. Not from a personal perspective anyway.

If it were a matter of hearing things like that said about someone else I knew, who didn't have the capacity to either let it go or defend themselves, that might be a different story. While i can take all kinds of stupid remarks aimed at me, I get pretty riled up when I see it happening to others. In most cases though, litigation would be an extreme reaction where a few well placed and well phrased responses is often all it takes to silence mere stupidity.


_________________
I'm not likely to be around much longer. As before when I first signed up here years ago, I'm finding that after a long hiatus, and after only a few days back on here, I'm spending way too much time here again already. So I'm requesting my account be locked, banned or whatever. It's just time. Until then, well, I dunno...


MotherKnowsBest
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Nov 2009
Age: 47
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,196

16 Jul 2011, 3:00 am

MrXxx wrote:
I THINK THAT....

This is dangerous ground to tread about on. Why?

Simple.

If WE can start suing people for saying what we believe is damaging stuff about us, then should others, who are non-Autistic then be able to sue US when we inadvertently step over the lines of social norms?

Or do we start crying, "But I'm an Aspie, so I can't help it?"

Do you have any idea what a cop-out that is? How many Aspies would be royally pissed off at any Aspies who would use their Autism as an excuse for not even trying to act more sensitively?

People say and do stupid things all the time. Enough with litigious talk. There are already too many frivolous law suits. Why add more?

Ignore the idiots, walk away, and get on with your life.


The absolute defence to defamation is that what has been said is the truth and, in some jurisdictions, was not intented to cause harm. That pretty much covers every aspie social cock-up.



FreedQuill
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Age: 55
Gender: Male
Posts: 34

16 Jul 2011, 4:45 am

MotherKnowsBest wrote:
MrXxx wrote:
I THINK THAT....

This is dangerous ground to tread about on. Why?

Simple.

If WE can start suing people for saying what we believe is damaging stuff about us, then should others, who are non-Autistic then be able to sue US when we inadvertently step over the lines of social norms?

Or do we start crying, "But I'm an Aspie, so I can't help it?"

Do you have any idea what a cop-out that is? How many Aspies would be royally pissed off at any Aspies who would use their Autism as an excuse for not even trying to act more sensitively?

People say and do stupid things all the time. Enough with litigious talk. There are already too many frivolous law suits. Why add more?

Ignore the idiots, walk away, and get on with your life.


The absolute defence to defamation is that what has been said is the truth and, in some jurisdictions, was not intented to cause harm. That pretty much covers every aspie social cock-up.


Whilst I'm not sure about the US, Canada and other nations, here in Australia, the fact that you are stating the truth or that you intended no harm do not qualify as defenses against accusations of defamation.

If harm has occurred through a statement or accusation levelled in the public arena, and you have failed to take 'reasonable steps' to hide the identity of whomsoever you are accusing, then defamation has occurred under Australian law.

In publicly identifying the one whom you accuse (and our laws use the terms "through malice or negligence" as qualifiers) defamation has occurred.

I suspect you may find laws in other nations are likely to be similar.


_________________
"He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest." - Dylan Thomas


kx250rider
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 15 May 2010
Age: 52
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,200
Location: Dallas, TX & Somis, CA

16 Jul 2011, 11:29 am

I don't believe in suing people or businesses unless there is an extreme circumstance, like someone who makes an agreement to buy something on payments, and then stops paying and won't give back the item, or maybe suing an employer if they fired you ONLY because you're AS or other "difference" from their idea of normal. I think 99.99999999999999999999 of all lawsuits are the results of crooked lawyers railroading people into suing for things that aren't real reasons, and sadly, the victims of these false suits usually have to just pay out to shut the suing party up. That's one MAJOR MAJOR reason why the USA is plagued with high health care costs, and expensive car insurance, etc.

Charles