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Defamation

     As a man was finishing his elected term as county sheriff, his 14-year-old stepdaughter accused hin of having sexually abused her while assisting her in applying chigger medicine. A city police officer interviewed the daughter, and a state child protective agency notified state police, resulting in an interview of the daughter by a state police investigator. The sheriff denied the accusation, and the girl's sister, another stepdaughter, said her sister was lying because the sheriff and her mother were too strict. The first stepdaughter recanted her accusations and a prosecutor decided not to press charges, but the accusation became widely known in th community. The state police investigator allegedly talked about the case to a lot of people with whom he had no right to share the details of the investigation, and rumors flew, including a false story that the sheriff was an arsonist. The ex-sheriff filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state police investigator and his supervisor, claiming that their actions had denied him his right to liberty in his occupation of choice, in violation of due process. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the defendants, ruling that the plaintiff had failed to show that any liberty interest was interfered with. Even if the defendants defamed him, they did nothing that altered his legal status. Further, the defendants were not shown to have placed the plaintiff's name on a list that, under a state statute, would have ended his previously granted right to serve in positions of law enforcement management. His argument that the alleged defamation rendered him unqualified under state law to serve in law enforcement was negated by the fact that he subsequently received a state license for work as a private investigator. Hinkle v. White, #14-2254, 793 F.3d 764 (7th Cir. 2015).
     The owner of a local weekly newspaper filed a defamation and First Amendment retaliation lawsuit in federal court claiming that a city mayor took action against him because of his publication of material critical of the town's alleged corruption, fiscal mismanagement, and police brutality. Upholding the dismissal of the lawsuit, a federal appeals court ruled that state law defamation was not actionable in federal court and that the plaintiff had failed to show that the mayor's criticism of him at a campaign event as a "convicted drug dealer," "Albanian mobster," "thug," and person planning to open "drug dens" and "strip clubs" if the mayor was not re-elected, even if false, did not "actually chill" the newspaper's exercise of its rights as required for a First Amendment retaliation claim against a public official. Zherka v. Amicone, #10-37, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 3944 (2nd Cir.).
     An Ohio man's defamation lawsuit against a police department, based on an assertion that someone from the department was telling people in various places around the country that he was a "hit man," could not be the basis of liability. First, the police department could not be sued, as it was not a separate entity from the city. Second, the plaintiff failed to allege that the city's conduct was covered by any stated exceptions to the tort immunity provided for political subdivisions under Ohio state statutes. Additionally, since the plaintiff failed to name any individual city employees as defendants, he was unable to argue that the statements were made outside of the scope of employment or the pursuit of official duties that were covered by the tort immunity statute. Watson v. City of Akron, C.A. No. 27077, 2008 Ohio App. Lexis 4208 (Ohio App. 9th Dist.).
     A detective's passing on, to a newspaper, details of an arrest warrant for a man which subsequently turned out to be dismissed, resulting in the publication of his name within a "Most Wanted" list, did not fall within any exception to immunity from liability provided by an Ohio state statute, so that defamation claims against the city and the detective were properly rejected. There was no showing that the detective had any knowledge that warrants in the department's files were likely to be inaccurate. Miller v. Central Ohio Crime Stoppers, Inc., No. 07AP-669, 2008 Ohio App. Lexis 1110 (Ohio App. 10th Dist.).
    A twelve-year-old child was interrogated away from his mother and a prosecutor then ordered police to arrest him in connection with the death of a toddler. His conviction was subsequently overturned on the basis of a coerced confession in violation of the Fifth Amendment. He subsequently filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the prosecutor and her employer for alleged violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. After the lawsuit was filed, the prosecutor allegedly told a Marine recruiter that the plaintiff would "always" be a suspect in the murder, resulting in the rejection of his enlistment. A federal appeals court overturned qualified immunity for the prosecutor, ruling that the prosecutor could not reasonably have believed that there was probable cause for the arrest. The court also ordered further proceedings on claims against the county based on its alleged withholding of exculpatory (Brady) materials, and on the Plaintiff's malicious prosecution, First Amendment retaliation, and defamation claims. Harris v. Bornhorst, No. 06-3729, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 724 (6th Cir.).
     Chief of Police was properly held liable for damages of $200,000 to restaurant owners of Lebanese descent for his actions in making numerous statements in public asserting that they were terrorists, gunrunners, and drug dealers, as well as "associated with" Osama Bin Laden. These statements, made in a restaurant setting, caused some restaurant patrons to stop frequenting the plaintiffs' business. The court found that the amount awarded was not excessive on the plaintiffs' defamation claims. Yammine v. De Vita, No. 501649, 2007 N.Y. App. Div. Lexis 8862 (A.D. 3rd Dept.).
     City and police officials were immune under California state law from defamation claims asserted by high school basketball coach detained on the basis of an accusation that he had sexually molested a former team member. Under a state statute they were immune on defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims for statements made in the course of a criminal investigation, whether those statements were reasonable or malicious. There was, however, no similar immunity on false arrest claims, and there was no probable cause for the coach's arrest since the accusations against him lacked sufficient indications of reliability. Gillan v. City of San Marino, No. B182979, 2007 Cal. App. Lexis 222 (2d Dist.).
     City did not violate convicted child molester's due process rights by barring him from entry or use of municipal park property, facilities, and programs after he was seen looking at others in the park through binoculars, with a camera in his possession. Essentially labeling him as a possible present threat to children, which he claimed was defamatory, was also insufficient to state a federal civil rights claim. The action barring him, additionally, was rationally related to a legitimate governmental interest in protecting children. Brown v. Michigan City, Indiana, No. 05-3912, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 22567 (7th Cir.). [2006 LR Nov]
     Arrestee's "conclusory allegations" that police officers made "slanderous" statements about him which resulted in "lost friendships, lost livelihood, lost time, and physical injuries" were not sufficient to state a claim for violation of his federal civil rights. Gill v. Texas, No. 04-10497, 153 Fed. Appx. 261 (5th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Police department's alleged retention of "fictitious" criminal information about a woman could not be the basis for a federal civil rights lawsuit. Even if this claim were true, the filing of false information at most states a claim for libel or defamation, a state law claim, not a violation of constitutional rights. Mensah v. Darby Borough Police Department, No. 05-2193, 145 Fed. Appx. 742 (3rd Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Police release of details about man's criminal record to the press after he was fatally shot by a police officer could not be the basis for a federal civil rights claim for harm to his reputation, nor did false statements allegedly made about the circumstances of the shooting support a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress brought by the decedent's family, although a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress brought by members of the decedent's family who witnessed the shooting was viable. The decedent did not suffer specific harm to his employment, education, professional licensing or insurance opportunities based on the statements made about him, and under New York law had no protectable liberty interest in his reputation which survived his death. Sylvester v. City of New York, No. 03 Civ. 8760, 385 F. Supp. 2d 431 (S.D.N.Y. 2005). [N/R]
     In a lawsuit by animal protection volunteers against employees of a government investigating commission who allegedly published defamatory material about them on a government website, the claim was time barred by a one-year New Jersey statute of limitations for defamation claims. The statute of limitations began to run on the date the material was first published on the website, and that time period was not extended by the fact that the website was subsequently updated or modified while continuing to contain the same allegedly defamatory material. Churchill v. State of New Jersey, 876 A.2d 311 (N.J. Super. A.D. 2005). [N/R]
     Florida father, in being allegedly erroneously labeled as a "verified" child abuser, even if it did prevent him and his wife from adopting additional children, did not suffer deprivation of a constitutionally protected due process liberty or property interest. His claim was merely for defamation and injury to reputation, standing alone, cannot be the basis for a federal civil rights lawsuit. Behrens v. Regier, No. 04-14820, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 18807 (11th Cir.). [2005 LR Oct]
     Plaintiff's federal civil rights lawsuit seeking damages for the release by police of allegedly false information concerning his conduct to the press, which had their origin in his ex-wife's claim that he had violated the terms of a restraining order was properly dismissed on the pleadings. It essentially asserted a claim for defamation, which cannot be pursued as a federal civil rights cause of action. Pasdon v. City of Peabody, No. 04-2314, 417 F.3d 225 (1st Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Statements made by county attorney about a defendant in a press release and press conference after charges of murder against him were dropped were not protected by absolute immunity since they were not made incidental to the termination of the judicial proceeding. There were genuine issues as to whether or not the statements were opinion protected by the First Amendment, and whether the statements, stating that the former defendant had committed the murder, were made with actual malice. Federal trial court denies summary judgment to defendant county and county attorney in former defendant's libel and slander lawsuit under Iowa state law. Harrington v. Wilber, No. 4:03-CV-90616, 353 F. Supp. 2d 1033 (S.D. Iowa 2005). [N/R]
     Oklahoma state law enforcement officers and state could not be held liable for search of business under warrant seeking evidence of drug trafficking. Probable cause for the warrant existed when search warrant affidavit stated that law enforcement agent personally purchased a product containing a controlled substance at the business premises. Employee of business who was allegedly misidentified as the business owner in statements to the press by a law enforcement agent could not recover damages for defamation when the statement was made on the basis of state tax records and any misrepresentation was unintentional. Tanique, Inc. v. Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, No. 99,091, 99 P.3d 1209 (Okla. Civ. App. Div. 2 2004). [N/R]
     Business owners who claimed that their business reputation and good will in the community were damaged by defamatory statements allegedly made by city's mayor about the physical condition of their business premises could not recover damages for violation of their civil rights. Defamatory statements and the alleged damages, standing alone, were not sufficient to constitute a "state imposed burden" sufficient to support a federal civil rights claim. Sadallah v. City of Utica, No. 03-9055, 383 F.3d 34 (2nd Cir. 2004). [N/R]
    Deputy sheriff was properly awarded $225,000 in damages against newspaper, its editor/publisher, and a columnist, based on articles which called him a "murderer" and accused him of beating a handcuffed arrestee to death with a flashlight. Georgia appeals court finds that statements were published with knowledge that they were false, or in reckless disregard of the truth. Lake Park Post, Inc. v. Farmer, #A03A0841, 590 S.E.2d 254 (Ga. App. 2003). [2004 LR Mar]
     Statute of limitations barred defamation claims brought by grand jury witness against deputy district attorney and county based on statements made to author of book allegedly falsely describing her as a "felony probationer." The time within which to bring the defamation lawsuit started to run, at the latest, when the book was published and distributed to the public, and was not extended based on the fact that the plaintiff allegedly did not discover that the material was in the book until she subsequently read it. Shively v. Bozanich, No. S094467, 7 Cal. Rptr. 3d 576, 80 P.3d 676 (Cal. 2003). [N/R]
     State investigator's allegedly defamatory statements to the FBI concerning an FBI agent's purported addiction to drugs and homosexual relationship with his psychiatrist were insufficient to support a federal civil rights claim for violation of his protected liberty interests in his employment. Defamation itself is not a constitutional claim, and an injury to reputation does not violate a protected liberty interest, nor does the disclosure of medical records. "Even an allegation of diminished employment opportunities resulting from harm to reputation is insufficient to state a due process claim." Walker v. Wilson, No. 01-6455, 67 Fed. Appx. 854 (6th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Police detective was not liable for either defamation or intentional infliction of emotional distress under District of Columbia law for issuance of a press release identifying the plaintiff as having been involved in a murder, along with the arrestee's picture. The issuance of such press releases was within the scope of the duties of police investigators and it did not cause economic or physical harm to the plaintiff. Further, the release of the information involved the public's right to information and public safety. Liser v. Smith, 254 F. Supp. 2d 89 (D.D.C. 2003). [N/R]
     City and county were not liable for defamation based upon mistaken depiction of plaintiff's photograph from his pistol permit application as being a suspected murderer with the same name. The defendants had a constitutional privilege against liability for defamation under New York state law in the absence of any evidence that they acted in a "grossly irresponsible manner." The plaintiff also could not recover against the defendants under a theory of negligence in supplying the photograph to a television network. Colon v. City of Rochester, 762 N.Y.S.2d 749 (A.D. 4th Dept. 2003). [N/R]
     Ohio police officer could not obtain damages for defamation based on civil rights organization's actions in distributing a letter which accused the police department of "killing, raping, planting false evidence," and himself of using a "marine-style chokehold" to kill an unarmed suspect. Statements in the letter were opinions protected under the free speech provisions of the Ohio state constitution. An average reader, the court holds, "would be unlikely to infer that the statements were meant to be factual," since the entire letter "was a call to action and meant to cause outrage in the reader," and the particular statements were "clearly hyperbole, the opinion of the writer, and were offered to persuade the reader that an immediate crisis was occurring in the city." The court also noted that the letter did include reference to the outcome of a trial in which the officer was found not guilty on an assault charge and a mistrial was declared on an involuntary manslaughter charge. Jorg v. Cincinnati Black United Front, No. C-030032, 792 N.E.2d 781 (Ohio App. 1st Dist. 2003). [N/R]
     A county police department could not be liable to an arrestee for defamation for making published statements that he had been taken into custody for alleged theft of services in not paying a disputed bill. The fact that the statements were true barred liability for libel or slander, even if they did damage to the arrestee's reputation. Truth is an "absolute defense" to defamation claims. Carlton v. Nassau County Police Dept., 761 N.Y.S.2d 98 (A.D. 2nd Dept. 2003). [N/R]
     Police chief's statements calling a resident a "gang banger" were not "slander per se" because they did not accuse him of any specific criminal activity, and could either refer to an actual member of a street gang or a "wannabe," which adds up to "nothing more than innuendo." Anderson v. City of Troy, #01-761, 68 P.3d 805 (Mont. 2003). [N/R]
     Police detective reasonably relied on complainant's information in submitting applications for arrest warrants for charging man with attempted residential entry and rape, despite inconsistencies in her story and suspect's protestations of innocence. Statements of another detective to the press essentially repeating this information could not be the basis, under Indiana state law, for a defamation claim, as they were not made with knowing falsity or in reckless disregard of the truth. Beauchamp v. City of Noblesville, Indiana, No. 02-2568, 320 F.3d 733 (7th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Jun]
     Arrestee could not pursue defamation claim against police chief for statements to reporters which were either true or had not been proven to be false. Additionally, the chief's statement that the arrestee had received training in the army as a sniper, even if it were shown to be false, was not defamatory, and his statements of pure opinion could not be the basis of a defamation lawsuit. Yoge v. Nugent, #01-2131, 321 F.3d 35 (1st Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Prosecutor was entitled to absolute immunity from liability for a decision to prosecute, even if it was purportedly based on an inadequate police investigation. Prosecutor was only entitled, however, to qualified immunity for making statements to the media, but did not violate any clearly established constitutional rights when all that was communicated was the fact of the arrest, even if that caused the arrestee to be held up to ridicule and scorn. Joseph v. Yocum, #01-4142, 53 Fed. Appx. 1 (10th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
    Former FBI associate director could not pursue, in federal court in Texas, a defamation claim against a New York university professor on the basis of his article, published on the Internet on the university's website, claiming that he was involved in a "conspiracy" to "cover up" advance warning allegedly received by the U.S. government of the terrorist bombing of a flight over Lockerbee, Scotland in 1988. Publication on the website was not sufficient to give personal jurisdiction over the defendant to a court in Texas. Revell v. Lidov, #01-10521, 317 F.3d 467 (5th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     A newspaper article which was a satire or parody that, if believed, conveyed a false or defamatory impression was not protected under the First Amendment as merely an opinion or rhetorical hyperbole, but could be the basis for a defamation claim if a reasonable reader could have believed that it was making statements of fact. District Attorney and judge could pursue claim against newspaper for publishing an article with a made up story suggesting that they might prosecute and try a first grader for writing a book report about a children's story since it contained an "implication of violence." New Times, Inc. v. Isaacks, No. 02-01-023-CV, 91 S.W.3d 844 (Tex. App. Ft. Worth, 2002). [N/R]
     Virginia prison warden could not pursue, in Virginia federal court, defamation claims against Connecticut newspapers for publishing articles, also posted on their Internet sites, concerning Connecticut state policy of housing some prisoners in Virginia correctional facilities. No personal jurisdiction over defendants solely on the basis of the posting of the articles on the Internet when there was no intention to reach Virginia readers. Young v. New Haven Advocate, No. 01-2340, 315 F.3d 256 (4th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     A police officer's report that a correctional officer was "disorderly" was insufficient to state a federal civil rights claim for injury to the correctional officer's reputation, based on the village's communication to the plaintiff's employer of the report. Defamation alone is insufficient to state a federal civil rights claim and a cause of action would only exist if the plaintiff could show stigma to his reputation, plus other injury. In this case, injury to reputation was all that was shown. Ruggiero v. Phillips, 739 N.Y.S.2d 797 (A.D. 2002). [N/R]
     347:164 Officer's statement to school secretary and "we have a complaint about one of your teachers" did not constitute "slander per se" allowing teacher to sue for slander based on accusation of criminal conduct without showing specific resulting damages. Tourge v. City of Albany, 727 N.Y.S.2d 753 (A.D. 2001).
     344:120 $9.9 million settlement in lawsuit for false arrest/imprisonment and defamation brought by couple arrested in their home without a warrant and charged with multiple child sexual molestation offenses, only to have most of their accusers recant that accusation even before a preliminary hearing. Valentin v. County of Los Angeles, No. C529739 (Los Angeles Super. Ct.), reported in The National Law Journal, p. A13 (May 28, 2001).
     342:85 Officer liable for $35,000 for civil rights violation and false imprisonment of attorney arrested for alleged interference with apprehension of two of his clients; lawsuit asserted officer and prosecutor obtained arrest warrant based on false/misleading information; prosecutor also liable for $65,000. Etoch v. Newton, Ark., No. CIV-96-105, Phillips County Cir. Ct., Ark., Sept. 14, 2000, reported in ATLA Law Rptr. (Feb. 2001).
     339:37 Sheriff's actions in providing deputies to accompany an employer who was firing two employees and asking them to leave the premises did not constitute defamation under Pennsylvania law; mere presence of deputies did not "communicate" anything that could damage the employees' reputations. D'errico v. DeFazio, 763 A.2d 424 (Pa. Super. 2000).
     335:165 Prosecutor's statements to a newspaper following murder suspect's acquittal could not be the basis for a defamation lawsuit under California state law since they only expressed opinions protected under the First Amendment and could not be interpreted as statements of facts; even if defamatory, they could not be the basis for a federal civil rights lawsuit; prosecutor was a state, not county, official for purposes of a wrongful prosecution claim. Weiner v. San Diego County, #98-55752, 210 F.3d 1025 (9th Cir. 2000).
     327:42 Sheriff's action of allegedly issuing criminal summons to woman in retaliation for her political opposition to him did not state a civil rights claim for malicious prosecution when she was not arrested, detained, fingerprinted, or ultimately prosecuted; plaintiff's liberty was not restricted in any way; summons and alleged defamatory remarks to the press also did not constitute a violation of First Amendment rights when no tangible adverse damage resulted from these acts. Matherne v. Larpenter, 54 F.Supp. 2d 684 (E.D. La. 1999).
     314:21 Arrestee's loss of employment with private employer after officers made post-acquittal negative statements to newspapers did not convert ordinary defamation claim into federal civil rights claim; arrestee was also a "limited-purpose public figure" in relation to state law defamation claim, since he had previously "thrust" himself into public controversy in the media over his qualifications to be a public school teacher. Pendleton v. City of Haverhill, #97-2376, 156 F.3d 57 (1st Cir. 1998).
     313:5 County officials could not sue special investigator, state police or state for federal civil rights violation based on investigator's alleged statements to reporters that they were "targets" of grand jury; further proceedings ordered on state law defamation claim. Long v. Durnil, 697 N.E.2d 100 (Ind. App. 1998).
     301:5 Eye surgeon convicted of cultivating marijuana could not bring civil rights lawsuit against officer who made statement to the media concerning his arrest; alleged damage to his medical practice did not turn defamation claim into constitutional issue; plaintiff could not claim that pretrial publicity denied him a fair trial when he was convicted and conviction was upheld on appeal. Higginbotham v. King, 63 Cal.Rptr.2d 114 (Cal. App. 1997).
     311:164 Man arrested for bank robbery and later vindicated could not sue, under federal civil rights law, for damages for release of his name to the news media; police chief did not have a duty to immediately investigate alibi evidence and properly delegated task of continuing investigation to subordinates. Olinger v. Larson, 134 F.3d 1362 (8th Cir. 1998).
     {N/R} Federal appeals court orders retrial of $9 million verdict against 5 IRS employees accused by insurance company executive of ruining his career by wrongfully disclosing to the media a plea agreement on tax evasion charges in violation of explicit promise no publicity would be issued about the plea. Johnson v. Sawyer, 120 F.3d 1307 (5th Cir. 1997); $3.5 million settlement in case subsequently reached prior to retrial. The Natl. Law Jour., p. A8 (May 4, 1998).
     294:84 Police officer's report to state university law enforcement that university employee had admitted using marihuana was entitled to qualified privilege against defamation, and the privilege could not be defeated, in the absence of a showing of "actual malice" in making the statements Grier v. Johnson, 648 N.Y.S.2d 764 (A.D. 1996).
     295:99 Police chief and city not liable for defamation for allegedly providing information to reporter which resulted in publication of article in which the victim of a car theft was named instead as the person who stole the vehicle; article was promptly corrected and no damage to plaintiff's reputation actually occurred Pfannenstiel v. Osborne Publishing Co, 939 F.Supp. 1497 (D.Kan 1996).
     {N/R} Sheriff could be vicariously liable for sheriff detective's allegedly defamatory statement about felon's wife, possibly implying wife's criminal conduct, but statements could not be the basis for a federal civil rights claim absent any damage other than damage to reputation Rippett v. Bemis, 672 A.2d 82 (Me 1996).
     277:5 Officer liable for $300,000 in damages to truck driver fired by his employer after officer reported his suspicion that driver had been involved in drug transaction while driving truck; truck had been searched and no drugs had been found Schnupp v. Smith, 457 S.E.2d 42 (Va 1995).
     282:84 Drug evidence from house excluded at criminal trial because of illegality of search was properly introduced into evidence in civil defamation lawsuit brought by resident against police chief who allegedly told his employer he was a "drug dealer"; New Hampshire Supreme Court declines to apply exclusionary rule in civil defamation suit Simpkins v. Town of Bartlett, 661 A.2d 772 (NH 1995). [Cross-reference: Procedural: Evidence]
     273:134 Illinois state law gave detective, who was department's spokesperson on the matter, absolute immunity from liability for defamation in making statements to press concerning a criminal sexual assault investigation Harris v. News-Sun, 646 N.E.2d 8 (Ill App. 1995).
     Arresting officer was entitled to absolute immunity, under Minnesota law, for making allegedly defamatory statements about arrestee in arrest report, but would not have absolute, but only qualified, immunity for making statements to the press to the extent that they differed significantly from statements in the report Carradine v. State, 511 N.W.2d 733 (Minn. 1994).
     Investigating officer's television interview expressing skepticism about woman's report that she had been abducted and sexually assaulted in a car could be the basis of a defamation lawsuit; officer's statements, although "opinions," could reasonably be viewed as implying undisclosed facts that woman had fabricated a story of abduction and rape Weinstein v. Bullick, 827 F.Supp. 1193 (E.D. Pa 1993).
     Man wrongly identified as rape suspect in front page newspaper photograph supplied to papers by police department to receive $200,000 in settlement of defamation claim against city Hairston v. City of New York, NY Sup Ct, reported in The New York Times, National Edition, p. 15 (Nov 6, 1993).
     Plaintiff who previously pled guilty to drug offenses could not sue officer and informant for alleged violation of his civil rights in conducting the investigation, nor recover, under federal civil rights law, for alleged "slanderous" statements to his employer which resulted in his termination Ludolph v. Wright, 791 F.Supp. 607 (N.D.W.Va. 1992).
     Police officials and city were entitled to qualified privilege in issuing press release which mistakenly stated that youthful arrestee had been indicted by a grand jury; police captain's prompt retraction of release and prompt apology helped negate any claim of malice in issuing release Peterson v. City of Mitchell, 499 N.W.2d 911 (S.D.1993).
     FBI's declarations that agent acted within the scope of employment in contacting foreign individuals and allegedly making statements accusing individual of being involved in organized crime were not binding on federal court; dismissal of $11 million libel/slander suit overturned Meridian International Logistics, Inc v. United States, 939 F.2d 740 (9th Cir. 1991).
     Even if officer did falsely tell black man's "white female friends" that he was a "pimp" or involved in prostitution activities, this was no violation of his constitutional rights Holley v. Schreibeck, 78 F.Supp. 283 (E.D. Pa 1991).
     Deputy superintendent was absolutely privileged in making statements to press concerning arrest of women for soliciting rides and continuing crackdown on prostitutes Dolatowski v. Life Printing and Publishing Co, Inc, 554 N.E.2d 692 (Ill App. 1990).
     California police officers' written and oral statements made during course of child abuse investigations are absolutely privileged from defamation lawsuits Loeblich v. City of Davis, 262 Cal.Rptr. 397 (Cal App. 1989).
     Being included on list of "survivalists" released to news media by state police was not sufficient cause for civil rights lawsuit Wade v. Goodwin, 843 F.2d 1150 (8th Cir. 1988).
     Person with history of drug and burglary convictions spanning 25-years was "libel-proof" on statement he was drug dealer Finklea v. Jacksonville Daily Progress, 742 S.W.2d 512 (Tex.App. 1987).
     Officers had not libeled bail bondsman when there was no evidence they had been involved in publication of newspaper article concerning investigation Crain v. Lightner, 364 S.E.2d 778 (W.Va. 1987).
     Filing of alleged false accident report defaming victim did not violate constitutional rights Griggs v. Lexington Police Department, 672 F.Supp. 36 (D.Mass 1987).
     Sheriff's wife not considered a public figure Sellers v. Stauffer Communications, Inc, 684 P.2d 450 (Kan App. 1984). Police officer is considered public official requiring actual malice be shown for defamation Smith v. Russell, 456 So.2d 462 (Fla 1984).
     Damages awarded for humiliation and inability to get job as security guard following publication of false arrest Dabbs v. State, 482 N.Y.S.2d 62 (A.D. 3 Dept 1984).
     Police captain sues assistant police chief for defamation and for malicious harassment Hoke v. Paul, 653 P.2d 1155 (Hawaii 1982).


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