In some comments on social media, some potential clients asked about the possibility of appealing for Amber Heard in the defamation case that Johnny Depp won against her. Some clients asked about what will happen if the case happened in Michigan.
In the article that we wrote about Johnny Depp’s case, we have discussed in detail the effect of the defamation case and how it relates to family law.
We discussed that generally, the crime becomes a family law matter when it is the subject of a divorced proceeding or attributed to parties who used to be married.
In the case of Johnny Depp and his ex-wife, the events of their married life became the crux of the case because Johnny Depp was alleged to have hurt and assaulted Amber Heard during the span of their marriage.
This imputation is defamatory, according to the jury, as it has been proven by clear and convincing evidence that the allegations were false.
If this happens in your marriage, whether it be a domestic violence allegation or any statement that imputes injury against one person and harms one’s reputation, then you can sue for defamation.
The next question now is: If Amber Heard appeals the case of defamation in Michigan, how does Michigan law look at it? In the first place, how does Michigan law define a public figure?
The crime of defamation and the definition of a public figure has recently been reiterated by the Supreme Court. In the case of Curtis Publishing Co v Butts, an entirely new test applicable to an undefined set of “public figures”:
We consider and would hold that a “public figure” who is not a public official may also recover damages for a defamatory falsehood whose substance makes substantial danger to reputation apparent, on a showing of highly unreasonable conduct constituting an extreme departure from the standard of investigation and reporting ordinarily adhered to by responsible publishers.
Is there an effect if the divorce was done in Michigan?
No, there is no effect on the defamation case. While a jurisdictional issue is often the subject matter for the lawyers, keep in mind that the divorce and defamation cases were filed separately and the jurisdiction of one did not attach to the other.
If you and your spouse, or future ex-spouse, are eligible to get a divorce in Michigan, the jurisdiction for the divorce is in Michigan. If you eventually find out that your former spouse has been defaming your reputation, you can also file a case against them for defamation in Michigan if it complies with the jurisdictional requirements.
Keep in mind that the best thing that you can do is to contact a lawyer so that jurisdiction will not be an issue.
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The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.
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