Legal to use real names in non-fiction book or postings?

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Old Apr 28th, 2011, 09:20 PM   #1
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Default Legal to use real names in non-fiction book or postings?

My life has been torn apart and I've lost a year of sleep due to an incident that will never be undone. It involves a lot of backstabbing people and I have began writing the true story just to help it get out of my head. After going over what I have so far, I really think it could be published or at least read by quite a few people. If I kept their names, would they have any reason to come back and sue me or anything later on? Keep in mind there are law officials and county judges involved and honestly I want to drag them down. My heart is broken, I lost my husband and my child lost his childhood, I feel this story needs to be told and if there's anyway I can write this story without worrying about being sued or something, I want to try every chance I get.
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Old Apr 28th, 2011, 10:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Legal to use real names in non-fiction book or postings?

I wish to inform you that in case you use true names of individuals then you will be required to have the evidence that you are stating correct facts. In this regard if actual name is mentioned then other party may file a suit for Defamation and therefore it is necessary that evidence of writing truth must be there.

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Old Apr 29th, 2011, 06:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Legal to use real names in non-fiction book or postings?

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Originally Posted by Meagan View Post
My life has been torn apart and I've lost a year of sleep due to an incident that will never be undone. It involves a lot of backstabbing people and I have began writing the true story just to help it get out of my head. After going over what I have so far, I really think it could be published or at least read by quite a few people. If I kept their names, would they have any reason to come back and sue me or anything later on? Keep in mind there are law officials and county judges involved and honestly I want to drag them down. My heart is broken, I lost my husband and my child lost his childhood, I feel this story needs to be told and if there's anyway I can write this story without worrying about being sued or something, I want to try every chance I get.

I concur with AFF that if you use the individuals' names you could be sued, even if what you relate is true. Considering who the individuals are, a publisher will weigh the odds before deciding to publish it. It's unfortunate, but in our society anyone can drag another person to court. An attorney friend of mine once told me, "With the exception of perhaps a handful of people, there isn't anyone in this state a lawyer can't break financially through litigation."

Have you considered fictionalizing the story but depicting the characters so clearly that anyone in your locale who reads can identify them? It might be an alternative that if well done a publisher would consider purchasing and printing.
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Old Apr 30th, 2011, 08:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Legal to use real names in non-fiction book or postings?

Would their names have to be completely changed? or could they be close? what if I switched their names, like the actual person is Tom and I change it to Harry and the other real person is Harry and I change it to Tom?
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Old Aug 11th, 2013, 03:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Legal to use real names in non-fiction book or postings?

Meagan,
I am extremely interested in your story. I know this thread is 2 years old, but I saw your post, and I can't help but wonder if our stories have any similarities.My children have lost 2 years of their childhood, I almost lost my husband to prison, had my children removed from my home for a year all due to the lies of a spiteful ex-wife. We won our cases (both criminal and civil), got my children back last week. The things that have happened over the last 2 years would make anyone shake their head in disbelief. We are also writing our story. We would love to talk to someone who has been down this road as well. You can email me at lyndakaye2004@outlook.com
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