Can You Sue for Defamation of Character?
There is no doubt that defamation of character can cause emotional distress. It can also raise doubt about your reputation and character amongst your peers. But can you sue for defamation of character?
While most defamation of character cases end up in civil court, it isn't unheard of to take a defamation case through the small claims court system. There may be smaller monetary gains, but winning your case in small claims can debunk the lie someone has said about you while limiting their credibility.
No lawsuit is without risks. While you likely do not want to spend money on an attorney's advice to file for small claims court, there is another way to get assistance. DoNotPay can help you file and prepare your case in a defamation of character lawsuit, and it's easy. It is an app where you share some information, and you'll get a lot in return.
Reasons to Sue Someone for Defamation of Character
While we hear of defamation cases being launched by political figures and other well-known people all the time, defamation of character can affect any of us. Defamation can occur in the workplace or in private life. The vast use of social media has become a hotbed for misleading information, including libel (which is a written type of defamation). Here are a couple of examples:
|Mom Wins Claims Against Late Son's Former Girlfriend's Facebook Post in Indiana||According to Nixon Peabody, a mother took her late son's girlfriend to small claims following a Facebook post alleging the mother had stolen her son's truck following his death.
The post said, in part... "[i]f it was stolen I don't know but I do know my truck was and [,] yes[,] Zerlie Charles had everything to do with it[,] that's facts [sic]. I didn't even get all my personal things out of the house before his mom went physco [sic]. Butt [sic] that's OK[.] I will be OK[.] I lost my soul mate [,] thrown out of his house[,] and had my truck stolen all in 2 weeks."
The mom — the claimant — said the post ruined her life and she couldn't sleep at night. The judge found merit in her case and awarded her $6,000 in damages.
|Other Defamation Cases Worthy of Small Claims||There are many variations on the same theme of ruining someone's reputation. Filing in small claims won't bring in much regarding financial damages but can win you a wealth of riches for your reputation.
Examples of defamation of character beyond personal theft may include:
Filing a Lawsuit for Defamation of Character by Yourself
Small claims court filings are designed to be simpler than civil court. But every state has different laws and caps on how much you can sue in small claims court. For example:
- In Kentucky or Rhode Island, the financial limit you can file a claim for is $2,500.
- In Delaware or Tennessee, you can sue for up to $25,000.
- Most other states fall somewhere in between.
DoNotPay consists of a wealth of data. It can help you understand the limits in your state and just how to go about filing your claim.
Even though the small claims court procedure is designed for the layperson to be able to file himself, unless you have some experience in the legal profession, it still can be confusing. Some things you need to know to file a defamation of character claim in small claims court include:
- What county within your state to fill in
- Where to pick up small claims forms and how to fill them out
- What you need to include with the forms and what fees are involved
- How to set up a court date with the clerk
- How to serve or have the defendant served with your complaint
DoNotPay can walk you through all this and more!
Problems You Can Run Into While Trying to Sue
You may have trouble locating the correct forms and where to file them. Furthermore, before filing any case, you should have some research data on those who have filed similar defamation of character cases to gain an understanding of why they won or lost.
Rather than hire an attorney who could be costly, enlist the help of DoNotPay to help you properly file your claim for defamation of character the first time around.
How to Sue for Defamation of Character With DoNotPay
Don't spend hours tracking down small claims forms, trying to fill them out correctly, and deciding whether and how to write your demand letter for your defamation of character case. You also don’t need a lawyer to sue in small claims court. Why not turn to our robot lawyer, DoNotPay, and let it take care of the hassle for you.
All you need to do is:
- Log in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now product.
- Enter the dollar amount you are owed.
- Select whether you want a demand letter or court filing form.
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details, including photo proof.
With DoNotPay, your legal case becomes much simpler. We can't go to small claims court for you, but DoNotPay can take care of the preliminary work and help you be more prepared to face the defamation defendant and the judge for your day in court. We also help people sue companies in small claims court, including: