Colorado Defamation Laws and the Elements of a Defamation Case
If you live in Colorado and a person publishes a false statement about you that causes you serious harm by misrepresenting your character and causing great damages, then you have the right to pursue legal action.
This article will explain what defamation is, how to recognize if the statement is defamatory and the elements of defamation in Colorado. The article will also introduce you to a reliable service that drafts formal Cease and Desist letters on your behalf regarding defamation with DoNotPay.
What is Defamation?
Defamation is a false statement that another person presents as a fact misrepresenting and damaging the character of the person it revolves around. If this derogatory statement harms the person’s reputation or ability to work, then it is considered defamation. The individual who was harmed can file a defamation lawsuit.
Slander vs Libel
|Libel is defamation with a permanent record, such as written or published defamatory statements||Slander is defamation with no permanent record, such as a spoken defamatory statements or gestures|
|Libel can be found in print media such as newspapers and magazines, and on the internet, on websites, and social media.||Slander can be found in public places, television programs, podcasts, by phone, face-to-face conversations, and more.|
|General Libel punishment is monetary compensation or fines, however, punishment for seditious libel (printed defamatory statement about the president, government, or Congress) is imprisonment.||General Punishment includes financial compensation or civil lawsuits – but it may vary depending on the country.|
Colorado Defamation Law
Colorado is one of the few states in the United States of America with a criminal defamation statute. Colorado allows for punitive and exemplary damages if the defamatory act committed is intentional or malicious. Read below to see how Colorado characterizes defamation.
Elements of Defamation in Colorado
- Falsity: The defamatory statement must be false. If the statement is factual, it isn’t defamation.
- Statement of Fact: It must be a false statement of fact revolving around the plaintiff. If it is not presented as a fact, it may be classified as an opinion.
- Publication: the statement must be published, or communicated to another person. A third party must be included for the publication to be considered defamation.
- Fault in Making the Statement: The statements must be made with negligent disregard.
- Damage: The plaintiff must prove material harm, such as monetary losses or damage to reputation. The only exception is if it is a defamation per se situation.
Types of Defamation in Colorado
Defamation per se
- Under Colorado Law, some false statements are considered to be so harmful as a matter of law. In these cases, the victim does not have to prove monetary harm from the statements.
- The false statements include:
- Falsely stating that the person has committed a crime
- Falsely stating that the person has a sexually transmitted disease
- Falsely stating that the person is unfit for their profession
- Falsely stating that the person is important or unchaste.
- This does not apply if the victim is a public official. He/she must prove damages in order to win the case if they are a public figure.
Defamation per quod
- If the defamatory statement does not fall under the four per se categories, then it is defamation per quod.
- In this case, the person must prove that special damages were made in order for the case to move to trial.
- Under Colorado law, these are considered special damages when they are caused by defamation:
- Specific monetary losses
- That a plaintiff suffers, such as:
- Pain and suffering of the plaintiff
- Emotional distress of the plaintiff
- Impairment to the reputation of the plaintiff
Should You Write a Defamation Cease and Desist Letter?
If you are a victim of defamation, you must draft a defamation cease and desist letter before taking more drastic action. Writing a defamation cease and desist letter on your own may not be your best option. It is important to accurately prove the harm that you have suffered in a convincing letter, or you risk that it would be disregarded by the perpetrator, even if the trial moves to court. Lawyers are reliable and will draft a convincing letter, however not many can afford lawyers as they are extremely expensive. This is why DoNotPay is the safest and best option!
DoNotPay Can Draw Up A Defamation Cease and Desist Letter for You in Minutes!
DoNotPay is a fast and reliable service that can draft a cease and desist letter in minutes! Here’s how:
1. Search “defamation” on DoNotPay and select the Defamation Demand Letter product.
2. Explain your situation, select whether it was libel or slander, and outline the consequences you have suffered due to defamation.
3. Based on your location, in this case, Colorado, DoNotPay will generate a formal demand letter on your behalf with the most relevant state legislation regarding defamation.
DoNotPay also asks users for information about the person they want to send the letter to, but will not send the letter on your behalf. The letter will not ask for compensation, but will rather warn that if they do not revoke the statement, you will take them to court and seek monetary damages.
DoNotPay Also Helps You With…
- Non-Disclosure Agreements
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