Defining Contempt of Court Libel Slander Resistance to Order
Contempt of court libel/slander resistance to order is a charge that we often hear or watch about in the news, but what does that mean? In Kentucky, it is considered an offense against the state. In this article, we will go through the specifics of the charge and what you can do to uphold your rights.
What is Contempt of Court Libel Slander Resistance to Order?
Contempt of court, libel/slander, resistance to order is one of many aspects of offenses against the state and public justice under the Kentucky statute. Under Kentucky Statutes 432.280, it states that:
“Nothing in KRS 432.230 to 432.270 shall prevent any court or judge from proceeding against any person writing or publishing libel or slanderous words concerning such court or judge in relation to his judicial conduct in court by indictment, nor prevent any court from punishing any person guilty of contempt in resisting or disobeying any judicial order or process issued by or under the authority of such a court.”
Basically, there are two aspects that you need to take note of:
- Any person can be sued for false statements against a court or judge or how they conduct themselves in court, and
- The court can issue punitive damages against any person who fails to comply with the court’s orders.
The charge is comprised of four legal elements, as follows:
- Contempt of court is when someone is being disobedient or disrespectful of the authority or dignity of a court of law and its personnel.
- Libel is written false statements about a person or business with the intention of harming their reputation. This may include magazine or news articles, social media posts, billboard ads, and many others.
- Slander is spoken defamation with the intention of injuring another person’s or business’s reputation. This includes TV or radio shows or conversations overheard from a third party.
- Resistance to order is when someone disobeys an order or judgment issued by the court or a judge.
What Constitutes Libel or Slander?
Libel and slander are both forms of defamation of character. Many defamation lawsuits are a power-play between one party’s right to free speech and another’s the protection of reputation. To make sure that you have a legitimate defamation claim, your lawsuit should satisfy several important legal elements. These include the following:
|The statement was published.||This means that a third party heard, watched, or saw the statement. Their mode of being published could be written such as in news and magazines, or spoken through social media, television or radio shows, picket signs, or even heard through a conversation.|
|The statement was false.||Statements of opinion cannot be considered defamation and because they can’t be objectively ruled as false. Meanwhile, in any defamation lawsuit, the ultimate defense is truth.|
|The statement is unprivileged.||This means that someone speaking with privilege such as witnesses testifying in court or legislators in the legislative chamber cannot be sued for defamation.|
|The statement was injurious.||A person suing for defamation must be able to demonstrate how their reputation was injured by the false statement. These include business loss, loss of reputation, a person losing a job, and many others.|
Should You Write a Defamation Cease and Desist Letter?
In most cases, the first best step to triggering a legal procedure is to send a cease and desist letter. Contrary to the cease and desist order, a letter does not have legal bearing and cannot be legally enforced. The cease and desist letter is a written document requesting the recipient to stop engaging in injurious behavior, otherwise, legal action will be taken. If you do decide to send a defamation cease and desist letter, there are templates available online or you can ask a lawyer to draft one up for you. When writing a cease and desist letter, you need to take into consideration the following:
- Be careful of the tone of the letter. Take a soft-handed but firm approach. Ensure that the tone is not too aggressive but not too lax either.
- Include legal action but not in a way that comes off as empty threats. Make sure that you are able to follow through on any threats you make.
- When setting a compliance deadline, take into consideration the period and methods of receiving the letter.
- State a clear reason for the letter’s purpose. Be concise in the language that you use.
DoNotPay Can Draw Up A Defamation Cease and Desist Letter for You in Minutes!
Using templates that you can easily download and fill out is a cost-efficient option. However, the best way to ensure that the letter is technically sound, you may have to hire a legal expert to draw one up or review it for you. Take note that this also comes with exorbitant fees. That is where DoNotPay can help. Our AI lawyer can help you draw up a defamation cease and desist letter without having to worry about difficult legalese or expensive costs. With our app, all you have to do is:
1. Search Defamation on DoNotPay.
2. Tell us about your situation, including whether the statements were libel or slander, listing the statements that were made, explaining why they are false or misleading, and what consequences you have suffered as a result.
3. Based on your location, DoNotPay will generate a formal demand letter on your behalf with the most relevant state legislation regarding defamation.
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