Defamation of Character Indiana
If a person publishes a false statement that misrepresents your character and causes you serious harm, then you have the right to take legal action. These statements are considered defamation of character and can cause monetary losses, loss of business opportunities, and emotional distress.
This article will explain how you can recognize if the statement published about you is defamatory and the laws of defamation in Indiana. The article will also introduce you to a fast and convenient way to draft formal letters for defamation with DoNotPay.
How to Recognize Defamation
Defamatory statements are false statements presented as facts that misrepresent the character of the person it is about. These statements inflict harm on the person's reputation and ability to work. If you are a victim of defamation, then you can file a defamation lawsuit.
Elements of Defamation
5 elements make a statement defamatory. If one of these elements do not apply, then it is not considered defamation.
- The statement must be false. The truth is a valid defense for defamation.
- A defamatory statement must be presented as a non-subjective fact about the plaintiff that is not up for debate or argument. There is a difference between stating an opinion, and defamation. If it cannot be empirically proven as right or wrong, then it may be classified as an opinion, which is not considered defamation.
- The statement must involve a third party or publication. If the statement is made directly to the person it revolves around, then it is not defamatory.
- The defendant must have malicious intent when making the statement. The defendant must be aware that the statement is false, or negligently disregards its truthfulness (questions its truthfulness but says it anyway)
- The statement must inflict serious harm, which can be proven. This includes monetary losses, decreases in wages, unemployment, or emotional distress, as well as damage to one’s reputation and ability to work.
Slander and Libel
|Intangible in the form such that it has no permanent record||Tangible in Form such that it leaves a permanent record|
|It is in Oral or Transient form||It is in Written or Published form|
|It is primarily found in:
||It is primarily found in:
|The General Punishment for Slander is:
However, punishments vary according to the laws of the country.
|The General Punishment for Libel is:
Defamation in Indiana
To win a defamation lawsuit in Indiana, the plaintiff must provide evidence that the defendant:
- Made an untrue and damaging statement of fact about the plaintiff to a third party
- The plaintiff suffered from material damages from the defamatory statement
- That the defendant acted either negligently or with malice
The statute of limitations in Indiana is two years.
Defamation Per Se in Indiana
In certain cases, a publication or statement by itself is considered defamatory, and the plaintiff does not need to prove material harm caused by the statement. There are four categories that a statement must fall under for it to be defamation per se. These categories are:
|Criminal conduct||Falsely stating that a person has committed a serious crime, such as murder.|
|Misconduct in an individual’s profession||Falsely stating that a person is unfit for their position, or incompetent in their work|
|Sexual misconduct||Falsely stating that a person is unchaste|
|Loathsome disease||Falsely stating that a person has a sexually transmitted disease|
Privileges and Defenses for Defamation in Indiana
Indiana courts recognize numerous privileges and defenses of defamation actions, this includes: The truth is a viable defense for defamation.
- Certain statements are protected under opinion and fair comment privileges
- Indiana also recognizes the fair and general reporting privilege for reporters
- Many defendants in online libel cases successfully argue on the grounds of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
- This section protects you and holds webmasters harmless if a third party (not you or your employee or someone working under your authority) publishes defamatory content to their websites or blogs
Create a Cease and Desist Letter in Minutes!
The first step to take if you are a victim of defamation is drafting a cease and desist letter. A cease and desist letter is a document that is sent to the defendant to stop the alleged illegal activity and not publicize defamatory statements.
DoNotPay is a reliable service that can draft a convincing cease and desist letter specific for your case in accurate detail. All you have to do is follow these three simple steps:
1. Look for the Defamation Demand Letters product on DoNotPay.
2. Explain your situation. Include whether the false statements made were libel or slander, list the statements and explain why they are false, and outline the consequences you have suffered as a result.
3. Based on your location, in this case, Indiana, DoNotPay will generate a formal demand letter on your behalf with the most relevant state legislation regarding defamation.
That is it! It is important that DoNotPay will ask you for information about the person you will send the letter to, but will not send the letter on your behalf.
This cease and desist letter will not ask for compensation, but will warn that if they do not revoke the statement, they will take them to court and seek monetary damages.
DoNotPay Also Helps You With:
- Libel vs Slander
- Cease and Desist Order
- Defamation of Character Lawsuit
- Cease and Desist Letter Template
- Online Defamation
- What Can I Do if Someone Is Slandering Me
- What Does Slander Mean in Law
- What Does Libel Mean in Law
- Federal Defamation Law
- Defamation of Character in the Workplace