Understanding Defamation of Character in the State of Iowa

Defamation Demand Letters Understanding Defamation of Character in the State of Iowa

Distinguishing and Understanding Defamation in the State of Iowa

It is a significant crime when someone makes false and destructive claims about you, which is known as Defamation. There are two sorts of defamation: “libel,” which refers to a statement that is written or uploaded on the internet, and “slander,” which relates to a remark that is said verbally. Defamation cases must be proven by showing that the libel or slander was published in some form and that the subject’s reputation, future employment possibilities, or even physical or mental health were harmed as a result.

Several people have taken the step of filing a “cease and desist” letter in response to this crime, in which they instruct the person making the false allegations to halt before any further legal action can be taken against them. In this section, you’ll learn more about defamation and how to navigate the laws of the State of Iowa.

What is Considered Defamation?

Slander vs. Libel

Slander and libel are the two elements of defamation, as previously mentioned: 

  • Libel is also distinguished by the fact that it leaves a permanent record, such as an email, radio or television broadcast, newspaper article, or website posting, among other things.
  • False statements or gestures are not recorded in any way, and they can be as simple as a spoken statement or a gesture of the hand.

To prove a defamation claim or determine whether you can send a cease and desist letter, it is necessary to first identify the type of defamation that has taken place. 

What Isn’t Counted as Defamation?

Despite the fact that proving defamation appears to be a straightforward and straightforward process, several legal loopholes prevent claims from being classified as slander or libel: 


    • A statement of opinion cannot be defamatory because defamation must be proven to be true or false before it can be considered true or false.
    • Defamatory statements that are not identified as opinions and are published may give you grounds to file a lawsuit for slander or libel if the statement is not identified as an opinion.

The Right to Free Expression

    • When it comes to the First Amendment, individuals have the right not to be subjected to falsehoods that cast aspersions on their character.
    • In essence, defamation is not illegal in the legal sense of the word. A claim of defamation is simply an excuse for the legal system to compensate those who have been harmed by freedom of expression.

False Light Claims Are Not Defamatory

    • It is possible to make a false light claim when a defamatory statement about an individual is published in a way that implies that the statement is true when it is not.
    • In contrast to defamation, false light is established to “protect the plaintiff’s mental and emotional well-being,” rather than to “protect the plaintiff’s reputation,” which is what defamation does.


  • Disparagement serves to protect the financial and economic interests of the plaintiff or the products they are attempting to sell.
  • Defamation is intended to protect personal interests, whereas disparagement is intended to protect interests that extend beyond the individual, such as property ownership and non-liquid assets.

The State of Iowa and Online Defamation

In spite of the fact that it is feasible to establish internet defamation, deciding whether or not to take legal action may be very challenging. According to the state of Iowa, defendants who engage in “harassment via computer” may be prosecuted under the state’s “computer-based harassment” statute.

Iowa and Harassment

According to Iowa law, harassment may be classified into three categories: 

  1. First-degree harassment, which is an aggravated misdemeanor
  2. Second-degree harassment, which is a severe misdemeanor
  3. Third-degree harassment, which is a straightforward misdemeanor.
  • Penalties may be severe and may include jail time as well as monetary penalties.
  • In the first or second degree, harassment is a severe crime, and being charged with it is very serious since you are being accused of a felony in which the state asserts that you are threatening death, serious harm, or physical damage to another individual.
  • Although having a third-degree harassment conviction on your record is not ideal, having a first- or second-degree harassment conviction on your record may make it more difficult to get some types of work.
  • This is due to the fact that the accusations include threatening violence against someone, which is clearly not what an employer is looking for in a candidate for the position.
  • When you engage in third-degree harassment, you are being obnoxious to another person without having a valid reason for doing so.
  • Furthermore, it includes any other kind of harassment that is not classified as either first- or second-degree harassment.

Suing for Defamation of Character in The State of Iowa

In Iowa, the law states that the elements of a defamation claim are: 

An Intent to Coerce The person who defamed you had the intention to coerce, bully, intimidate or harass you with ill intent
Defamation Occurred  The defamation occurred and there are records of messages, actions, or statements that contained libel or slander and were negative in nature
Defamation was Obscene  The defamation made a suggestion or proposal that was obscene, threatened an illegal or immoral act, or was vulgar, profane, lewd, or indecent with respect to your reputation
Damages Incurred  You incurred damages as a result of the individual’s actions that served as permanently harmful

Examples of Defamation Per Se in the State of Iowa

In Iowa, these broad statements are valid defamation per se, so harmful that they will always be considered defamatory and will be always assumed to have incurred substantial damages: 

  1. This implies that a crime was done that was inherently immoral.
  2. Making the implication that a person suffers from an infectious or humiliating illness that requires them to be isolated from the rest of society
  3. The inference is made that a person is unsuitable to do a job and lacks fundamental integrity in the execution of their work itself.
  4. The victim’s trade suffers as a result of the statement’s inflammatory tone.

Deciding How to File a Cease and Desist Letter

  • In order to make your argument believable, cease and desist letters must be very detailed and include specific wording. 
    • It is possible that your letter may be ignored or considered inadequate for a legitimate case if it does not correctly describe the damages, injury, and other facts concerning your case using language that is appropriate in a court of law.
    • Alternatively, you may hire a lawyer to draft a stop and desist letter on your behalf, but this will be more costly and may take longer than you expect to complete.
  • In the state of Virginia, a case like this has a statute of limitations of one year after the event of defamation, which means that you only have a limited amount of time to submit your claim.

Discover the DoNotPay Advantage: Draft a Cease and Desist Letter in Minutes!

DoNotPay is a simple and convenient solution! The Cease and Desist letter DoNotPay drafts will detail the information about the case, demand retraction, warn against future statements, and will order that the accused abides by Iowa state statutes.

All you need to do is:

1. Search Defamation on DoNotPay.


2. Tell us about your situation:

    • Were the statements slander or libel?
    • What were the statements?
    • Why are they false or misleading?
    • What consequences have you suffered as a result of these statements?


3. Based on your location, DoNotPay will immediately generate a formal demand letter on your behalf, with the most relevant state legislation regarding defamation.

That’s it! You can expect a drafted cease and desist letter to your cause, in an instant! 

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