Defamation of Character Maine - Slander and Libel

Defamation Demand Letters Defamation of Character Maine - Slander and Libel

Defamation of Character Maine

Whether you want to learn what defamation laws are and how they apply to you, prepare for a potential lawsuit, or draft a cease and desist defamation letter - we’ve got you covered on everything you need to know about Maine’s libel/slander laws and how DoNotPay’s services can help you!

Read on to understand Maine’s defamation laws and how to pursue legal action against defamatory statements.

The A through Z on Defamation

Defamation is the publication of a false statement that can damage someone's reputation. It can affect not only your personal reputation but even your status in your workplace. Here are some basic points about the characteristics of defamation:

  • The purpose of enforcing defamation laws is not so much to punish the person who has made a defamatory statement, but rather to compensate the individual who has been defamed.
  • There are two kinds of defamation:
    1. Libel - when the defamatory statement was published in written form (be it online or in print.)
    2. Slander - when the defamatory statement was spoken out loud by someone.
  • Defamation is considered a civil wrong more so than a criminal wrong and therefore, the remedy for it is often monetary compensation.

Understanding Maine as a Per Se State 

The state of Maine permits defamation lawsuits to be filed under the per se provision. This provision allows for certain kinds of false statements to be considered defamatory by implication - and guarantees that you do not have to prove damages at court because damages would be assumed through the nature of the implication itself.

This table demonstrates the three kinds of false implications which would be valid for filing a per se defamation lawsuit:

False ImplicationsExplanation
CriminalityA false implication which associates the plaintiff with a criminal record, criminal associations, or ongoing criminal behavior.
Moral TurpitudeMoral turpitude, it's taken to mean crimes that can be considered insulting in moral terms. This may include things such as lying, stealing, inappropriate behavior (or any such action against social customs.)
A loathsome diseaseAn example of this would be sexually transmitted diseases.

What Defense Does Maine Recognize in Cases of Character Defamation?

Here is a list of the defenses which you can apply in the state of Maine against a defamation case:

  • Truth - If the defamatory statement was true it cannot be held against you as libel.
  • Good Faith Reporting - this applies to published news reports, the work of journalists is considered privileged if they can demonstrate that the report was done in the spirit of fairness and with the intention of keeping the public informed.
  • Privilege -  Public proceedings, statements made within the court, and conversations of professional privilege are exempt from defamation proceedings.
  • Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act - this act works against online defamation by ensuring that website operators / ISPs are not held responsible for any defamatory content posted by their users.

Public Figures According to the State of Maine

Defamation laws in the US always distinguish between private people and public figures. It is generally harder for a public figure to win a defamation suit because they must prove malice, not negligence. The state of Maine considers the following public figures:

  1. Any elected officials. This includes government officials across the local, state, and national levels.
  2. Individuals who have obtained for themselves “general name recognition” amongst their community.
  3. Any individual considered a celebrity, can be at either the national and international levels.

What Is a Cease and Desist Letter and How Can It Help?

Because a defamation lawsuit involves time, energy, and a solid amount of legal expenses, we know that it can be the last option you'd want to take in a case of defamation. That's why a cease and desist letter is a viable option to remedy defamatory statements.

A cease and desist letter contains the statement you have found defamatory and asks to stop any further defamation of your character. It can also request that the statement be retracted.

This kind of letter, as well as any cease and desist letter- does not require an attorney to complete. This makes the process easier for you, as well as cheaper. The letter can serve to warn the defendant that you will pursue a lawsuit for defamation if you do not receive a favorable response.

Get a Cease and Desist Letter Fast!

We know that writing a cease and desist letter for any situation (be it defamation, harassment, or copyright infringement) can be stressful and sometimes even intimidating. You have to phrase everything perfectly and professionally knowing that your reputation is at stake.

The good news is that DoNotPay can help you draft a cease and desist letter quickly and conveniently, here’s how it works:

1. Search “defamation” on DoNotPay and click the Defamation Demand Letters icon.

2. Choose whether you’ve been faced with libel, slander, or both.

3. State the false claims that were spoken or written about you.

According to your state, DoNotPay will create a personalized cease and desist letter with all the relevant laws. Send it to the defamer to put an end to their behavior!

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

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