Proving Defamation of Character in New Jersey and the Elements of a Defamation Case
Defamation is a crime with serious consequences. It happens when someone makes false and injurious statements that cause harm to another individual, financially, reputation-wise, or in terms of future opportunities and/or physical and mental health.
To establish a defamation case, one must prove that one of the two types of defamation occurred — slander or libel. Slander is defined as spoken discrediting, while libel is defined as written or posted slander.
To prevent this from damaging one’s reputation further, many choose to file a “cease and desist” letter, telling the individual to stop making false claims before further legal action ensues. To learn more about how the State of New Jersey deals with defamatory claims, read below.
Defining Defamation in the State of New Jersey
Following New Jersey’s state laws, it is important to define the extent and type of defamation before proceeding with a case. Many differences exist between what is defamation and what isn’t, including:
The Difference Between Slander and Libel
The two types of defamation are slander and libel:
- Libel can also be recognized by the fact that it attributes a permanent record, like an email, radio or TV broadcast, newspaper article, or posting
- Slander, contrastingly, does not have a permanent record, making it as simple as a spoken statement or a hand gesture towards someone
Identifying the main cause and type of defamation that occurred is the first way to prove a defamation claim, or to establish the grounds for sending a cease and desist letter
Online Defamation in the State of New Jersey
Although proving online defamation can be difficult, the state of New Jersey streamlines the ability to pursue legal action. In all, two New Jersey state laws apply to situations of cyberbullying that can result in criminal prosecution. Here’s what you need to know:
- Cyberbullying can be charged under New Jersey harassment law when the harassment occurs in an electronic format intended to annoy or harm someone
- This includes making threats to inflict harm or injury on the victim, their property and sending materials to emotionally harm a victim or place them under fear of emotional or physical harm
- This could result in posting an abusive message on a social media platform, sending threatening messages to a victim, stalking, engaging in two or more acts against a victim where the victim is left in fear for their safety
- Repeated contact and conduct is what escalates the crime
Cyber Harassment Penalties in New Jersey
This crime is a crime of the fourth degree, penalties can range but usually cover the following:
- A fine of up to $10,00
- Up to 18 months in prison
- Both, or a combination of other financial compensatory procedures
Defamation of Character in the State of New Jersey
In New Jersey, the law states that the following are elements of defamation, provable in a criminal court:
|A False Statement||A false statement was issued, concerning the plaintiff|
|An Unauthorized Publication||Something was publicized that was unauthorized and defamatory|
|A Mistake/Fault||The mistake amounted to criminal negligence|
|Losses Suffered||The losses incurred caused damages|
Examples of Defamation in the State of New Jersey
The State of New Jersey courts’ system recognizes many privileges and defenses in the context of defamation, including:
- Substantial Truth: “Truth” as the actual defense against defamation
- Fair Report Privileges: Reports of defamatory statements made in judicial and other official proceedings
- Neutral Reportage Privilege: New Jersey offers extensive protections available under the New Jersey fair report privilege that are analogous to a neutral reportage privilege
Should You Write A Cease and Desist Letter?
- Writing a cease and desist letter is a very complicated process that discredits your case if not conducted properly
- If you are unable to prove the damages, harm, and details of your case and to compose a legally sound letter, you will run the risk of your letter being discarded and even unsuccessful in court
- Also, many lawyers who will draft cease and desist letters are extremely expensive and time-consuming — keep in mind that the statute of limitations for the state of New Jersey is 1 year after the incident, providing a short window of time that is viable to sue or submit a claim
Discover DoNotPay and Find Out How to Draft a Cease and Desist Letter in Minutes!
DoNotPay is a quick, trustworthy and convenient solution! The Cease and Desist letter DoNotPay drafts details the information about the case, demands retraction, warns against any impending statements, and will order that the accused abides by New Jersey state law.
All you need to do is:
1. Search Defamation on DoNotPay.
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