How to Prove Defamation of Character

Defamation Demand Letters How to Prove Defamation of Character

How to Prove Defamation of Character

If you are a victim of defamation of character, you may want to file a defamation lawsuit or take legal action against that person. 

There are specific requirements you must meet to prove defamation. This article will inform you how you can prove defamation of character and what actions you should take next. It’ll also introduce you to an easy way to stop defamation using DoNotPay!

What Are Defamatory Statements?

Defamatory statements are untrue statements presented as facts that misrepresent the character of an individual or group. These statements can be damaging for one’s employment opportunities, income, reputation, and more.

Elements of Defamation

A defamatory statement must meet the following criteria:

  1. The statement must be false in nature.
  2. A defamatory statement must be presented as a non-subjective fact about the plaintiff.
  3. The statement must be communicated or accessible to a third party or the general public.
  4. The defendant must have malicious intent when making the statement.
  5. The statement must cause serious damages to the plaintiff.

What’s the Difference Between Slander and Libel?

Libel refers to written or published defamatory statements with a permanent record, usually found in:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Blogs
  • Social media

Slander is spoken defamatory statements or even gestures, often found in:

  • Conversations
  • Voicemail
  • Phone calls
  • TV programs

How to Distinguish Between Defamation and Free Speech

Protected Opinion
  • If the defendant can prove that the statement published is true, it is not defamation.
  • Statements of opinion are protected under the laws of the First Amendment. However, statements that start with “I think” do not automatically make it an opinion. The US Supreme Court considers a statement of opinion to be:
    1. A matter of public concern
    2. Expressed in a way such that you are unable to prove whether the statement is true or false
    3. Cannot be interpreted as a fact about the person it revolves around
Matters of Public InterestIf you make a statement about a matter of public interest, such as a local political scandal, it is not defamation.

Proving Defamation of Character

Defamation of character claims varies slightly by state. The list below outlines general rules followed by most states: 

  1. The statement was viewed by a third party. For example, the statement was made public through gossip.
  2. The statement is false. If it is true, it is not considered damaging, although it may be an invasion of privacy and even disparaging.
  3. The statement is harmful to your reputation, business and career opportunities, mental health, and more.
  4. You can pinpoint the person responsible for the defamatory comments

DoNotPay Can Create a Cease and Desist Letter for You!

If you are a victim of defamation, you should draft a cease and desist letter before taking any other legal action. A cease and desist letter aims to stop the alleged illegal activity and inform the defendant that if they do not revoke their statements, you will pursue legal action.

Let DoNotPay write a strongly worded cease and desist letter specific to your case! All you have to do is follow these three steps:

1. Search "defamation" on DoNotPay and select the Defamation Demand Letters product.

2. Explain your situation:

  • Were the statements libel or slander?
  • What are the statements?
  • Explain why they are false.
  • Outline the damages you have faced.

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

That it is! DoNotPay will send you this letter through email so that you could send it to the defendant!

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