Draft a Defamation Complaint Letter
Having someone publish false harmful statements about you is never pleasant.
The laws of defamation protect people’s reputations from unjustified harm. A person’s reputation is considered core to their self-worth and dignity. If a reputation is harmed, it is difficult to mend it, especially professionally. If you are a victim of defamation, you have the right to file a defamation complaint letter seeking monetary compensation and asking the defendant to revoke all defamatory statements.
What is Considered Defamation?
Defamation is illegal and occurs when someone publishes false statements without privilege to a third party with the intent to harm another person’s reputation. These statements misrepresent the character of the person and can lead to serious material damages.
There are two types of defamation: libel and slander. The following table provides an overview of these two types:
|Libel||Written defamatory remarks that are tangible in form and leave a permanent record. You can face online defamation if someone publishes written defamatory remarks about you on social media, or on websites and blogs.|
|Slander||Spoken or gestured defamatory remarks that are not tangible in form and are temporary in nature.|
Elements of Defamation
For a statement to be considered defamation, it must follow the five elements of defamation. They are:
- The statement must be false. A true statement, regardless of how embarrassing or rude it is, cannot be considered defamatory.
- The statement must be published, meaning that it was communicated to a third party.
- The person who published the statement did so with negligence, meaning that the person either knew it was false or questioned its truthfulness but still published it anyway.
- The person who published the statement did so with malicious intent.
- The statement must have caused economic or non-economic damages to the person it is about, such as loss of business opportunities or emotional distress.
What A Defamation Complaint Letter Should Include
If you are facing defamation, then you can submit a defamation complaint letter. It should include:
- Facts: discuss the facts of your case in detail.
- Liability: briefly discuss the law when it comes to proving damages caused by defamation.
- Damages and settlement considerations: lay out all the damages that you have suffered after the defendant published the defamatory statement. This includes your economic losses and expenses you had to pay because of defamation.
- Make a monetary demand: you can add up the damages you previously listed and discount a reasonable amount based on your costs.
Sample Defamation Complaint Letter
Follow the template below to write your cease and desist letter:
Date the letter is being written
To name of the addressee:
[Name of the sender] is a respected professional in their community and has put a lot of effort into building a positive reputation. The Plaintiff is a resident of [name of the city you reside in], and has worked as [plaintiff’s occupation for a specified period], and at all this time, the plaintiff has enjoyed a good reputation.
The Defendant (name) is an individual who is currently living in [name of the city and state of the defendant’s residence].
The plaintiff believes that the defendant has been maliciously spreading false and unfounded statements that are causing serious harm and damage to their reputation, misrepresenting their character.
Under the laws in the State of [the name of the state where the defamed individual resides], it is illegal and unlawful for a person to intentionally spread false statements with the intention to harm a person’s reputation without factual evidence.
The defamatory statements include:
[Write the defamatory remarks that the person has published about you and the date on which they were published]
The entire statement “(specify the statement)” is false and it refers to the plaintiff by name and was understood by those who read the statement
The statement clearly exposes the plaintiff to hatred, ridicule, and contempt because (state the reason why it is defamatory, for example, it states that the plaintiff is incompetent in their profession)
The statement was seen and read on (date) by (people who have seen or read the publication)
As a result of the defamatory statement, the plaintiff has suffered the loss of (his/her) reputation, shame and caused material damages of a total amount of (amount of economic losses)
A Cease and Desist Letter
If you are facing defamation, then you can draft a cease and desist letter before filing a defamation lawsuit. A cease and desist letter warns the defendant that if they do not revoke all defamatory statements they published then you will file a lawsuit against them and take them to court to recover all monetary damages.
A cease and desist letter must be uniquely tailored to your case and must be convincing and professionally written so that the perpetrator will take it seriously. Lawyers will always do a good job, but they are extremely expensive. Most victims of defamation cannot afford to hire one because of the extreme economic damages they have already suffered.
Let DoNotPay Draft a Cease and Desist Letter For You!
DoNotPay is a fast and reliable service that can draft a cease and desist letter in accurate details with the information about the case. Here’s how to do it:
1. Search “defamation” on DoNotPay and select the product.
2. Explain your situation and provide:
- The defamatory statement
- Who they were written or spoken by
- Why it’s false
- The damages it has caused you
- The state in which the defamatory statement was published
That’s it! Based on your state, DoNotPay will generate a carefully written cease and desist letter for the defamatory statement!
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