Defamation of Character: What it is and How to Proceed with a Lawsuit
In all US states, defamation with substantial financial consequences for the offender. Any false statement that causes financial, reputational, physical, or emotional harm to another individual can be classified as defamation In order to begin a defamation case, you need to establish which of the two types of defamatory statements have been levied against you — slander or libel. Slander occurs when the defamation is spoken and harmful, while libel occurs when those harmful statements are in writing or an otherwise permanent format.
To prevent further harm once defamatory statements have been made, it is wise to file a “cease and desist” letter, telling the individual that you will continue with legal action if they keep making statements. Below, you will find all of the information you need for pursuing a defamation lawsuit in the State of Kansas.
How is Defamation Defined, Exactly?
To sue for defamation in Kansas, it is of utmost importance to determine the extent of the defamation and its form. There are several characteristics that classify a statement as defamatory, as outlined below:
Slander, or Libel?
- Slander and libel are the two classifications of defamation in Kansas state law.
- In proving a case of defamation, this is the first step that you must take. Then, you can continue by sending a cease and desist letter to the offender.
Speech that Does not Count as Defamation
Defamation is a complicated subject, and it is far more difficult to prove a case than it may seem at first. Here are several limitations on defamation that may disqualify your case:
1. Expressions of Free Speech
- Under US law, the First Amendment protects all individuals against defamatory statements that cause harm to their character. However, the First Amendment also protects the right to free speech creating a grey area that makes defamation difficult.
- While defamation is not illegal in its capacitation, it is established moral protection that prevents falsehoods known as defamation.
- If someone else’s exertion of free speech has caused you financial, reputational, or personal harm, then you can sue for defamation.
2. False Light Clause
- A false light claim occurs when a statement is made that appears to be a statement of fact but is actually false.
- The false light clause protects an individual against these kinds of statements when they cause emotional or mental harm to the person being defamed, as opposed to reputational or financial harm.
- This is a protection of financial and economic interest for the defamed individual. Its protections extend to the individuals’ patents and products as well.
- In general, the disparagement clause is used to protect business interests, as opposed to the personal interests protected under defamation.
4. Expressions of Opinion
- Opinion statements definitionally cannot be considered defamation, as statements of opinion are not provably true or false.
- In one exception, if a statement of opinion is made out to be a statement of fact, then is further published to cause harm to the individual, then it may be eligible for defamation litigation.
Regulations Surrounding Online Defamation of Character in the State of Kansas
In the State of Kansas, defamation is a harmful and false statement of fact, disclosed to a third party without the consent of the individual or business referenced in any statements. Libel is considered as written or graphic defamation while slander is seen to be auditory or spoken defamation.
According to verbatim Kansas Law, criminal defamation includes:
- Communicating to a person through word of mouth, in writing, or by any other means, information;
- Knowing the information to be fake and with actual malice
- To expose another living person to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule
- To deprive such person of the benefits of public confidence and social acceptance
- To degrade and vilify the memory of one who is dead and to scandalize or provoke surviving relatives and friends
- Criminal defamation is a class A nonperson misdemeanor
- The truth of the information communicated is eligible to be admitted as evidence
- The Statute of Limitations in the State of Kansas
- The Statute of Limitations in Kansas is 1 year maximum, from the time that the original statement was made — private figures must prove negligence, public figures have to file a case for defamation of character
Suing for Defamation of Character in Kansas
In Kansas, local law states that the elements of a defamation claim are:
1. A False Statement
An undoubtedly false statement was made about the plaintiff.
2. An Unprivileged Publication
A publication that was not permitted on or through a third party.
3. A Fault
The fault on behalf of the defendant equaled negligence.
The publication caused damages and incurred serious harm.
Defamation Per Se in Kansas
In the State of Kansas, certain damages are so egregious that they are always considered to be defamatory and are considered to have incurred serious harm.
|Causing harm to a business||Making false accusations against a business or owner, causing significant losses|
|Accusing someone of sexual promiscuity or having a contractible disease||Accusing an individual of having or transmitting a sexually transmitted disease|
|Accusing a person or business of being criminal||Accusing a person or business of engaging in criminal activity causing irreparable harm to their image and/or reputation|
Writing a Cease and Desist Letter, What Are the Drawbacks and Benefits?
- To preface, writing a cease and desist letter is a deeply detailed process that can discredit your case, if not conducted properly
- If you are unable to legally prove the damages you’ve suffered, outline all components of corresponding and supporting facts from a legal standpoint, and put together a legally sound letter, you may risk your letter being thrown out and even being unsuccessful if you need to go to court
- In addition to this, many lawyers who are able to draft cease and desist letters will make you pay an exorbitant amount of money for even drafting a response to your inquiries!
Discover the DoNotPay Advantage: Draft a Cease and Desist Letter in Minutes!
DoNotPay is a 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 Kansas 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 precisely drafted cease and desist letter to your cause with the inclusion of Kansas-specific legislation, in an instant!
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