Slander Laws in KY Explained

Defamation Demand Letters Slander Laws in KY Explained

Slander Laws in KY - Kentucky

Defamation is a civl wrong and it occurs when one makes false statements that cause harm to another person's reputation.

To establish a defamation case, you have to prove that one of two forms of defamation occurred — either slander or libel. By definition, slander is a spoken statement that is discrediting, while libel must be written or posted defamatory statements.

To prevent further damage to your reputation, you may choose to send a “cease and desist” letter to the individual, telling them to stop making false claims at risk of further legal action. To learn more about how the state of Kentucky handles defamatory claims, read below.

Definition of Defamation in Kentucky

According to Kentucky state laws, you must first define the extent and kind of defamation before you proceed with your case. There are several differences between the forms of defamation, what defamation is, and what it isn’t:

Deviations between slander and libel

  • Slander and libel are the two types of defamation
    • In order to be libel, the defamatory statements must be permanent in some capacity, be it email, a television or radio broadcast, magazine articles, or publications
    • Slander does not require a permanent record, meaning that it only requires a spoken statement or gesture of some kind directed at someone
  • Once you have established what kind of defamation has been levied against you, you can proceed to prove a defamation claim and send a cease and desist letter

Defamatory versus non-defamatory statements

Defamation is complex, and there are a number of differences that identify whether a claim can be classified as slander or libel:

  • Freedom of speech

    • The First Amendment in the United States provides protection to an individual subjected to damaging falsehoods — simultaneously, it enshrines the right of individuals to freedom of speech and their ability to choose
    • Technically, defamation is not illegal in its capacitation but is rather moral protection against falsehoods that damage your life in some capacity
    • If someone’s expression of free speech has caused you this kind of damage, you have the right to sue for compensation
  • False light

    • A false light claim occurs when a defamatory statement towards an individual is published in some form with the implication that it is valid, even though it is not
    • False light recognizes the “protection of the plaintiff's mental and emotional well-being”, while defamation protects reputation or assets
  • Disparagement

    • Disparagements is a defamation clause intended to preserve financial and economic interests for the individual being defamed, their products, or patents that they possess
    • While defamation mostly covers individuals and their interests, disparagement protects the interests of corporations
  • Statements of opinion

    • Statements of opinion cannot be true or false, meaning that they fall out of the scope of defamation, in which the defamatory statements must be provably false
    • If a defamatory statement is clearly a statement of opinion and is continually published, there is an exception to the opinion rule, and you can sue for libel or slander

The State of Kentucky and Online Defamation

Although it is possible to prove online defamation occurred, it is extremely difficult to decide what the best course of action is in any given scenario. In Kentucky, anyone who engages in online defamation can be charged under the state’s harassment legislation, which is familiar and constantly deals with online slander. 

Online defamation evokes Kentucky laws when:

  1. The defendant engages in two or more acts that annoy or alarm the victim and serve no legal purpose
  2. The defendant physically threatens the victim and their family
  3. The defendant issues a slanderous statement and repeatedly harasses or calls the victim for no legal purpose
  4. The defendant stalks the victim, taking part in direct acts against the victim to alarm or annoy them with threats

Punishments for Online Defamation in Kentucky

In response to online defamation, Kentucky has established a wide range of solutions, including:

  1. Issuing Class B Misdemeanors
    1. Incurring a fine of up to $250 and 90 days in jail, or both
  2. Issuing Class A Misdemeanors
    1. Incurring a fine of up to $500 and up to 1 year in jail, or both
  3. Civil Lawsuits
    1. The state of Kentucky aids in the civil litigation process that awards settlements for victims of defamation and slander

Suing for Defamation in Kentucky

In Kentucky, the local legislation states that the elements of a defamation claim are: 

There was a False StatementA fake statement was made by the defendant against the victim
There was an unprivileged publicationThe statement was published and viewable for 24 hours if online, and more than 1 person saw it
There was a fault The fact that the statement was published equaled defamation and negligence on behalf of the defendant
There were damagesThe publication resulted in significant harm to the victim

Examples of defamation per se in the state of Kentucky

In Kentucky, some statements are valid defamation per se, so dangerous that they will always be considered defamation and will be always assumed to have caused harm: 

  • Exposing the plaintiff to public hatred, ridicule, contempt, or grace
  • To induce an evil opinion of them in the minds of right-thinking people and to deprive them of their right to be in a society

Should You Write a Cease and Desist Letter?

  • To preface, writing a cease and desist letter is a complex process that can discredit your case, if not conducted properly.
  • In addition to this, many lawyers who are able to draft cease and desist letters will charge a large sum of money for even responding to you!
  • If you can’t legally prove the damages you’ve suffered, outline all components of corresponding evidence from a legal standpoint, and put together a legally sound letter, you might run the risk of your letter being thrown out and even losing in court.

Draft a Cease and Desist Letter in Minutes!

DoNotPay is an easy and 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 Kentucky state statutes.

All you need to do is:

1. Search for the Defamation Demand Letters service 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 cease and desist 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 specifically for the state of Kentucky.

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