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What is considered slander?

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Quick Answer

Slander is one of two forms of defamation, a statement that hurts a person's reputation, and must be spoken. The other form is libel, a written statement that damages reputation. The distinguishing characteristic between slander and libel is the means of delivery.

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Full Answer

Slander is not a criminal offense, but is regarded as a civil one. Like libel, and defamation law in general, the law pertaining to slander balances different interests, which may be competing. On one hand, there is freedom of expression, but on the other, people should not suffer due to lies. In some cases, legal action may be required to address the issue.

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    How do you sue someone for defamation of character?

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    You can bring a lawsuit for defamation of character if you can establish that a statement was made about you that was published, injurious, false and unprivileged, Nolo explains. The laws vary by state, but these four elements are usually necessary to prove defamation of character. Defamation is a statement that hurts a person's reputation. A written statement is libel, while a spoken statement is slander.

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  • Q:

    How do I sue someone for defamation of character?

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    Civil suits for defamation of character can be brought if a plaintiff can establish that a statement was made about him that was published, false, injurious and unprivileged, according to Nolo. Specific laws vary by state, but these four elements are generally accepted as necessary across the United States. Defamation is defined as a statement that hurts someone's reputation. A written harmful statement is libel, a spoken one is slander.

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  • Q:

    What are the grounds for accusations of libel and slander?

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    Grounds for libel and slander require the plaintiff to prove the defendant made a defamatory statement about the plaintiff, the defendant publicized the communication to a third party and the publisher acted negligently in publishing the communication. The plaintiff must also prove special damages, according to FindLaw.

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  • Q:

    What qualifies a person to press charges for slander?

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    According to the legal information site HG.org, a person is qualified to sue for slander if he has proof of being defamed verbally and can show that he has suffered damages as a result. Defamation is a false statement about a person that leads the subject to suffer injury, such as financially, professionally or personally.

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