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.Continue Reading
According to Nolo, in a defamation suit, a statement consists of something stated about the plaintiff in speech, writing, pictures or gestures.
A published statement is something that was made available to a third party, such as through television or the Internet, or in gossip or loud conversation. Nolo states that the published statement must be false. Malicious comments that are not false do not count as defamation. Opinions also do not count as defamation, since they cannot be proven as false.
Nolo defines an injurious statement as one that causes demonstrable damage to the plaintiff. For example, a statement that causes the plaintiff to lose work or be shunned by neighbors, friends and family is considered injurious. An unprivileged statement is one that is not protected from defamation claims by law. For example, testimony in a court proceeding is considered privileged and cannot be used as a basis for a defamation suit, even if it is published, false and injurious.Learn more about Law
A bill of particulars is a statement that a plaintiff or defendant submits to another party in response to the party's request for the same and contains detailed information about the defense that the defendant intends to use in the case or details of the charges leveled against the defendant, according to the New York City Civil Court. In most cases, a party must submit the bill of particulars within 30 days following receipt of the other party's request.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Significant cases dealing with defamation of character in the context of employment and labor include Bahr v. Boise Cascade Corporation and O'Donnell v. City of Buffalo, according to the William Mitchell Journal of Law and Practice. Both of these cases took place in Minnesota.Full Answer >
The potential consequences of harboring a runaway include criminal charges and civil liability suits, says Nolo. Laws vary from one state to another, but many states have laws against contributing to the delinquency of a minor.Full Answer >