How Do You Sue Someone for Slander?


Quick Answer

A slander lawsuit must meet certain conditions to be considered valid by a court, according to Nolo. The slander must be false, injurious, unprivileged and published, which can mean merely that it was heard or seen by another person.

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Full Answer

Slander is one of two types of defamation, and it refers to defamation that is committed orally. Libel is written defamation, and it is considered more serious because it is more pervasive, explains Nolo. Legally, for slander to be published does not mean it has to be printed. Published, when referring to slander, means that the defamation had to occur in a public venue where a third party heard it. This can include defamation made through speeches or loud conversation. A statement also needs to be proven false to be considered slander. Opinions in general cannot be considered slander because they are subjective and cannot be proven to be false.

Because the main point of defamation law is to protect the person in question from injury, a statement needs to be proven to have caused harm for it to be considered slander, notes Nolo. Examples of such harm include the loss of a job, alienation from the community, or other types of harassment caused by the slander. The statement must also have been made by an unprivileged source. Legally, certain types of speech are considered privileged, such as a witness testifying in a trial, and cannot be considered slander under any conditions.

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