How To Legally Stop A Person From Spreading Malicious Rumors About You
Is someone spreading lies about you on Facebook or Twitter and you just can't stand the person anymore? And do these lies or rumors taint your image? If so, don't keep quiet about it. You actually have the power and right to sue the person and get compensated for the damage that these lies have caused. This type of crime is known as defamation. You can also sue a person if the lies or false rumors have led you to be despised, shunned, avoided, or ridiculed by other people.
In law, defamation is defined as the act of spreading false rumors that may harm the reputation of another person. Defamation exists in two forms: libel and slander. Libel defamation refers to a written statement while slander refers to an oral statement. You can earn a higher compensation if a person has defamed you through writing as compared to if the person has defamed you through an oral statement. This is due to the fact that a written statement such as a publication in the newspaper is more permanent and it incurs greater damages.
Proving that someone has spoken or written false things about you is not an easy thing to do and that is why you need a good lawyer by your side. First you have to act within the first twelve months after the release of the defamatory material. Then you must prove that the material is false, it is published, and it is injurious.
The material has to be false otherwise it doesn't make sense to sue someone for tainting your image if the person was only telling the truth. Another important thing is to show that the material is published, which doesn't necessarily mean that the material is printed in a book. It simply means that a third party (another person other than you and the person who made the defamatory statement) saw or heard the material. You must also show that the material has done some damage to your life. It could be that you are suffering losses in your business or you have become the laughing stock of your neighborhood. .
Defamation damages are currently capped at $355,000 but the truth is that the compensation largely depends on the type of damage. You can get compensated for general damages, special damages, or aggravated damages. Compensatory or general damages compensate for the loss of reputation and hurt feelings. Special damages compensate for business losses while aggravated damages are awarded when the court decides that the defamatory statement was made out of malice (improper motive), ill-will, or it was deliberate.
Talk to a criminal law attorney for more information on your options.