Had someone ruined your reputation publicly, which you think may affect your career? Filing a defamation case can be your solution. But, the decision to file such a lawsuit is itself a tough one to take. You should never take it lightly. There are some standard steps to follow while pursuing a defamation suit.
What Is Defamation?
Let us start from the very beginning. Defamation is an action of communication made by someone to another person about a third person, verbally or in writing, which may affect the third person’s reputation and ruin his career and livelihood. Another mode of defamation is any baseless accusation of crime. Over the last few years, with increasing dependence on the internet, especially different kinds of social networking sites, Social media defamation cases have been on the rise.
Steps To Follow In Filing A Defamation Case:
Here are some must-do things to sue a defamation case, avoiding which may affect you more.
- You Must Check Whether You Are Eligible For Filing A Defamation Case: This is the first and foremost criteria before you proceed. If you think that you have been made the subject of spreading false information about yourself on the public domain which may tarnish your image and you have all valid proofs for that, you are perfectly eligible for filing a defamation case. Just be sure about whether the defamatory information had been shared with a third party and had been published without any lawful reason.
- You Must Hire A Professional Lawyer: You will definitely not like to get bankrupt in carrying a defamation case, will you? Pursuing such an important and complex case all by yourself will have some potential risks. Without the help and valuable advices of a professional lawyer, the case may become a lengthy process that may cost you a lump sum of money. There is also a chance of making unavoidable errors which also result in the same. So, hiring top defamation lawyers is always highly recommended. Having a legal representation in cases regarding money and reputation is always confidence-boosting and time-saving.
- You Should Send A Concerns Notice To The Communicator: If you find something derogatory and abusive has been made against you to a third party, you have the right to issue a concern notice to that communicator (mostly the publisher). That notice should include specified defamatory imputation. Generally, you have to give the concerned person twenty-eight days to make amendments i.e. the offer to make necessary corrections, write an apology, and pay reasonable expenses. If the offer satisfies you and you are happy to accept it, the matter can be declared ‘concluded’ and in that case, you cannot file any defamation suit. But, what if the offer fails to satisfy you? Or, you do not receive any offer within the preferred time? Then, there is only one way left for you. Go for a defamation case.
- You Must Check All The Information Included In Your Concerns Notice: A concerns notice is really an effective way to have an online article or post removed or have someone sent a correction email. Nowadays, with the emergence of online platforms, internet defamation has become a vital threat to the reputation of an individual. Defamation on the internet includes newly popular ‘trolls’ and ‘memes’, which, most of the time target public figures, sometimes very respected ones, that result in insult. If you find something that hurts your image, in the notice, you should specify that particular point that actually is against the community standards set by the platforms. This is because of the fact that your right to sue a case must be contained to what you are listing in the issuing notice. Although not legally mandatory, it will be better if you specify the kind of offer you will be willing to accept.
- You Must Keep In Mind The Time Limit: Time cannot stop. So, this is a very important point to remember that the time limit for filing a defamation case is one year after the date of publication of the defamatory comments. In accordance with that, the time limit of issuing the concerns notice is eleven months from the date of publication. For a case regarding defamation on the internet, you must count the days from the comments are made accessible online, not published online.
- You Can Get A Payment Of Reasonable Expenses: Generally, for a defamation case, it is quite difficult to recover all the costs. Recovering all the costs is a rare thing to happen. What you may get is a payment of reasonable expenses as an offer from the communicator to whom you have sent the concerns notice.
If you think that your reputation is important enough to protect you from abusive comments, you should hire a professional lawyer. If you are from Perth, you can ask Defamation Lawyers Perth who can help you get a wise law-person.