Defamation Ceases and Desists Letter is a written notification that informs an individual or organization that is making false, malicious, or damaging claims about another party’s character or reputation.
The letter demands the recipient to discontinue, retract its statements or take action by a certain deadline set in the letter; otherwise, appropriate legal action may be taken by the harmed party. The defamation ceases and desists letter contains details about the offending party’s false statements and how the harmed party has been affected.
According to the Federal Definition (28 U.S. Code § 4101(1)), “the term ‘Defamation’ means any action or other proceeding for defamation, libel, slander, or similar claims alleging that forms of speech are false, have caused damage to reputation or emotional distress, have presented any person in a false light, or have resulted in criticism, dishonor, or condemnation of any person.”
Individuals and organizations that have been defamed should consider writing defamation cease and desist letters. It will help the defamed parties to put an immediate stop to defamatory statements made by offenders. The defamed parties can achieve this by demanding that the defamatory statements be deleted or retracted by the offender. The defamed parties can also avoid going to court as offenders are notified that the statement is false and has caused damage to their reputation. Suppose the defamed party is forced to go to court, the defamation ceases, and desist letter can be used as proof against the offender. It will help prove that the defamed party made a formal request to stop the defamatory statements.
Types of Defamation
Deformation statements can either be distinguished as per quod or per se. Per quod is a statement the plaintiff can prove caused actual damage. In addition, the plaintiff must have evidence of the injurious nature of the statements made.
If a company sells out a product but its customers return it and demand a refund after false statements are made. In such a case, actual proof of damage can be provided.
Per-se is a damaging statement presumed to be harmful; however, a plaintiff cannot prove it caused actual damage. A per se statement can be categorized as an indication that a person was involved in criminal activity, behaved unethically while conducting business or in a professional capacity, had a ‘loathsome,’ contagious or infectious disease, or engaged in sexual misconduct.
How to File a Defamation Lawsuit
An individual or company that has been defamed must be aware of the procedures they can follow to file a defamation lawsuit. Understanding how to file a defamation lawsuit will ensure that all necessary information related to the false statement is found and secured. It will also ensure that measures are taken to prove the defamed party’s case before the courts.
The following is a step-by-step force of filing a defamation lawsuit:
Collect evidence of false statements
The defamed party should start by collecting all available evidence of the defamatory statement. Defamatory statements made via radio, television, or podcast can be recorded, or screenshots of the false statement can be taken. At the same time, a hyperlink can be submitted if defamation is made online. Using such methods to collect evidence of the false statements ensures the proof of the claims remains even when the offender attempts to take them down.
Show the inaccuracy of the statement
Secondly, the defamed party must prove that the statements made by the offer are false. In some cases, this can be as easy as obtaining public records that state otherwise. The defamed party can also find witnesses that will testify to the false nature of the statements.
Write the defamation cease and desist letter
Thirdly, the defamed party should write a cease and desist letter detailing the false statement made by the offender, damages caused by the false claims, and a demand for the offender to take specified actions. Depending on the false statement made and the circulation of the claims, the harmed party may demand the false statement be deleted, retracted, or for an apology to be issued.
Next, the harmed party should estimate the damages resulting from the false statement. It may not be easy to attribute a monetary value to false statements. However, evaluations of judgments from similar cases where plaintiffs were awarded sums can help the defamed party to come up with a figure.
Prepare and file the lawsuit
Finally, the defamed party should prepare and file a lawsuit if the offender does not meet the demands made in the defamation cease and desist letter. The defamed party should leave this part of the process to an attorney. The evidence of the false statements should be provided to the attorney. Depending on the defamed party’s state of residence, a notice period when the defendant must be informed of the official filing with the district court may be required.
How to Draft a Defamation Cease and Desist Letter
Being a formal letter, a defamation cease and desist letter is written in a specific format. The individual or organization composing defamation cease and desist letters should follow a well-outlined step-by-step process. The process will help ensure that defamed parties convey their message appropriately. Understating how to write a defamation cease and desist letter also ensures that detailed information is provided by the defamed party.
The following is a step-by-step process on how to write a defamation cease and desist letter:
First, the writer should indicate a date. The date ensures information on when the letter was written is provided. The writer of the letter should ensure that the data is written in full.
September 4, 2020
Include the sender and recipient’s details
The sender and recipient’s names and addresses should be indicated in the defamation cease and desist letter. The sender and recipient’s details will provide information on who wrote the latter and who the letter is for.
562 Main St
432 Lombard St
San Francisco Ca67689
Include addressee’s details
The recipient’s name must then be indicated in the salutation of the defamation ceases and desist letter. The addressee’s details ensure that the letter is direct in addressing the recipient. A proper salutation should accompany the addressee’s name.
Dear Mr. Liam,
Write the name of the state
The introductory section of the letter should cantina the name of the state where the harmed party resides. Mentioning the name of the state will provide information on which state laws apply. It will also inform the recipient on where a lawsuit is likely to be filed if no action is taken to rectify the false statements.
It has been brought to my attention that you have made a false and defamatory statement against me. According to the State Laws of San Francisco, it is unlawful to deliberately make false claims that can intentionally harm the reputation of an individual or organization.
Include the false claims or statements
The second section should contain the false claims or statements made against the harmed party. The harmed party should ensure that the false claims or statements are direct quotes of what was said or spoken. The specificity of this information ensures that the recipient knows which statements made were false or damaging.
The statements made include the following: ‘Mr. Smith was involved with the suspect, Mark Waves, for years. He may have information about the crime. There is also a possibility that he is a conspirator.’
Include the communication method used for slander
The method used by the offending party to convey the false statement should be included in the second section of the defamatory cease and desist letter. The writer /defamed party may indicate whether the statements were published online, in a newspaper, or told to a third party.
The statements made are false have no factual basis. They are a result of hearsay. The publication of these statements in the ‘San Francisco Daily’ ensured that the false claims were spread to its wide readership. The spread of such a false statement is damaging to my reputation.
Highlight the damages
The next section of the defamation cease and desist letter should highlight the damages caused to the defamed party. The letter could site damages on the defamed party’s reputation, emotions, or finances, among others. Highlighting the damages ensures that information on how the false statements have affected the defamed party is provided.
The false statements have not only injured my reputation, but they have also affected my employment. Due to the false statements, my employer has decided to put me on a two-month suspension pending investigations of the false claims.
State your demands
The final section of the defamation cease and desist letter should contain the demands of the defamed party. The demands should be specific to ensure that clarity is provided as to what actions the defamed party expects the offender to take to remedy the situation. The defamed party can state that the statement should be deleted and an apology issued.
I, therefore, demand that you issue an apology on the same page the false statement was made. I would also like a letter explaining the situation sent to my employer.
Give a deadline to reply
The final section should also include a deadline for when the recipient is expected to have met the demands. The writer/harmed party should also include actions that may be taken should there be no reply from the recipient. Giving a deadline to replay ensures that recipients are aware of the limited time that has been provided for their response to the letter.
The actions I have stipulated should be done within the next 10 days. If you don’t comply, I will take the issue to court. This action may lead me to demand monetary compensation for the harm caused by your false stalemates.
The defamation cease and desist letter should end the signature and name of the writer/defamed party. An appropriate word should accompany the signature. A signature will indicate that the letter has been concluded.
Defamation State Laws
Different defamation laws may apply to an individual or organization’s lawsuit against an offender. When filing a defamation lawsuit, defamed individuals or organizations should check what is stipulated in their state laws. A state’s defamation laws will help guide the actions taken by any defamed party. Therefore, the defamed party should ensure that they apply the laws as stipulated by the state.
- AL – § 13A-11-163
- MT – § 45-8-212, § 27-1-802 & 27-1-803
- AK – AS 21.36.070
- AZ – ARS 20-445
- NE – RS Ch. 25 § 208, 839, 840 & 840.01
- AR – 660 S.W.2d 933
- NV – NRS 200.510(1), 57 P.3d 82
- NH – RSA 644:1 & 507-A, 106 N.H. 26
- CA – CIV 46
- NJ – 116 N.J. 739
- CO – 882 P.2d 1293
- NM –§ 30-11-1 & 41-7-1 7 – 41-7-6
- CT – DeVito v. Schwartz et al.
- NY – CVR § 74 – 78, 75 N.E.2d 257
- DE – 261 A.2d 529
- NC – GS § 99-1 – 99-5, 442 S.E.2d 572
- FL – § 836.04, 997 So.2d 1098
- ND – § 12.1-15-01 & § 14-02-01 – 14-02-11
- GA – § 51-5-1, 573 S.E.2d 376
- HI – 962 P.2d 353
- OH – § 2739.01 – 2739.99, Murray v. Knight-Ridder, Inc.
- ID – § 18-4801, 943 F. Supp. 2d 1125
- IL – 34 N.E.3d 549
- OK – § 21-771 – 21-781, § 12-1441 & 12-1442
- IN – 750 N.E.2d 433
- OR – § 31.200 – 31.230, 244 Or. 267
- IA – 380 F. Supp. 2d 1002, 512 N.W.2d 777
- PA – § 8343, 544 Pa. 117
- RI – 555 A.2d 321
- SC – SC Code § 16-7-150, 271 S.C. 276
- KS – § 21-6103, § 40-2404(3)
- SD – SDCL § 20-11-3 & 20-11-4
- TN – 172 S.W.2d 13, 83 S.W.3d 125
- KY – § 432.280, 151 S.W.3d 781
- TX – § 59.002, § 119.201, § 122.251
- LA – RS 14:47
- UT – § 76-9-404, § 45-2-2
- ME – 672 A.2d 82
- VT – Cooper v. Myer
- VA – § 18.2-417, § 8.01-247.1
- WA – 225 P.3d 339
- MD – 935 A.2d 719
- WV – WVC § 57-2-4 & 21-3E-13
- WI – § 942.01, Defamation Law of Wisconsin
- WY – WS § 1-29-101 – 1-29-106
- MA – MGL c.272 § 98C & c.176D § 3(3)
- MI – MCL § 600.2911 & 750.370
- MN – MS 609.765, 766 N.W.2d 910
- MS – § 97-3-55 & 97-3-57, § 95 Ch. 1
- MO – MO Rev Stat § 537.110 & 509.210
Defamation Cease And Desist Template
[City, State, Zip code]
[City, State, Zip Code]
Dear [Defamer’s Name],
I am writing this cease and desist letter because you have made false and misleading statements about me. The statements made include;[enter details about the statements]. These statements were made [indicate where the statements were made].
According to the state of [name of the state], these statements constitute [slander/libel]. The false claims you have caused against me have cost me my [highlight damages].
I demand that you [mention demands] by [ give a deadline]. If you don’t comply with my demands, I will seek monetary damages and equitable relief through a court of law.
Defamation Cease And Desist Sample
245 Anthony Lane
Minneapolis, Minnesota 56558
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55657
Dear Mr. Black,
I am writing this letter because you have made false and misleading statements about me. The statements made include the following; ‘Alex Rain’s business practices are questionable and may amount to fraud. It is unclear how many businesses have been affected by his actions.’ These statements were published online.
According to the state of Minnesota, these statements constitute libel. The false claims have damaged my reputation.
I demand that you retract the statements and issue a public apology within the next 7 days. If you don’t comply with my demands, I will seek monetary damages and equitable relief through a court of law.
Following are some free downloadable templates for you:
Frequently Asked Questions
Defamation ceases and desists letter is not legally enforceable. It simply acts as a warning to the offender that legal action will be taken if nothing is done to remedy the defamation. It can help the defamed party avoid going to court, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
If the offender ignores the letter, then the defamed party can file a lawsuit. The defamed party should be sure to consult a lawyer before taking this action. The lawyer will help present the case before the court and incorporate the state laws when filing the lawsuit.
Libel is a type of defamatory statement made in writing such as a newspaper, tabloids, magazines, among other platforms. On the other hand, slander is a type of defamatory statement that is oral or made verbally, such as online, television, radio, or any public venue.