How to file a lawsuit for slander

Written by ehow contributor
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Slander is a form of oral or spoken defamation. Defamation involves a false statement about another person that tends to cause them harm. It can be difficult to prove slander because it can conflict with someone else's right to free speech. However, if you feel you have been a victim of slander, here are some tips to help you file a lawsuit.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Understand the law. Generally, to prove slander, you must be able to show that someone made a false and unprivileged statement about you, this statement was conveyed to a third party and this statement resulted in damage to you. Public figures must also prove that the slanderous statement was made with actual malice.

  2. 2

    Consult with an attorney. Slander lawsuits are notoriously difficult to prove because the statements must amount to more than mere gossip and innuendo, and the damage to your reputation may be difficult to prove. You should consult with an experienced slander attorney to help you assess your claim and to potentially represent you in a slander lawsuit.

  3. 3

    File a complaint in court. In your complaint, you must name the defendant who made the slanderous remark and explain the facts supporting your claim. Be sure to list all damages you have suffered as a result of the slander. Follow the rules of your jurisdiction for properly filing the complaint and serving it on the defendant.

  4. 4

    Go to court. The court will tell you when to appear in court for your slander trial. Be sure to bring all evidence and any witnesses that can support your claim. The court will listen to your case and issue a ruling.

Tips and warnings

  • Be aware that the laws regarding the degree of damage you must suffer to prove your slander claim can vary from state to state.
  • Remember that truth is an absolute defense to a slander lawsuit.
  • Don't delay. There is a statute of limitations for filing a slander lawsuit. Be sure to comply with this time frame to avoid waiving your claim.

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