Defamation means making statements about another person that damages his/her reputation.
How do I sue someone for defamation?
First, you must show that you have suffered some loss that can be calculated in monetary terms. This means that you cannot sue someone simply because they have hurt your feelings or caused you to be socially ostracised. This is unless the other person has accused you of:
- Having committed a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment, whipping, or death,
- Having a contagious or infectious disease,
- Being unchaste or committed adultery (only if you are female), or
- Said words to deliberately discredit you in your profession/career/business.
Next, to show that there is defamation,
- The statement or words must cause your situation in society to be worse-off
- The defamatory remarks must refer to you
- The defamatory words were made known to other people
However, there are many other considerations in whether a lawsuit for defamation can succeed. If you think you might become involved in a civil claim for defamation, you should contact a lawyer to determine your next steps.