Michigan Defamation Law
Has someone relayed false information about you in the last twelve months, causing injury to your reputation? Have you lost income, clients, or business opportunities as a result of the statement? If so, you may have a good case for defamation.
What You’ll Need to Prove
A statement is defamatory if it is false, published to a third party without privilege or consent, made with negligence to factual accuracy, and harmful or be able to lead to harm. Statements will be construed as either libel (written) or slander (spoken). The aforementioned elements are common to defamation claims nationwide, with a few Michigan-specific distinctions concerning select statements and individuals.
Under Michigan defamation law, Michigan recognizes “defamation per-se,” which penalizes defamatory statements that impute the commission of a criminal offense, immorality, or lack of chastity. Harm to a plaintiff’s reputation and feeling are presumed in such cases. Thus, there is no need to prove actual damages.
Public Figures and Officials
Under Michigan defamation law, public officials must prove actual malice to recover for any subject matter that relates to the official’s character and fitness for office. A public official is an individual whose position is of such significance that the public has an interest in his qualifications or performance. Michigan has held out specific law enforcement officials, municipal figures, and prominent business owners and executives as public officials, requiring these plaintiffs to prove ill will in order to recover for a defamatory statement.
Truth is the most-recognized defense for a defamation claim. The substantial truth doctrine states that a plaintiff must offer convincing evidence of a statement’s falsity in order to show defamation. The Fair Report Privilege Act provides absolute protection against liability for truthful reports of public and official proceedings.
Free, No Obligation Defamation Consultation
Your initial consultation is always complimentary. We will work for your defamation claim on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we only get paid for our legal services if there is a monetary recovery of funds. Defamation cases must be filed one year from your knowledge of the defamatory statement, known as the statute of limitations. Call the Dailey Law Firm right away to ensure that you do not lose your right to possible compensation because the statute of limitations has expired.
The Dailey Law Firm, P.C. is the preferred Personal Injury law firm of The Law Show, heard worldwide every Saturday morning at www.thelawshow.com, WLS in Chicago, Illinois; WJR in Detroit, Michigan; and 97.1 FM News Talk in St. Louis, Missouri.