What is the Law of Seditious Libel in Nevada and what are the Punishments for it?
In Nevada, there are 2 kinds of defamation-slander and libel. The key distinction between these two varieties is whether the derogatory statements were made in writing (libel) or verbally (slander).
Elements of Defamation in Nevada
When a prosecution wants to establish defamation in the state, they have to prove the following 4 elements:
- The defendant published the statement or statements to a 3rd party in an unprivileged manner;
- The defendant made incorrect statements about the plaintiff;
- The reputation of the plaintiff got damaged because of such statements; and
- The defendant behaved intentionally, recklessly, or negligently.
The Distinction between Slander, Libel, and Defamation in Nevada
In Nevada, defamation is the generic term for false statements, which can cause damage to the reputation of another person.
Libel is a defamatory statement made in writing while slander is a defamatory statement made orally or verbally. The state of Nevada can charge libel as a criminal offense. However, more commonly, libel is associated with a civil suit filed by the injured party.
If a person is charged with libel as a crime, the prosecution has to establish so beyond a reasonable doubt. However, if it is a civil lawsuit, that is not the case.
While slander is similar to libel, it is applicable only to statements made verbally. Else all other elements are similar. At the same time, it can be more difficult to establish that a derogatory statement was made orally or such a stamen actually caused damages. As such, defamation lawsuits involve libel more frequently.
Elements of a Defamation claim in Nevada
A plaintiff in Nevada should prove the following 4 elements to prove their defamation claim:
- Presumed or actual damages;
- Fault as a result of least negligence;
- When an unprivileged publication is made to a 3rd person; and
- A defamatory and false statement.
The Distinction between the limited and general public figure in Nevada
In Nevada, there are two types of public figures. While general public figures represent people that are so notorious or famous that they are regarded as public figures in all ways. Some instances of a general public figure are as follows:
- Prominent business leaders;
- Major league athletes; and
On the other hand, a limited public figure in Nevada is a person who has only accomplished notoriety or fame on the basis of their part in a specific public issue. Such a public figure is regarded as one simply with respect to the lawsuit that is based on that role.
Damages for Defamation in Nevada
In a majority of defamation cases, a plaintiff has to establish that he/she has actually suffered damages because of the defamatory statements made by the defendant.
Some instances of compensatory damages in the state are as follows:
- Reduced business traffic;
- Lost profits; or
- Adverse employment consequences.
Defamation per se in Nevada
Some statements are regarded to be extremely damaging to the extent that the plaintiff is eligible for suing the accused without producing specific evidence of damages. Such statements are referred to as defamation per se.
It has been found that for statements to qualify as defamation per se, the false statement has to be in one of the following categories:
- A woman lost her chastity;
- The plaintiff had suffered from a loathsome or repulsive disease;
- The plaintiff committed a criminal offense; or
- The accusation would result in injuring the plaintiff in their office, profession, business, or trade.
A good lawyer should be consulted when a person is charged with defamation in the state of Nevada.