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How to Sue Someone for Defamation?

Defamation is classified as the publication of false information that can damage an individual or small business’s reputation. If you want to successfully sue someone for defamation, the information published about you must meet specific criteria such as It was published to a third person, It identifies the individual or the business, and It is defamatory (the information lowers the individual or business’s reputation).

If you desire to sue the perpetrator for defamation, you must know How to prove defamation of character. Read the guide below to learn about defamation, including how to sue for defamation, establish a defamation case and much more. 

What is Defamation?

Defamation is the publication of false information that can damage a person’s or a small business’s reputation. The communication or information must also be published to a third person; it also must identify the individual/business and harm the person or business’s reputation in one way or the other. 

Who Can Sue for Defamation?

Only people, specifically non-profit organizations or organizations with ten workers or less, can sue for defamation. An individual looking to sue someone for defamation has around a year from the date of the publication of that defamatory statement or communication to claim the material’s publisher. 

After the communication has been published online, each time an individual downloads the publication, it will be taken as republished. This might create some uncertainty about when the 12-month time will start when dealing with online communication or publication. 

How Do You Establish a Defamation Claim?

Before you know how to sue someone for defamation, you must know how to establish a defamation claim. Some basic legal and factual elements must be proven for a defamation case to be successful. 

The Information or Communication Was Published in a Third Person 

That specific information must be published to and also viewed by a third party. Some of the situations that are not considered defamatory include where you and the other person:

  • Have a private argument, and there is no one else around 
  • Directly send defamatory messages to one another 

But if one or the other person reads, views or downloads the communication, it might damage your reputation. A court must consider these factors when evaluating the type or amount of compensation you can receive. 

It Identifies the Individual or the Business

It must be clear to the average individual that defamatory communication is either about you or your business. This will not be an issue in certain instances where defamatory comments clearly name you or your business. But there are and can be instances where the identity of the individual or business is not explicit in someone else’s comments. 

This is why if a third party views the communication can decide which comments are about enough. It is essential to remember that Australian law uses ordinary or reasonable listeners, viewers or readers to decide whether the communication is defamatory. As you are the one making a comment, you may personally consider your statement to be a sort of harmless joke. But the jury or judge might decide that the reasonable individual may think that the statement is defamatory. 

What Are Some Defences to Defamation?

Before you are aware or ask about ‘how much does it cost to sue for defamation?’, you must know that there are many defences to defamation which makes this area of law very complex. Some of the available defences to this defamation are as follows:


If the accused can prove that your communications are true in terms of substance or not materialistically different from the truth, you can use this defence. 

Honest opinion 

If you want to establish an honest opinion type of defence, you must prove that your communication was an expression of your opinion, not a fact. You must also prove that the opinion was a matter of any public interest and was based on proper material. 

Public interest 

This type of defence can help journalists and media companies publish matters of public interest or concern, and there is no threat of a claim. 

Innocent dissemination 

If you publish something that was written or created by another person and you can prove that you were not aware the material contained defamatory content, you can easily depend on this defence. 

Absolute privilege 

If you can demonstrate that you published the content in such a way that can attract absolute privilege, you will be able to take the help of this defence. 


If you can demonstrate that the communication was trivial and is not likely to cause any harm, you can rely on this defence. 

What Can You Do in Case there is a Defamatory Statement Made Against You?

Before you know how to sue for defamation, you must know that filing a defamation claim is difficult. This is because there is usually no proper evidence of individuals making slanderous comments against one another. For example, if your co-worker tells another person you have a hidden criminal past, there is no way to prove that they are saying that statement other than the other co-worker themselves saying it. 

This is why you require a third person to establish a case of defamation. You must get the following statements from them:

  • What: The main or exact words of the statement 
  • When: The way the defendant communicated the statement (via oral or via the print) 
  • Where: The particular place the defendant communicates the statement 
  • Whom: The third person to whom the defendant communicated the relevant statement 

People usually preserve video evidence and other things that can help prove defamation or slander. They also collect screenshots of messages or comments that they received from other people telling about the defamation. 

Contact Civil Lawyers Perth WA 

If a defamation case has been made against you or you want to save yourself against a defamation charge, you can opt for the best defamation lawyers Perth in the area. Contact Civil Lawyers Perth, WA, for the best lawyers to help you know more about how to sue someone for defamation or save yourself from a defamation case. Their experience and expertise can either help you get the compensation or get out of such a case.