To have a successful defamation lawsuit, you not only need to have the right evidence, though it’s mandatory, you will also need to abide by the rules for filing such claims.
Most defamation victims find it hard when they go to file a defamation lawsuit, only to be informed that the filing deadline is passed. The court is quick to throw out any case once the time runs out. But there are instances where your case may still be heard. From this guide, you can learn how the statute of limitation may apply in your case and exceptions to apply in case time elapses before filing your defamation lawsuit.
Statute Of Limitation For Defamation Cases
Every case has its own timeline defined by the state laws where one resides. If the time limit within which one is supposed to file a claim passes, the plaintiff loses all his/he rights to file a claim. Worse still, the defendant can file a motion to dismiss the case claiming that plaintiff didn’t find any subject matter for jurisdiction over the case. While you may be required to file your lawsuit within the period given for filling, you should make sure to follow your state’s rules. If not sure of how to handle your case, you can use top Anchorage lawyers to help you understand your state’s regulations. For you to file a defamation case in Alaska, you have to keep in mind that:
The clock starts to run on the day you learn of the defendant’s defamatory words, either made orally or written.
The time limit for defamatory lawsuits is 2 years
One major advantage of the statute of limitations is that it helps settle disputes relatively soon as they come up. And when one files a claim, within the right time, with the help of an experienced lawyer, there remains nothing to worry about damages to receive.
When Defamation Lawsuit Clock Starts To Run
Normally, the 2 years’ time starts to run once you learn of the defamatory statement. However, in some cases, the plaintiff may not understand about liber or slander until after some time. When this happens, the discovery rule exception may apply. Such rules stop the statute of limitations from running until you learn of the:
Discovers the defendant made the defamatory statement, or Learns about the injuries sustained by the defamatory statement.
Apart from the above, other exceptions may extend the time limit you may be allowed to file your defamation claim. If you were late in filing your defamation lawsuit, you would still secure your filing rights by looking for the best personal injury lawyer. Such a lawyer understands what strategies to use to explain why your case wasn’t filed within the time limit of 2 years. Some of these strategies include:
The defendant was legally incapacitated or lacks the capacity to engage in a binding contract. Legally, such a person is deemed to lack the knowledge of how to deal with legal matters. This could be a minor (under 18) or a mentally ill person.
The defendant is in prison. The clock starts to tick when the defendant gets out of jail.
Defendant left out of the state. In some cases, plaintiffs still sue defendants who are not present in the state, where they file papers using mail. However, one must follow the state rules where the defendant currently lives. However, there are circumstances where the plaintiff can use his/her state rules to sue someone outside their state.
You can learn more about the statute of limitations for defamation lawsuits from an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Benefits Of Statute Of Limitations In A Defamation Case
It’s better to consider the benefits of why one should ensure to stick with the statute of limitations. Some of the benefits include:
Plaintiff is allowed to pursue a valid defamation case with reasonable diligence and get damages for suffering due to the defamatory statements.
The time allowed ensures a claim doesn’t get stale, and as such, a plaintiff cannot lose evidence needed for the claim.
Defamation cases are settled as soon as they develop.
Suppose you have suffered injuries from defamation against someone who has made a defamatory statement and has damaged your reputation. In that case, you should make all efforts to ensure you file your claim within the statute of limitations. Besides, you need the right evidence to hold the responsible party liable and get the damages you dearly need. You will need to prove that the statement was false, it caused harm, and the defendant took no step to search whether the information was true. Such evidence will be needed for cases of an ordinary citizen. This is lightly different for a public official. As a plaintiff, you must proof the three and also prove that the defendant knew that the statement was false and has an intention to harm.