Texas Defamation Statute of Limitations
When determining if a lawsuit can be brought, a defendant must first prove that it has a "real motive" for causing the injury. The Texas defamation statute of limitations is five years, but some states may allow you to file a claim after the expiration of the five-year period. For instance, the state of Texas may require a plaintiff to show actual malice, so if the libel case was filed by a school teacher, the statute of limitations for the lawsuit is six years.
While most states recognize retractions as a defeating defense, Texas does not recognize retractions as grounds for dismissing a defamation claim. Further, Texas does not have a criminal libel and slander statute, like many other states and territories. Additionally, Texas does not recognize SLAPP suits - strategic lawsuits against public participation whose objective is intimidation or burdening.
Texas defamation statute of limitations is based on the type of defamation alleged. The state defines defamation as a statement that is likely to damage a person's reputation. This includes accusations of criminality, moral turpitude, or a loathsome disease. In 2013, Texas legislators debated a bill proposing a new process for defamation lawsuits. The bill proposed a three-step process. First, the injured party seeks to have the statement retracted or removed, if necessary. Second, the injured party may ask the publisher or speaker to explain why removal of the defamatory statement is necessary.
Finally, the Texas defamation statute of limitations must be observed. Texas has an imposed one-year statute of limitations for defamation lawsuits. This deadline must be met or the lawsuit will be dismissed. In some cases, a plaintiff can seek an extension of the statute of limitations. If they fail to file a defamation lawsuit within the statute of limitations, they risk being penalized and prevented from filing the lawsuit.
Although the slander laws in texas statute of limitations is short, it is important to consider the time required for the plaintiff to discover the statement. In cases where the plaintiff is unlikely to find out about the defamatory statement within the prescribed timeframe, the limitations period may be as short as a year. The case can still be brought even if the plaintiff is not aware of the publication at the time.
A pleading that includes a complaint and legal claims may also contain co-conspirators and websites. In cases where the plaintiff is suing an anonymous poster, the defendant is often called a "John Doe" lawsuit. In such a case, the plaintiff may amend the complaint to include the defamer's identity. The venue is the county in state cases and the federal district in federal cases.
Defamation statutes in Texas vary depending on the type of claim. If the plaintiff was a public figure, for example, the defendant may have acted with actual malice. Similarly, if the plaintiff was an ordinary citizen, the defendant would need to show that the statement was published in a negligent manner. If the statement was made with actual malice, the plaintiff would need to show that it was meant in an intent to damage the reputation.