If you have been aggrieved online and have a legally actionable case, it’s critical that you know what the statute of limitations for your claim is.
Statute of Limitations is the time within which a legal action must be brought to enforce legally recognized rights that have been violated. In other words, it is “the maximum period which one can wait before filing a lawsuit, depending on the type of case or claim.” The periods of time are can vary from state to state, and are different in Federal court.
In the online arena, defamation frequently occurs. Defamation is an intentional and false communication made by the defendant, either written or broadcast (libel) or spoken (slander), that harms a person’s reputation, or which tends to bring the person into disrepute. Communications or statements made as facts by the defendants are actionable, while statements of opinion are not.
Knowing by when you need to file your defamation claim can be the difference between winning and losing, even when all the facts of your case are otherwise in your favor. The time at which the statute of limitations period begins is generally the moment when the defamatory statement is published in some form.
Here are some sample statute of limitations for defamation:
Note that laws can change and that the statute of limitations for an action may therefore change as well. We recommend that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as you believe you have a legally viable case.
Michael Roberts of Rexxfield says
In addition to the state statutes, it is essential that victims understand that the legal statutes are very generous when compared to the very limited shelf life of important digital forensic evidence needed to positively ID bad guys.
Internet antagonist are often anonymous, or the author may be known but denies involvement. There are a few very important processes that can significantly reduce the expenses and delays associated with an Internet libel lawsuit and evidence discovery, or the total loss of perishable evidence.
Request preservation of I.P logs (Web site or email provider):
Internet Protocol Address (“I.P”) log files are perishable evidence. Some ISPs retain them for as little as six months, sometimes less, smart phones internet logs as an example are often deleted by the likes of “Clear Internet” after just seven days. These crucial digital artifacts are electronic footprints required to positively identify an antagonist. For example, if the libel is posted on Blogspot.com, then the preservation request needs to be delivered to Google (Blogspot’s owner), but you also need to find our how the bad guy connected to BlogSpot (i.e.: Roadrunner, Cox cable etc).
Request Preservation of Originating I.P logs (Cable or ADSL Company)
This is a chicken/egg dilemma in cases such as the Blogspot.com example because Google is the exclusive custodian of records relating to the antagonist’s activities within the Blogspot service. Unless Google provides the victim with this history, the chances of positively identifying the offender are drastically reduced; and Google will not provide them in most cases without a court order (they usually do not respond to subpoenas).
Investigative and forensic analysis to strengthen the case and circumvent problems associated with discovery delays
We use forensic and investigative techniques to obtain the antagonist’s originating I.P address; if successful the risks associated with loss of I.P log files are substantially reduced. In some cases this one element can reduce a fiercely resisted discovery delays by three to six months, or more, not to mention the legal fees associated with the battle. In most cases professional help is required for this element.