Can You Sue Someone for Hate Speech?

Everyone is entitled to right of speech where you have the freedom to what you want to say. However, rights also have limits and once your right to speech starts to harm and damage another person or people, it could possibly lead to serious legal repercussions. If you have encountered an instance where there is a hate speech against you, can you sue someone for hate speech?

Suing someone for hate speechWhat is a hate speech? Basically, it is a speech, a gesture or writing that incites violence, insults and offences people based on religion, color, disability, etc.

In the United States, there are no specific laws against hate speech. But there are cases where some statements can fall under libel, slander and oral defamation, of which you can definitely file a case and even ask for the cost of the damages you incur.

Learn More About Defamation

If there are statements said against you to tarnish your reputation or that can cause damage, you have the right to take the necessary legal action. That is why it is important that you are at least knowledgeable with the basics of libel and slander. Suing someone for doing hate speeches can be quite complex and a tedious legal process. But if you are at the receiving end and you can establish solid evidence in court to prove that the statements lead to you incurring damages, you can press for legal charges.

What is defamation? This is a term used for almost any kind of statement that is aimed at damaging or hurting a person’s reputation. Many might be confused as to how slander, libel and defamation are different. Libel is referred to as written defamation while slander is known to be spoken defamation. In general, defamation is not a crime, but it could be a civil wrong. If you feel like another person’s statements defamed you and there’s enough evidence to prove your case in court, you can sue the person for false accusation.

People are given the right to be able to freely whatever their opinion and sentiments are. But it is also important to note that everyone should be careful and mindful with anything that they are trying to say. In a free society, having disagreements, different beliefs and voicing out opinion, etc. matter. However, these rights should not be abused.

Filing a Case in Court

In filing a defamation case in court, you need to prove that the defamation indeed occurred. In the United States, the law of defamation would differ from one to another. But there are general rules that go around defamation laws in general. If you feel that you’ve bee defamed, you need to prove that there are statements that are false, unprivileged and could damage your reputation.

The statement here refers to spoken, gestured and written statement. And since written statements are read by broader audience and tend to last longer, libel is considered to be much more harmful than slander.

In filing a defamation case, you need to prove that the statements made are false. Otherwise, if the statements are not false, they cannot be considered as damaging. Keep in mind that opinions mostly do not count as defamation especially if it is a statement a person utters given his or her objective opinion.

In cases where the statement can be injurious then  suing someone for doing hate speeches is possible. As the aggrieved party, you have to show to court how your reputation is tarnished and the damages you incur because of the false statements.

For statements to qualify and fall under defamatory statements, they must be underprivileged. This is made in the legal context that there are cases where speakers should not be restricted and constrained. For instance, lawmakers can have this privilege where they cannot be liable to statements in legislative chamber.

Consulting a Lawyer

With all the legal jargon and intricacies, the best solution is to hire a legal counsel who can help you throughout the process. If you are considering of taking a legal action, you should definitely consult a lawyer who can help you in finding evidences and to help you get the cost of damages you incur due to hate speed.