3.11-4 Libel Per Se
Revised to January 1, 2008
Certain written defamatory
statements are considered to be so harmful in and of themselves that the
person to whom they relate is entitled to recover general damages for injury
to reputation, without proving that any special or actual damages were
caused by the statements. These defamatory statements are called libel per
se. Libel per se is a type of libel in which the defamatory meaning is
apparent on the face of the statement.
When the defamatory words are
libel per se, the law conclusively presumes that there is injury to the
plaintiff's reputation. The plaintiff is not required to prove that
(his/her) reputation was damaged. The plaintiff is entitled to recover, as
general damages, for the injury to (his/her) reputation and for the
humiliation and mental suffering caused by the libel.
In this case, the plaintiff claims
that <insert allegations>.
If you find that the plaintiff has
proven each of the elements of libel, as I have previously instructed you,
then this would be libel per se because <insert as appropriate:>