Defamation – the act of damaging the reputation of a person or entity by means of an intentional false statement – can have serious consequences. If the victim is a person, defamation may not only damage their good name, but also their ability to land or keep a job, obtain a loan, buy a home, and more. If the victim is an organization, it can harm it’s morale, profits, and even day to day functioning. Defamatory statements can be made against companies, non-profit organizations, religious or charitable groups, government entities, and others.
Whether you’re an individual, company, or some other entity, if you can prove defamation in court, you may be able to collect monetary compensation and stop the guilty party from making further defamatory statements. Proving defamation requires evidence though, and good evidence in a defamation suit can be difficult to come by. If you believe that you’ve been defamed and you’re intent on putting an end to it, a private investigator from Trustify’s network can help.
What is a Slander or Defamation Investigation?
A slander or defamation investigation is aimed at identifying the person who made the defamatory or slanderous statement, collecting evidence that the statements were in fact harmful, and proving that these statements were made intentionally or negligently.
Defamation is defined as a false statement damaging the reputation of the person or entity that the statement is about. There are two types of defamation: libel and slander.
- Libel refers to defamatory statements that can be seen, such as published writings in newspapers, magazines, or online blogs.
- Slander refers to defamatory statements that are heard, for example in television or radio broadcasts, or in online videos.
Regardless of form, defamation is in most cases actionable in law (in most jurisdictions) if the plaintiff can:
- Identify the defendant (person or persons responsible for the statement) and prove that the statement is false and defamatory;
- Prove that the defendant made an “unprivileged publication” of the statement to a third party;
- Prove that the statement was made intentionally, or at least negligently;
- Prove that the statement was “injurious” to the plaintiff.
Proof is required to meet each of the above steps. Finding and collecting the evidence necessary to win a defamation case is the bulk of the case work in a slander or defamation investigation. Trustify can locate and identify the defamatory statement(s) and the person(s) responsible for them – and to gather admissible proof to back everything up in court.
Who are Slander and Defamation of Character Investigations For?
The client in most defamation investigations is the victim of the defamation or an attorney acting in their behalf. Defamation investigations may also be initiated by the parents or legal guardian of a child who is the target of libel or slander. In some cases, defamation investigations are initiated by a business, organization, professional association, or some other entity. Finally, in a few cases, a defamation investigation may be sought by someone accused of defaming another in order to prove the accusation false.
Starting a Defamation Investigation
Hiring a private investigator with Trustify is quick and simple. Every case is assigned a dedicated investigator and a Case Manager to assist you every step of the way. Here’s how it works:
1. Request a Consultation: Submit your case online or by phone to schedule your consultation. We'll ask for the details we need to get your case matched with an investigator and provide a cost estimate for your case.
2. Consult With a Private Investigator: A licensed private investigator will contact you to talk to you about the purpose and goals of the investigation, and to collect any relevant information about your case. You'll be asked why you believe you have been defamed, who you think may have have done this, and what their motivations might be.
3. Investigation in Progress: Your investigator will conduct a thorough search for the origin of the defamatory statement and attempt to trace it back to the person or persons responsible. Techniques and methods used may include:
- Online and hardcopy data searches
- Witness interviews
- Physical surveillance
- Digital forensics
4. Case Updates and Final Report: Your investigator will keep you informed of any developments throughout the course of your investigation and provide you with a final report summarizing all findings once the investigation is concluded. In addition, your private investigator may be available to testify on your behalf in court, if necessary and agreed-upon before the start of the investigation.
What Investigators Will Not Do
Investigators in the Trustify network will not to violate the law or any professional ethical standards during the course of an investigation. No investigator will attempt to gain illegal access to protected documents or data or hack a potential information source. The goal of investigators is to stop the defamatory statements by collecting evidence that can be admitted in court. Participating in illegal acts will only result in legal liabilities.