Defining Defamation in Wyoming
To successfully sue for defamation in Wyoming, a plaintiff must prove that the statement was a) published or broadcast and heard by more than one person, b) not factual, and c) caused harm.
Wyoming has a one year defamation statute of limitations.
Private Figure or Public Figure
Those who are in the public spotlight or well-known in a given community are held to higher standards when it comes to proving defamation. In addition to the other requirements, they must also show that the defendant acted with actual malice.
The truth is the primary defense for defamation in Wyoming — and across the country. If a statement is proven to be true, the defendant almost always wins. A judge will also take into consideration whether the claim is a privileged account, such as court proceedings in some cases or information relayed about public meetings – when there is no malicious intent.
Defamation Per Se in Wyoming
In Wyoming, plaintiffs can argue defamation per se against defendants who make accusations about a person’s professional ethics, criminality, promiscuity, or the acquisition of a contagious disease.
In these cases, a statement is considered to be inherently damaging, so per se plaintiffs don’t have to prove harm — it’s already understood.