In this article, we will explain defamation law in Illinois. In order to state a cause of action for defamation in Illinois, the plaintiff must allege the following elements:
There are two types of defamation in Illinois, defamation per se and defamation per quod. Defamation per se consists of certain types of statements that the law considers to be automatically damaging and for which damages need not be proven. A statement that does not qualify as defamation per se is classified as defamation per quod. In defamation per quod cases, the plaintiff must prove actual monetary damages.
The following types of statements qualify as defamation per se:
The statute of limitations for defamation actions is 1 year.
In Illinois there is no distinction between libel (written defamation) and slander (oral defamation).
Many types of statements are privileged, meaning that the speaker will not be held accountable for defamation even if the elements of defamation would otherwise have been met. Privilege usually depends on the context in which the statement is made, such as statements made in a court of law.