1.    A person may maintain an action for defamation only if the person has made a timely and adequate request for correction or clarification from the defendant or the defendant has made a correction or clarification.

Terms Used In North Dakota Code 32-43-03

  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Person: means an individual, organization, government, political subdivision, or government agency or instrumentality. See North Dakota Code 1-01-49
  • Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.

2.    A request for correction or clarification is timely if made within the period of limitation for commencement of an action for defamation. However, a person who, within ninety days after knowledge of the publication, fails to make a good-faith attempt to request a correction or clarification may recover only provable economic loss.

3.    A request for correction or clarification is adequate if the request:

a.    Is made in writing and reasonably identifies the person making the request;

b.    Specifies with particularity the statement alleged to be false and defamatory and, to the extent known, the time and place of publication;

c.    Alleges the defamatory meaning of the statement;

d.    Specifies the circumstances giving rise to any defamatory meaning of the statement which arises from other than the express language of the publication; and

e.    States that the alleged defamatory meaning of the statement is false.

4.    In the absence of a previous adequate request, service of a summons and complaint stating a claim for relief for defamation and containing the information required in subsection 3 constitutes an adequate request for correction or clarification.

5.    The period of limitation for commencement of a defamation action is tolled during the period allowed in section 32-43-06 for responding to a request for correction or clarification.