CHAPTER 177

LIBEL

AN ACT TO LIMIT THE LIABILITY OF NEWSPAPERS FOR LIBEL.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. Libel Against Newspaper; Notice Before Action. Before any action either civil or criminal, is brought for the publication, in a newspaper of a libel, the plaintiff or prosecutor shall at least five days before instituting such action serve notice in writing on the defendant specifying the article and the statements therein which he alleges to be false and defamatory.

(a) Effect of Publication in Good Faith and Retraction. If it appears upon the trial that said article was published in good faith, that its falsity was due to an honest mistake of the facts, and that there were reasonable grounds for believing that the statements in said article were true, and that within ten days after the service of said notice a full and fair correction, apology and retraction was published in the same editions or corresponding issues of the newspaper in which said article appeared, and in as conspicuous a place and type as was said original article, then the plaintiff in such case, if a civil action, shall recover only actual damages, and if, in a criminal proceeding, a verdict of "guilty" is rendered on such a state of facts, the defendant shall be fined a penny and the costs, and no more.

Section 2. Anonymous Communications. The two preceding sections shall not apply to anonymous communications and publications.

Approved April 15, 1943.

Proceedings in Special Cases