Henry v. Collins, 380 U.S. 356 (1965)
U.S. Supreme CourtHenry v. Collins, 380 U.S. 356 (1965)
Henry v. Collins
Decided March 29, 1965*
380 U.S. 356
After his arrest for disturbing the peace, petitioner stated that it was "the result of a diabolical plot" in which respondents, a County Attorney and a Chief of Police, were implicated. Respondents brought suits for libel, and obtained jury verdicts. The judgments are reversed, since the jury might well have understood the instructions to permit recovery on a showing of intent to inflict harm, rather than intent to inflict harm through falsehood. The Constitution permits recovery by these public officials only for a false statement made "with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." Garrison v. Louisiana, 379 U. S. 64, and New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, followed.