Apr 9, 2013

Florida Court Finds Blog to be Media

A Florida trial judge has held that a blogger qualifies as a media defendant under a procedural rule that requires five days notice before filing of a defamation lawsuit. De Rosas v. Johnson, No. 2012-32919-CA-01 (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2013). The ruling, which is not available online, was reported by Law360.

The decision by Circuit Judge Victoria S. Sigler dismissed a suit brought by Daniel Gomez de Rosas and and his wife Madeline Gomez after they were named as on attorney Alexander Patrick Johnson's Florida Landlord-Tenant Law blog as individuals that a local title company had named as being involved in fraudulent transactions. The original post, which has now been redacted, apparently repeated this information from a press release.

The procedural statute, Fla. Stat. sec. 770.01, requires five days notice "before any civil action is brought for publication or broadcast, in a newspaper, periodical, or other medium, of a libel or slander ... ." The notice must be in writing, and specify the "the article or broadcast and the statements therein which [the plantiff] alleges to be false and defamatory."

After finding that Johnson's blog was covered by sec. 770.01, Judge Sigler dismissed the lawsuit because the plaintiffs had not given the required five days notice.


Phattone said...

I am not sure if this is the same as law in the UK. It is an interesting point.

Lester Aldridge">Lester Aldridge

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