Jurisdiction in Florida

In order to bring an action in Florida against a nonresident who posted defamatory statements, the court must first have jurisdiction over the nonresident under both the Florida Long-Arm Statute and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In other words, can the nonresident be sued in Florida under both state and federal law.

In the Marshall case, which this firm handled, the Florida Supreme Court addressed the state law jurisdiction issue, to wit, whether a tortious act was committed in Florida for the purposes of the Florida Long-Arm Statute when a nonresident makes defamatory statements about a Florida resident by posting those statements on a website. The Court found that if the website posts containing the defamatory statements are accessible in Florida and are accessed in Florida, then the nonresident commits a tortious act in Florida and can be sued in Florida.


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