Can I sue a US citizen for defamation/libel whilst I am outside the US?

Asked over 1 year ago - Orlando, FL

A US citizen is publicly defaming me on Facebook and making claims about me and my character that simply are not true. I am based outside of the US, in Europe. The same individual has threatened to take his claims to the media, and generally cause a nuisance for me.

Do I have any way to sue this person for defamation? Can I appoint a representative to pursue the case for me? Can I submit a cease and desist? Is there anything I can do without physically being in the US myself to pursue the case?

What are my rights/abilities here?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Bennett James Wills

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    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . First, you would have to prove the elements of defamation including any damages you may have incurred. This is not always an easy hurdle to jump. Second, you would have to file in the US, probably in Florida if that is where the defendant resides. You could hire an attorney to go through all of the motions to get the case filed and get it to trial, but you would most likely need to be physically present at trial in order to pursue the case. Defamation usually requires live testimony. Now, there are rules that sometimes allow for testimony by telephone and other electronic means, although courts are sometimes reluctant to grant those motions. I would suggest using the Find a Lawyer search here on Avvo to find an attorney near the Defendant that may be willing to pursue your case or at least better evaluate whether you do in fact have a cause of action.

    www.mdappeals.com - This is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. This is for... more
  2. Harry Edward Hudson Jr

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You have two situations. One is the false statements. The other is an attempt at extortion.
    The interesting thing is where do / may you sue this person? Which state /country do you complain about the attempted blackmail?
    Suggest you contact counsel in your country about the viability of suit there and counsel where the potential defendant lives for same.
    Talk to the authorities in both locations.

    The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client... more
  3. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Report the abuse to FB. Defamation lawyers are expensive and usually want a $5,000.00 retainer just to begin, so unless you sustained a significant monetary loss, you'll likely pay a lawyer thousands more than you would recover, if anything. However, feel free to contact a defamation lawyer.

Related Topics

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Defamation is any type of emotional or psychological personal injury that occurs when someone intentionally harms another’s character or reputation.

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Slander is a type of defamation that occurs when one person verbally harms another person’s character. These false accusations can damage another’s reputation.

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