Skip to main content

Civil lawsuit (slander/libel) filed in Florida names me as defendant. I live in NYC & not served. Can I get removed from case?

Brooklyn, NY |

I have learned through an extended "rumor mill" that some one in Florida has named me in a civil lawsuit for libel along with several other defendants. I no longer live in Florida, and moved prior to the lawsuit being filed. I have not been served, but I want to know if Florida still has jurisdiction over me. It would be very expensive for me to fly there to try and defend myself. I have never seen any information on the case, so I am blind to what it alleges, but I want to be prepared, without getting myself involved if I don't need to be.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    If the defamatory language at issue in the lawsuit that is attributed to you was "published" by you while you were still in Florida, then the Florida courts would have jurisdiction over you even though you moved before the actual lawsuit was commenced. Just because you are saying that you were not served, it does not automatically mean that plaintiff has not been able to get "substituted service" on you, or is not claiming that you were served. This needs to be checked out. If you know what court the lawsuit was filed in, you can probably have someone go there and obtain a copy of the summons and complaint contained in the court file, as well as any other papers such as possibly affidavit(s) of service; motions for default judgment, etc. It is strongly suggested that you consult with and retain a Florida attorney in the county where the action is pending. That will, amongst other things, reduce the number of times you will have to fly down to Florida to defend the action.


  2. I suggest you re-post this question in the Florida Avvo section. You may want to hire a lawyer in Florida to make a motion to dismiss if advisable.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


  3. My colleagues are all correct. If your intelligence is on the mark, you have a problem in Florida, and it will only be a matter of time before you are served. Now you may have defenses to being sued in Florida, but unless I head your story and read the pleadings, I wouldn't be able to advise you further.

    I often take cases other attorneys won't, so call me for a free consultation. My number is 727-712-3333, or you can view my website at www.TampaConsumerLawyer.com


  4. Duplicate post.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.

Lawsuits and disputes topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics