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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.

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Attorney answers 5

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.


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.

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Have a Florida lawyer try to get this dismissed.


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


Duplicate post.

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Yes, I am aware of that now, I tried to follow the advice of others and post it in the Florida AVVO but I didnt do it right. I apologize. I also dont know how to remove it.