I met this man a year ago and I thought he was a friend but he has a abad temper and I have decided I do not want to have any relationship He has called me emotionally and mentally unstable and has told me he can have me examined and I am a threat to myself and others I am a senior citizen and am living with a male friend only who has become disabled due to an accident The other man has said I and my friend are a danger especially since I take care of the disabled friend I am not a legal guardian and have not been paid any money as a caregiver We are scared and afraid and left area but know I must return I have had the a protective agency question me and my friend a year ago but no charges were filed but he was able to call without giving his name I know he will do it again He is insulting but he can these agencies I cannot get proof from the agency He is also telling me he wants to kill himself I was talking to him to tape him as some proof If I write a cease and desist letter is this considered harassment He says he is only trying to get me help and I just want to be left alone Can he be sued for defamation
In Florida, defamation is a false statement of fact, communicated to a third party, which is meant to hurt the plaintiff’s reputation or economic well-being.
The defamation statute of limitations in Florida is two years.
Next, assuming that you fall within the "private figure" category, then you only has to prove negligence on the part of the defendant. Unlike, "public figures," where the plaintiff must demonstrate the presence of actual malice to win a defamation lawsuit.
Typical defenses for defamation under Florida state law include truth, fair reporting privilege pertaining to legislative and judicial reports and reviews, opinion, and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Florida recognizes Defamation Per Se. For A statement to qualify as defamation Per Se, they must be statements that falsely, and maliciously, insinuate the plaintiff is: 1) Afflicted with a terminal disease; 2) Engaged in criminal activity; or 3) Acted in a way unbecoming of his or her profession.
Florida law recognizes defamation by implication. A close cousin to “false light”, defamation by implication is when a true statement creates a false impression.
As you can see a law of defamation can be a little complex. I would speak to an attorney who has experience in defamation actions to see whether you may have a cause of action. Otherwise, you may consider sending a cease and desist letter.
More importantly, If you feel that your life is being threatened then you may want to call the police and make a report. Florida also has a criminal statute for harassment that may also be applicable in your situation.
I suggest you consult with a Florida attorney before you make any decisions about taping this person. Florida has strict privacy laws which require consent to recordings. Discuss all of this with an attorney at the same time you discuss the possibility of sending a cease and desist letter. If any physical threats are made against you, immediately contact the police. You may want to get your line changed to a private number too.
Legal Disclaimer: If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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