Hialeah, FL asked in Civil Litigation for Florida

Q: My patner in business said damaging things about my person without proof after i sought to disolve the patnership

He filed his claim after i sought xourt action to disolve the patnership. He never made these claims before and with no proof. Can i countersuit?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
Answered
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You seem to be asking if you may countersue your ex-partner for defamation of character strictly for allegations made in a court filing. If that's your question, the answer is no. Allegations made in a court proceeding (a pleading or hearing) are cloaked with immunity from defamation claims. The reason is that, if it were to be otherwise, people would be unduly hesitant to seek court relief.

HOWEVER, there are other remedies for the filing of frivolous allegations. One of those remedies is found in Florida Statutes Section 57.105, which enables you to seek an award of attorney's fees and costs incurred due to the frivolous filing. Under that section, a 21-day warning letter must first be sent to the opposing party to give them the opportunity to withdraw their claim or particular allegation(s) before your side files a 57.105 motion. Another remedy is to sue that party for malicious prosecution, which you may do after prevailing in the initial lawsuit. Now, if that party has defamed your character OUTSIDE of a court proceeding, then you may have a potential claim that can be filed now. There is a two-year statute of limitations for such claims.

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