According to Florida law, publication requires communication to someone other than the person defamed:
In order for a defamatory statement to be actionable it must be published. Publication requires communication to one other than the person defamed. *499 Tyler v. Garris, 292 So.2d 427 (Fla. 4th DCA 1974). In the instant case several persons testified by way of deposition that they had seen the allegedly defamatory documents posted on the door to the recreation hall or received them at the board of directors meetings. Therefore, there was direct evidence that the matter was communicated to third persons who were owners and resident non-owners. In addition, there was circumstantial evidence from which an inference could be drawn that the libel was published to others, even nonresidents of Dale Village. The notices were placed on the door of the recreation hall where nonresidents as well as residents congregated. The testimony by deposition revealed that placing announcements on the rec hall door was the normal method of communication to persons using the park. In fact one of the questioned information bulletins included not only the defamatory statement but also included such additional information as new office hours, rules regarding use of the recreation hall, and reminders regarding rules on sale of mobile homes. Thus, the allegedly libelous statements were prominently placed on the door of the recreation hall for the purpose of disseminating their contents to persons passing through the doors, including nonresidents. We find this case analogous to Lombardi v. Flaming Fountain, Inc., 327 So.2d 39 (Fla. 2d DCA 1976). In that case the third district held that in a slander action it is not necessary to produce witnesses who heard the defamatory words spoken, where publication may be inferred from the fact that the words were uttered in a loud voice in the presence of others and under circumstances in which the words would likely be overheard. Similarly, a jury could infer the publication of written words set forth in a place of prominent public access where the area is frequented by the public in general.
See: American Ideal Management, Inc. v. Dale Village, Inc. – 567 So.2d 497
- Defamation Cases Where Plaintiffs Were Victorious
- Defamation of Character Claims
- Defenses to Defamation Lawsuits
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.
If you found this information helpful, please share this article and bookmark it for your future reference.