Wednesday, February 11, 2009
In Internet Solutions Corporation v. Marshall, Defendant lived in Washington, where she owned and operated a consumer-watchdogish website. She posted something about plaintiff, ISC. ISC sued Defendant in federal court -- in Florida, where ISC had its principal place of business. Florida's long-arm statute authorizes jurisdiction over a defendant who commits a tortious act "within Florida." The 11th Circuit first noted that:
The Florida Supreme Court has yet to address whether the posting of information on an out-of-state website about a company with its principal place of business in Florida would meet the statutory requirements for long-arm jurisdiction.
It then certified the question:
Does posting allegedly defamatory stories and comments about a company with its principal place of business in Florida on a non-commercial website owned and operated by a nonresident with no other connections to Florida constitute commission of a tortious act within Florida for purposes of Fla. Stat. s48.193(1)(b)?