2005 Florida Code - CRIMES DEFAMATION; LIBEL; THREATENING LETTERS AND SIMILAR OFFENSESChapter 836

CHAPTER 836

DEFAMATION; LIBEL; THREATENING LETTERS AND SIMILAR OFFENSES

836.01  Punishment for libel.

836.02  Must give name of the party written about.

836.03  Owner or editor of the paper also guilty.

836.04  Defamation.

836.05  Threats; extortion.

836.06  Punishment for making derogatory statements concerning banks and building and loan associations.

836.07  Notice condition precedent to prosecution for libel.

836.08  Correction, apology, or retraction by newspaper.

836.09  Communicating libelous matter to newspapers; penalty.

836.10  Written threats to kill or do bodily injury; punishment.

836.11  Publications which tend to expose persons to hatred, contempt, or ridicule prohibited.

836.01  Punishment for libel.--Any person convicted of the publication of a libel shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.--s. 15, sub-ch. 7, ch. 1637, 1868; RS 2418; GS 3256; RGS 5087; CGL 7189; s. 987, ch. 71-136.

836.02  Must give name of the party written about.--

(1)  No person shall print, write, publish, circulate or distribute within this state any newspaper, magazine, periodical, pamphlet, or other publication of any character, either written or printed, wherein the alleged immoral acts of any person are stated or pretended to be stated, or wherein it is intimated that any person has been guilty of any immorality, unless such written or printed publication shall in such article publish in full the true name of the person intended to be charged with the commission of such acts of immorality.

(2)  Any person convicted of any violation of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Any person who shall aid in any way in the writing or printing of any literature in violation of this section shall be punished in the same manner as the principal might be punished upon conviction; provided, nothing in this section shall apply to mechanical employees in printing offices, or to newsboys.

History.--ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 4733, 1899; GS 3257; RGS 5088; CGL 7190; s. 988, ch. 71-136.

836.03  Owner or editor of the paper also guilty.--Any owner, manager, publisher or editor of any newspaper or other publication who permits any anonymous communication or communications such as is signed otherwise than with the true name of the writer, and such name published therewith to appear in the columns of the publication in which said communication any person is attacked in his or her good name, or it is attempted to bring disgrace or ridicule upon any person, such owner, manager, publisher or editor shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.--s. 4, ch. 4733, 1899; GS 3258; RGS 5089; CGL 7191; s. 989, ch. 71-136; s. 1306, ch. 97-102.

836.04  Defamation.--Whoever speaks of and concerning any woman, married or unmarried, falsely and maliciously imputing to her a want of chastity, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.--s. 1, ch. 3460, 1883; RS 2419; GS 3260; RGS 5091; CGL 7193; s. 990, ch. 71-136.

836.05  Threats; extortion.--Whoever, either verbally or by a written or printed communication, maliciously threatens to accuse another of any crime or offense, or by such communication maliciously threatens an injury to the person, property or reputation of another, or maliciously threatens to expose another to disgrace, or to expose any secret affecting another, or to impute any deformity or lack of chastity to another, with intent thereby to extort money or any pecuniary advantage whatsoever, or with intent to compel the person so threatened, or any other person, to do any act or refrain from doing any act against his or her will, shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.--s. 42, sub-ch. 3, ch. 1637, 1868; RS 2420; GS 3261; RGS 5092; CGL 7194; s. 1, ch. 57-254; s. 991, ch. 71-136; s. 1307, ch. 97-102.

836.06  Punishment for making derogatory statements concerning banks and building and loan associations.--Any person who shall willfully and maliciously make, circulate or transmit to another or others any false statement, rumor or suggestion, written, printed or by word of mouth, which is directly or by inference derogatory to the financial condition or affects the solvency or financial standing of any banking institution or building and loan association doing business in this state, or who shall counsel, aid, procure or induce another to start, transmit or circulate any such statement or rumor, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.--s. 1, ch. 6819, 1915; RGS 5093; s. 1, ch. 11866, 1927; CGL 7195, 7315; s. 992, ch. 71-136.

836.07  Notice condition precedent to prosecution for libel.--Before any criminal action is brought for publication, in a newspaper periodical, of a libel, the prosecutor shall at least 5 days before instituting such action serve notice in writing on defendant, specifying the article and the statements therein which he or she alleges to be false and defamatory.

History.--s. 1, ch. 16070, 1933; CGL 1936 Supp. 7064(1); s. 1308, ch. 97-102.

836.08  Correction, apology, or retraction by newspaper.--

(1)  If it appears upon the trial that said article was published in good faith; that its falsity was due to an honest mistake of the facts; that there were reasonable grounds for believing that the statements in said article were true; and that, within the period of time specified in subsection (2), a full and fair correction, apology, and retraction was published in the same editions or corresponding issues of the newspaper or periodical in which said article appeared, and in as conspicuous place and type as was said original article, then any criminal proceeding charging libel based on an article so retracted shall be discontinued and barred.

(2)  Full and fair correction, apology, or retraction shall be made:

(a)  In the case of a broadcast or a daily or weekly newspaper or periodical, within 10 days after service of notice;

(b)  In the case of a newspaper or periodical published semimonthly, within 20 days after service of notice;

(c)  In the case of a newspaper or periodical published monthly, within 45 days after service of notice; and

(d)  In the case of a newspaper or periodical published less frequently than monthly, in the next issue, provided that notice is served no later than 45 days prior to such publication.

History.--s. 2, ch. 16070, 1933; CGL 1940 Supp. 7064(2); s. 993, ch. 71-136; s. 2, ch. 80-34.

836.09  Communicating libelous matter to newspapers; penalty.--If any person shall state, deliver, or transmit by any means whatever, to the manager, editor, publisher or reporter of any newspaper or periodical for publication therein any false and libelous statement concerning any person, then and there known by such person to be false or libelous, and thereby secure the publication of the same he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.--s. 1, ch. 5142, 1903; GS 3259; RGS 5090; CGL 7192; s. 3, ch. 16070, 1933; CGL 1936 Supp. 7064(3); s. 994, ch. 71-136; s. 1309, ch. 97-102.

836.10  Written threats to kill or do bodily injury; punishment.--If any person writes or composes and also sends or procures the sending of any letter or inscribed communication, so written or composed, whether such letter or communication be signed or anonymous, to any person, containing a threat to kill or to do bodily injury to the person to whom such letter or communication is sent, or a threat to kill or do bodily injury to any member of the family of the person to whom such letter or communication is sent, the person so writing or composing and so sending or procuring the sending of such letter or communication, shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.--s. 1, ch. 6503, 1913; RGS 5094; CGL 7196; s. 995, ch. 71-136.

836.11  Publications which tend to expose persons to hatred, contempt, or ridicule prohibited.--

(1)  It shall be unlawful to print, publish, distribute or cause to be printed, published or distributed by any means, or in any manner whatsoever, any publication, handbill, dodger, circular, booklet, pamphlet, leaflet, card, sticker, periodical, literature, paper or other printed material which tends to expose any individual or any religious group to hatred, contempt, ridicule or obloquy unless the following is clearly printed or written thereon:

(a)  The true name and post office address of the person, firm, partnership, corporation or organization causing the same to be printed, published or distributed; and,

(b)  If such name is that of a firm, corporation or organization, the name and post office address of the individual acting in its behalf in causing such printing, publication or distribution.

(2)  Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the sections of this statute shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.--ss. 1, 2, ch. 22744, 1945; s. 996, ch. 71-136.
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