Arizona sets new rules for online defamation suits – Rose Law Group Litigator Sam Doncaster explains

online defamation

By Sam Doncaster | Rose Law Group Litigation and Cyber Law Attorney

online defamationToday the Arizona Court of Appeals issued its first opinion applying the statute of limitations to internet defamation. All defamation actions must be filed within one year of initial publication. And, in today’s holding, the Court of Appeals applied the “single publication rule,” meaning that something placed on the internet is published only once, on the date it is posted. Even if the victim doesn’t know about the publication, the one year deadline to file a lawsuit is running.

The Court of Appeals also recognized “republication” as an exception to this rule. Defamatory internet content is “republished” on the internet if the content is changed in a way that alters its substance. For example, the Court held that the author of a defamatory internet post “republished” the post by commenting on it via an online comment section appearing below the post. However, the mere fact that users continue accessing the content months or years after the initial publication does not renew the statute of limitations.

Click here to read the full decision

To further discuss online defamation or any cyber law matter Sam Doncaster can be reached at

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