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I have a circuit civil lawsuit in West Palm Beach circuit

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I have a circuit civil lawsuit in West Palm Beach circuit court of the 15th judicial circuit in Palm Beach county Florida. I am Pro SE.
I am suing a company for defamation, libel and slander after they posted an online publication with my name and business profession after I was a witness against their company in court.
I filed a complaint, then an amended complaint in which I had a statement: "awarding plaintiff punitive damages"
The defendant's attorney filed a motion to dismiss my amended complaint and motion to strike prayer for punitive damages. Stating that I cannot ask for punitive damage in the complaint stage.
Is this true?? Can I ask for this later on in another stage of the court proceeding? If so when?
Then the defendant attorney whom I don't trust stated to me that he will write up an agreed order in which he send to me. It states the following:
By agreeing to this and signing this agreement that he wrote up will it ban me from asking for punitive damages later on in the proceedings? I don't trust this attorney and want to make sure I’m not interpreting his write up wrong and then sign to something that I am giving up my rights.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

There are 4 categories of defamation per se:

Imputing to another: a criminal offense amounting to a felony; a presently existing venereal disease or other loathsome and communicable disease; Imputing to a woman, acts of unchastity; Imputing to another conduct, characteristics or a condition incompatible with the proper exercise of his lawful business, trade, profession, or office. These allow the award of punitive damages without any other damages.

If it is not defamation per se, but is still defamation, the court can still award punitives if there are actual damages to the plaintiff.

In order to prevail on a punitive damage claim the plaintiff must show:defendant's conduct was

(1) of gross and flagrant character, evincing reckless disregard of human life, or of the safety of persons exposed to its dangerous effects; (2) of such entire want of care that would raise the presumption of conscious indifference; (3) that shows wantonness or recklessness or a grossly careless disregard for the public’s safety and welfare; or (4) reckless indifference to the rights of others that is equivalent to an intentional violation of those rights.

Pursuant to Florida statute 768.72 a plaintiff is not permitted to assert punitive damages in a Complaint without first seeking leave to amend because the defendant has a substantive legal right not to be subjected to that claim and financial worth discovery (since punitives are based on their net worth since they are designed to punish) until the trial court determines a reasonable basis for the discovery of punitive damages.

That statute is here:

If plaintiff wishes to amend the complaint to include that claim, discovery is conducted as soon as possible to establish record facts that will support the claim. Then the plaintiff files a motion to amend. At the motion the plaintiff presents facts or evidence that substantiates the claim for punitive damages. Once the court determines that there is a reasonable basis to recover punitive damages, then plaintiff will be allowed to amend and to discover the defendant’s financial worth.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Here is my issue at this point me and the defendant's attorney is trying to come up with an agreed order to move the case along. he wants me to remove the punitive damage statement out the complaint. from reading what you sent me it does not belong in the complaint.My question to you is if the defendant's attorney statement ok? Does his statement below prevent me from asking for punitive damages later on by him saying grant his motion to strike my prayer for punitive damages (read his exact words below which will be in the agreed order :"THE MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF’S SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT IS HEREBY GRANTED AND THE PLAINTIFF SHALL REMOVE THE PRAYER FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES"1. THE PLAINTIFF SHALL HAVE 20 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS ORDER TO FILE ITS AMENDED COMPLAINT IN WHICH THE PLAINTIFF SHALL REMOVE THE PRAYER FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES.

That is correct; the initial complaint does not contain the punitive damage request; this can only be in the amended complaint; one can put language that states that the amended complaint does not constitute a waiver of any possible later claim, but that the complaint is being amended due to requirement that discovery be initiated. That would help prevent them arguing that it was waived.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
What can I expect at a case management conference set by the judge before the trial hearing?

As an individual contributor I must be in compliance with the site rules - would you mind rating this question and open a new one, since this deals with a different topic? Thanks!

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;
if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answer.

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