Judge backs Amesty in defamation case

by | May 3, 2024

A Leon County circuit judge ruled in favor of State Representative Carolina Amesty, dismissing a defamation lawsuit brought by a legislative aide who accused her of falsely claiming he tried to run her over with a car.

A Leon County circuit judge this week issued a judgment for state Rep. Carolina Amesty, R-Windermere, in a lawsuit that alleged she defamed a legislative aide.

Judge J. Lee Marsh backed Amesty in the case filed by Nicolas Frevola. The lawsuit alleged, in part, that Amesty falsely told Frevola’s boss, Rep. Fabian Basabe, R-Miami Beach, that Frevola tried to run her over with a car in 2022.

Amesty defeated Frevola’s mother in a Republican primary in 2022 in Central Florida’s House District 45, according to court and election records. Amesty and Basabe were elected to the House in November 2022. Frevola filed the defamation lawsuit in September 2023.

But in a March motion, Amesty’s attorneys argued that she had legal immunity because the alleged defamatory statements were “made within the scope of her duties as a member of the House of Representatives.”

Also, they argued that the defamation allegations should be rejected because they were not “published to a third party.” But in a filing last month, Frevola’s attorneys disputed that Amesty made the alleged statements in her “official capacity” as a lawmaker. Marsh, who held a hearing April 18, did not detail the reasons for his ruling in this week’s one-page judgment.


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