5th Circ. Limits Enforcement of Canada Defamation Suits Essay

Submitted By Huynh-Loc
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Article title: 5th Circ. Limits Enforcement of Canada Defamation Suits

The case in this report is about a defamation suit that a Canadian hotel won against an American blogger in Nova Scotia court but failed to gain monetary remedies when they enforced the judgment in America.
In 2011, hotel owners Vaughn Perret and Charles Leary had sued Louisiana based Handshoe for his post on Slabbed.org. The post stated that Perret and Leary were involved in a corruption schemes involving Jefferson Parish President, Aaron Broussard. The article was said to be “derogatory, mean-spirited, sexiest, and homophobic” by the Nova Scotia Court and the owners were awarded with monetary damages. However, in this case, the owners were not able to enforce the $425,000 they won in Supreme Court of Nova Scotia to a known Louisiana fraudster. The American Speech Act was brought in to protect Handshoe for a defamation claim in other country than America with more favorable law. In Canada, the appeals court agreed that the decision does not meet the standards of free speech requirements in either the U.S Constitution or State Law.
The controversial issue was in Canadian court judgment, the defamation were not proven to be false. The hotel owners: Perret and Leary had never pointed out any details to prove that Handshoe’s post was wrong. Even though the Nova Scotia court states that Handshoe was liable for defamation, the Speech Act in America requires a higher standard of proof; otherwise, the enforcing court could not approve the Canadian Court judgment. In America, the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals precluded enforcement of the Nova Scotia defamation judgment for the reason that the plaintiff did not prove that the defendant’s statement was actually false (in Canada, a defendant must show the truth of its statement)
This controversial case was caused by the differences in defamation law between Canada and America. The American Congress enacted Speech Act to protect the freedom of speech of American citizen, which causes problem when plaintiffs bring in defamation case from countries with more favorable-plaintiff law than the United States of America. In fact, the hotel owners win the case in Nova Scotia but now the judgment become unenforceable and worthless when it comes to the U.S. The Canadian hotel owners want…