United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
OPINION AND ORDER 
POLSTER CHAPPELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant Ani Katiuska Daza's Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. 19) filed on November 7, 2019. Plaintiff Ryan
Sean Mangel (“Mangel”) filed a Response to
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Second Amended Complaint
(Doc. 26) on November 21, 2019. For the following reasons,
Daza's motion is granted in part and denied in part.
sues his ex-wife, Daza, for defamation and defamation by
implication. (Doc. 17). Fifteen years ago, while in Canada,
the parties married and Mangel adopted Daza's son, M.M.
(Id. at ¶ 11). Daza and M.M., both citizens of
Venezuela, obtained permanent Canadian residency.
(Id. at ¶ 12). Together Mangel and Daza had a
daughter, A.M., who is a Canadian citizen. (Id. at
alleges his marriage was “difficult, rife with
Daza's manipulation.” (Id. at ¶ 14).
He, nevertheless, remained married to Daza, and in March
2016, relocated his family to Naples, Florida. (Id.
at ¶ 15). During this time, Mangel began the process of
obtaining a United States Green Card for Daza and their two
children. (Id. at ¶ 17). Mangel then determined
he could no longer stay married to Daza and petitioned her
for a divorce. (Id. at ¶¶ 18, 20, 26). Due
to the pending divorce, Daza's Green Card application was
due to be cancelled. (Id. at ¶ 21). Mangel
offered to move Daza and their children back to Canada where
they could live lawfully, but Daza refused this offer.
(Id. at ¶ 23). Daza, unsatisfied with residency
in Canada, allowed her and M.M.'s Canadian residency to
expire. (Id. at ¶ 24).
Mangel dismissed the divorce case against Daza. (Id.
at ¶ 28). Daza, however, decided to file for divorce,
which became final eighteen months ago. (Id. at
¶¶ 29, 33). Mangel then began the process of
renewing M.M.'s and A.M.'s United States Green Card
application. (Id. at ¶ 35). Mangel alleges he
consistently provided alimony and child support payments.
(Id. at ¶ 36). Additionally, he asked the
children to visit him on numerous occasions and offered to
pay for M.M. to attend college. (Id. at ¶¶
37-38). He states Daza refused to allow the children to visit
him and M.M. declined his offer to pay for his education
expenses. (Id. at ¶¶ 37-38).
divorced, and lacking United States' citizenship, Daza
and the children faced deportation back to Daza's home
country of Venezuela. To bring the immigration crisis to
light, Daza contacted the local media. (Id. at
¶¶ 40-41). Daza told the media Mangel divorced her
unexpectedly and abandoned her and the children in the United
States without any path to citizenship. (Id.). As
discussed below, Mangel argues Daza published several
defamatory statements about him to the children and/or the
media, which were later broadcasted in a news story on
television and the internet. (Id. at ¶¶
the news story, Mangel filed suit against Daza for one-count
of defamation. (Doc. 1). Shortly thereafter, Mangel amended
his complaint, which Daza moved to dismiss. (Docs. 8; 10).
Upon review of the motion, the Court determined Mangel's
Amended Complaint constituted an impermissible shotgun
pleading because it commingled two causes of action
(defamation and defamation by implication) into one count.
(Doc. 14). The Court thus allowed Mangel an opportunity to
replead. (Id.). Mangel then filed a Second Amended
Complaint, alleging both defamation and defamation by
implication. (Doc. 17).
Daza moves to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint for
failure to state a claim. (Doc. 19). For the reasons stated
below, Daza's motion is granted in part and denied in
considering a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), the court must accept all factual
allegations as true and view them in a light most favorable
to the plaintiff. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009). This preferential standard of review,
however, does not permit all pleadings adorned with facts to
survive to the next stage of litigation. The Supreme Court
has been clear on this point - a district court should
dismiss a claim where a party fails to plead facts that make
the claim facially plausible. See Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is
facially plausible when the court can draw a reasonable
inference, based on the facts pled, that the opposing party
is liable for the alleged misconduct. See
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. This plausibility standard
requires “more than a sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully.” See id.
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557 (internal quotation
Count I: Defamation by Implication
Count I, Mangel brings forth a claim for defamation by
implication. Defamation by implication occurs when
“literally true statements are conveyed in
such a way as to create a false impression[.]” Jews
for Jesus, Inc. v. Rapp, 997 So.2d 1098, 1108 (Fla.
2008) (emphasis added). In particular, the tort
“arises not from what is stated, but from what is
implied when a defendant (1) juxtaposes a series of facts so
as to imply a defamatory connection between them, or (2)
creates a defamatory implication by omitting facts[.]”
Id. at 1106 (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted). Under this cause of action, a claimant “must
allege that the underlying statements are true.”
Klayman v. City Pages, Case No:
5:13-cv-143-Oc-22PRL, 2014 WL 12621240 (M.D. Fla. July 9,
Amended Complaint, Mangel stated a hybrid one-count action of
defamation and defamation by implication. (Doc. 8 at 7-8).
Since the Amended Complaint constituted a shotgun pleading,
the Court allowed Mangel an opportunity to replead, noting
that “defamation by implication occurs when
truthful statements create a false
impression.” (Doc. 14 at 4) (emphasis added). Upon
review of the Second Amended Complaint, it appears Mangel
remains puzzled as to the elements of defamation by
implication versus defamation. ...