How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Stuart J Your Own Question

Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22400
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
11292137
Type Your Law Question Here...
Stuart J is online now

Two women recently left our DIY stables owing money. I am

Customer Question

Two women recently left our DIY stables owing money. I am currently pursuing them through the Money Claim On-line Service. One of them has made a partial admission but the 21 year old daughter wants to defend the action. In her statement to the Court she says "had no option but to move my mothers horses due to the fact that the claimant (me) and husband had stopped caring for the ponies which they had previously done, which also caused the horses to be ill".

I never had any dealings with the horses at all and left that to my husband. My question to you is, without written proof from a vet at the time the horses were with us, can the statement "made the horses ill" be perceived as libel?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Not if the statement is made in court papers as part of legal proceedings.

Defamation claims are horrendously expensive so unless you want to risk/waste/lose at least £10k dont even think of going there.

I would be sueing her backside off for the money though.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Surely she has to at least provide proof of "illness" caused to her animals. Surely she can't just blacken my husband's name? I've no intention of going for costs over this as I realise it would be expensive. I spent many many hours on my statement to the court to ensure I didn't say anything which wasn't true and for which I couldn't provide proof. It seems unbelievable that this very immature 21 year old can be allowed to make such a derogatory pronouncement and not give evidence of that.


 


I am agreeing to mediation through the Court to try and resolve the matter although she may not. However, during the discussion I thought I would be able to suggest that particular statement is potentially libellous.


 


 

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.


I can fully appreciate how you
feel. However, if what you say was the case, then everyone who brings a
personal injury claim alleging that somebody else injured them, and if they
lose, they would face a defamation claim from the winner. It just does not
happen.

I appreciate everything you
are sending your statement is true, but I am sure that you do not need me to
tell you that occasionally other people are economical with the truth and
sometimes they lash out, sometimes verbally.



By no stretch of the very
vivid imagination is there a defamation claim here, although there is no point
in saying that you are of the opinion that her comments are potentially
libellous. It will give you satisfaction, but if she takes advice, she will
simply be told to ignore it.



I appreciate that this is
probably not the answer you wanted but there is no point in me misleading you.



Can I help further?





Please bear with me today because I will be online and
off-line.

Please don't forget to positively rate my answer service (even if it was not
what you wanted to hear) and I will follow up any further points you raise for
free.

If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0
for my time. It is imperative that you give my answer a positive rating. It
doesn't give me "a pat on the head", "good boy" (like ebay), it is my livelihood!

If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little,
please ask me for further info before rating me negatively otherwise I don't
get paid at all for my time and answer.

The thread remains open for us to continue this exchange



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So I really didn't need to be so careful with my statement and, if I'd said the girl was a nasty lying little toe-rag (for example), that would've been OK?


 


I have a form to complete an Allegation Questionnaire and in the section "other information" I can request info to be supplied by the other party. I am going to ask for proof that my husband made her horses ill. I know she can't because it simply isn't true as our other tenants attest. I can at least do that, surely?


 


Our stables are assisted DIY and for this they had stables, grazing, 6.30 a.m. turnout, and any holiday cover. My husband also brings them in if the tenants can't get to the farm for any reason and they still only pay £13.60 per animal. Their animals were always cared for even though that wasn't a guaranteed part of the deal.


 


They left their last stables owing an even larger sum than they owe us and I intend to ask this stable owner to be a witness if mediation doesn't work.


 


I am also intending to submit statements from former tenants as to my husband's care and commitment to their animals - and they are very happy to do this. Can you suggest anything else I can do?


 


Thanks

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.


You would be castigated by the
judge.

Imagine what she said was
correct BUT you defended it saying that what she said was incorrect. She wouldn't
have a defamation claim.



The wording is that you "put the
defendant to strict proof of her allegation."



She appears to blaming you for
any illness which you werent contracted to deal with in any event. Raise that
in reply to defence.



The fact that they owe another
stable is immaterial.



The other statements are
useful but are mere testimonials not really relevant to any care to this client.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I know what you're saying but we feel the witness and testimonials serve as a character reference for my husband and to show these people to be liars and repeat offenders.


 


I'm now getting the feeling from your replies that the law is on the side of the offender and I don't stand a chance of winning this.


 


I will use the sentence as you suggest and any others you can provide.


 


 


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.




On the contrary. I would be taking give this all the way
to the court and letting a judge decide. I hate people who come up with a
spurious defence to a claim for money.

All the correspondence you were exchange now is liable to
be produced in court and therefore your replies need to be factual and requests
need to be formal.



I would tell them that you are of the opinion that their
claim is spurious and you require them to let you have a copy of any expert
evidence they have which links the standard of care that you were
contractually bound to provide
to any illness which they are animal
allegedly suffers. Put them to strict proof of the causal link (that the
illness was caused by your failure).



Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22400
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
Stuart J and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I've just been trying to rate your service and finish this chat but I keep getting "access denied" - so I hope my rating and payment gets through.


 


Thanks - I think we got there in the end!

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
It has thank you. Good luck.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice