Basically I would like to know if:-
a) Can somebody be sued for libel if they have made a libelous statement in a text message, or does libel only cover something in writing or in a newspaper.
b) If the answer to question point a) is YES, if somebody (Janice) uses their own phone, to pretend to be somebody else (i.e our granddaughter, Jade). can they (Janice) be sued for libel, as this message has been sent from their phone and she is the registered owner of this phone. So basically can she get out of it by saying, 'I didn't send this message, it was nothing to do with me, it was sent by Jade (our granddaugter). Because this is what she has said to me basically when I accused her (Janice) of pretending to be Jade (our granddaugter). So if somebody (Jade) uses her (Janice's) phone, could she still be sued for libel, as it has been sent from her (Janice's) phone.
c) If the answer to point b) is YES, do you think that she (Janice) could be sued by my wife (Lorraine) for an act of Libel.
d) If the answer to ponit c) is YES, do you think that Libel action would be successful.
e) If it was successful, what sort of punishment would it be. would it be looking at. A fine, or a prison sentece. And finally,
f) If it was a fine, how much could it be for (the maximim amount) or if it was a prison sentence, how long could it be for (months/years)
At the end of the day the last thing that my wife and I want to do is to take this action, as we would much prefer to sort this matter out like responsible adults, by having a long chat with her, and pointing out to her, that what she is doing is actually against the law and that she could therefore get a fine (or even a prison sentence). This is the last thing that we would ever want to do, but she refuses to speak to me. She will have nothing to no with me. Could I send her a text message or even an e-mail maybe explainging this to her, if she won't actually talk to me in person or on the phone (neither of which she is prepared to do)
But we are sick to death of this, as this sort of thing has been going on for 4 years now, and we just want it to stop it.
So to sum up, I think that we can might be able to sue her for saying that my wife (Lorrane) said that she (Janice) was a bad mother, because Lorraine has never said that to her or anone else and never would say that. And she (Janice) said in her text message to Lorraine, that Lorraine was SNIDE, which also is not true, as Snide according to the dictionary means: Disparaging, unkind, hurtful, mean, sarcastic, base, malicious, cynical and spite ful. My wife (lorraine) is none of these and thereful is very upset by this statement which has been made by Janice, although she says it was our granddaugter (Jade) who said it.
But Jade does not know what Snide means, as she is just an 11 year old child, and perhaps more importantly she has told her dad that she did not send this message, and has no idea what he is talking..
Many thanks for your assistance.