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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47355
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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hi,just want some advice as to whether I would have a case

Resolved Question:

hi,just want some advice as to whether I would have a case or not.
I loaned a ex race horse from a lovely lady.My then blacksmith decided to contact the owner of my loaned horse and accused me of miss treatment of the horse and that it was an rspca case.the owner then had to drive to my stables to check the horse which was deemed by her as fit and fine...I heard no more until two weeks ago when he came out to shoe the horse again and again accused me of mistreating and starving the horse,he did not speak to me but again rang the owner and informed her that the horse needed to be atken off me...again the owner went to check the horse...again he was fine..she then told me what had been going on and was very upset by the whole situation as was I...he has also claimed that I did not pay him,which is an outright lie...and although he thought the horse was dying he still managed to put 4 shoes on it and take my money...this has caused me a lot of upset which has resulted in me being very depressed and sending the horse back to his owners as because of the malicious lies he spread I have lost my confidence as a horse woman,and been quite ill with it all.the owners are also devastated as they had no problems with how I was looking after him at all...I have now given up on horses for the time being because of his lies....would I have a case against him?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Apart from the distress have you actually suffered any losses as a result?

Customer:

yes,i have lost my horse,my confidence,and the £70 he took off me to shoe the supposedly dying horse

Ben Jones :

OK but financially it is just the £70 is that right?

Customer:

£140 as he did it once before ,but the owner kept it from me.

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

Whilst this may appear to be a potential case of defamation (this includes libel if it is in written form, or slander if it is in oral form), such claims are extremely difficult to pursue. Many people are intent on suing for defamation without having any appreciation of the law behind them, so I will try and clear things up for you now.


 


First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are:


 


1. The statement has to be untrue.


2. It must directly identify the complainant.


3. It must have been published, usually communicated to at least another person.


4. It must be in a form of words, which would tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of ‘right thinking members of society generally', expose the claimant to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided.


 


Whilst it may be easy to prove that defamation has occurred, the legal process of pursuing such a claim is extremely complex and expensive. As this goes through the High Court, you would need the professional help of specialist defamation solicitors and the costs are undoubtedly going to run into the thousands right at the outset. Also there is no legal aid available for such claims so the complainant must fund these personally. So when you hear about defamation claims being made, these are usually pursued by big corporations or celebrities who have a public image to protect.


 


There is of course nothing stopping you from contacting the other party and threatening them that what they have done amounts to defamation and that you will consider pursuing the matter further if they do not retract their statement. This could prompt them to reconsider their position, but I would not recommend that you actually proceed with a claim for defamation due to the issues highlighted above.


 


As to the money you state that you lost to this person then it would depend on whether you got what you paid for. As an example, if you paid him the money to shoe the horse and he did that then it is unlikely that you can pursue him for it just because you eventually had to return the horse due to his comments – after all he still provided the service you paid him for and the comments he made will be treated as a separate matter.

Customer:

ok,thank you..so if I was to write him a letter asking for him to retract what he has said and apologise,or I will think about action....would he beable to instantly open a case against me,then I would have to continue with the case even if I didn't want to,but just wanted an apology

Customer:

I have already researched code of conduct for farriers of which he has broken a few,so I could infact write a letter to the farriery association too?

Ben Jones :

I don't see any grounds on which he can take any action against you but if you have evidence that he has breached the specific codes then you may indeed contact the relevant organisation to advise them of that

Customer:

ok great.....just concerned that if I ask for an apology or action may take place,he may take me up on that and I would then be forced to take it to court?

Ben Jones :

No it doesn't work like that - you can threaten to take action but he cannot force you to do so, you make that decision

Customer:

that's brilliant then...doubt he will apologise but may make him think twice about doing it to others.

Customer:

thank you for your help

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:



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