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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25991
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hello justanswer.uk Could you please tell me if the following

Customer Question

Hello justanswer.uk

Could you please tell me if the following amounts to slander......

We have nuisance neighbours, whom as a result of a recent argument they were told by the police not to park their vehicle outside our house leaving the rear end of their vehicle overhanging our drive which was making access to our drive difficult!

Our neighbours house is currently mortgaged by themselves but for six months from early 2013 the house was rented out to another couple.

On 20/02/2014 our neighbour parked his car outside our house again and proceeded to wash it. Considering the fact that his own drive was completely free and that he had been told by the police not to do so, this was construed by my partner as goading or possibly incitement!
It would be correct at this stage to point out that we are well aware that we do not own the road space outside our house and we have never expressed in any way that he cannot park his car in that space......however to avoid further confrontation the police have asked him to do the neighbourly gesture and not to park there!

During the argument between our neighbour and Caron (my partner), it was said by him that the previous tenants left the house as a result of our constant arguing that could be heard through the walls. We both know that this accusation is untrue and a complete fabrication due to the fact that we simply do not argue! In the 22 years that we have been together we have had our moments but we generally do not argue!
We have been in touch with the previous tenants concerned and they have confirmed that they have never heard us arguing as claimed by our neighbour, and that it was not the reason for leaving!

In fact our reason for falling out in the first place was because of their constant arguing and potential for domestic violence.

This accusation greatly upset my partner and given the fact that it is untrue and we have witnesses to prove it, I would like to know if his hurtful untrue accusations (of which this is one of several) are tantamount to slander?

Thank You.
Chris Walton. [email protected]
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask you ideal outcome goal in this respect please - i.e. is to prevent the neighbour parking in front of your drive and attempt to restrain his behaviour?

Customer:

Hello,

Customer:

Ideally, I would like to restrain his behaviour.

Joshua :

Thanks. The first thing to say is that it is an offence under the Road Traffic Act to park so that any part of your car overhangs a dropped kerb - this includes the connecting angled kerb. If the neighbour does so police have powers to two away his car and a report to the police can be made at any time that he does so. In addition if the neighbour engages in behaviour that he knows or ought to know causes you distress then this can also amount to a criminal offence under the Protection Against Harrassment Act.

Joshua :

In terms of the slander claims. If a person says something that is untrue and that statement damages your reputation then you can contemplate a defamation action. However you need to be able to a) prove what was said which can be challenging for slander as it can be denied or twisted by the defendant though from what you say you have witnesses b) prove it is untrue - here this should not be overly difficult though the allegation relates to private matters and would rely on the tenants providing a statement to this effect and c) that it has caused you financial loss - this would usually relate to a damage of reputation leading to some form of financial loss.

Customer:

Could my neighbour be made aware that his actions and accusations are breaking the law by means of a letter from a solicitor?

Joshua :

In addition to this defamation claims are expensive to pursue and can cost many thousands of pounds if the other party defends them so they are frequently not a realistic option for individuals to pursue unless you have deep pockets. Here notwithstanding the issue of proof of the statement and proof that it is untrue which you may well be able to satisfy from what you say there is the question of what financial loss you can point to in order to claim from him. If you could point to a financial loss of some kind due to reputational damage and you have sufficient resources to contemplate a defamation claim then you may consider it however the nature of the statement, whilst hurtful, does not immediately strike me as one that is likely to give rise to an obvious claim for damages however you may consdider you can show otherwise.

Joshua :

You could consider a cease and desist letter or ask a solicitor to prepare one for you requiring the neighbour to cease and desist defamatory statements and warn him of a threat of litigation if he does not do so.

Joshua :

Such letters can sometimes be effective in themselves in scaring people off such continuing behaviour.

Customer:

There has not been any financial loss, only emotional damage! And I am not interested in pursuing the issue in the courts at this stage.......your last paragraph has basically answered my question regarding a letter.

Customer:

Thank You.

Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

Customer:

Will do.

Joshua :

Many thanks

Customer:

Will do.....thanks very much.

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