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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I want to pursue a defamation case against Social Services

Resolved Question:

I want to pursue a defamation case against Social Services following a letter they issued to my ex wife
They stated A: he is a registered sex offender
B: he has convictions for indecent exposure
both incorrect but do I have a case and how do I go about it
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : What serious harm did you suffer pleasea.
Customer:

Hi Alex

Customer:

The harm has been caused by the making of untrue statements of this nature which people have serious views about and it puts my safety and that of my children in question. It may be that I now have to move house, move my childrens schooling and potentially lose my job.

Alex Watts :

But potentially losing your job is theoretical. You have to show serious harm rather than just harm

Alex Watts :

What is that serious harm?

Customer:

Being called a registered sex offender and telling people I have convictions that I do not have is serious harm to my character.

Alex Watts :

Ok - you have to show serious harm to bring a case.

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a payment within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.

Alex Watts :

If they do not pay you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.

Alex Watts :

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

Alex Watts :

If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial.

Alex Watts :

You MUST issue proceedings in the High Court it is a rule

Alex Watts :

You will need representation for the trial as these are specialist proceedings.

Alex Watts :

The cost of this will be about £15,000

Alex Watts :

If you win then you can ask the Judge for costs. If you lose then not only will you be responsible for your own costs but those of the other side

Alex Watts :

Legal aid is not available for these types of proceedings

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

I cannot see how this can be defended. both statements can be proved to be untrue and therefore libellous

Alex Watts :

They have an opportunity to defend. There can not be a claim without an opportunity to defend it

Customer:

I agree but there are no grounds for defence. They have stated 2 things which can be easily proven to be incorrect so any defence would be pointless. It is a public body also so they will not want to go to trial

Alex Watts :

You still have to issue proceedings in the High Court.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Is there any guidance from other cases that would give an idea of the likely redress and whether it is worth taking to the High Court. I want them to correct the statements but also to realise they cannot just make and issue these statements without consequence however if I am to spend c. £15k then it would be useful to know if that is likely to be covered.

Alex Watts :

The law has recently changed and 99% of cases are not reported.

Alex Watts :

Sadly litigation is not guaranteed

Customer:

so they can make these allegations and potentially face no consequence regardless of the invalidity of what they say?

Alex Watts :

I did not say that. You can issue proceedings in the High Court

Alex Watts :

That is your choice.

Customer:

I appreciate that but the implication seems that even with 2 basic libellous statements I must go to extreme lengths to prove great harm and loss. I wonder how they would like being called a registered sex offender - wouldn't do them much good in their jobs in social services.

Alex Watts :

I think you can sue. But dont expect to recover more than £100,000 in damages if you have suffered serious harm

Customer:

Thank you. I'd take £100k. I'm not expecting millions but I don't think just a few grand would make them take any notice about doing it again and harming someone else.

Customer:

Thank you for your time

Alex Watts :

Can I help with anything else today?

Customer:

no thanks. I need to consider my options on what to do next as I feel very annoyed at present but want to deal with this rationally. a correction of the incorrect statement, the person concerned reprimanded and some form of redress as I may have costs involved is what I am looking for. Not too much to ask given what they have said.

Alex Watts :

Indeed. If this answers your question can I ask you to rate my answer today, the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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