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 Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70182
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
12826847
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

I have had a malicious allegation of racism raised against

Customer Question

I have had a malicious allegation of racism raised against me by a problem neighbour, who is attempting to deflect a CPN which is being imposed upon him. Our local housing authority claims to have sent a written warning to me with regard to the alleged incident, but has not actually done so. It has instead repeated the allegation against me in correspondence with a Councillor, on which I was copied. I regard this as defamation. I also regard the housing authority as negligent in failing to take action against the neighbour, who has a long documented history of abuse against both myself and others. What are my legal options?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What are you hoping to do about this?
What was the specific false statement?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The housing association has not put a specific allegation to me. They assert in the letter to he councillor that I have racially abused the neighbour in question, but provide no details. They indicate that the have sent me a formal written warning, but have not done so.
I need 2 things. first, for the allegations against me to be dropped, and a formal apology offered. Second, i need the housing association to take seriously the ongoing campaign of verbal abuse and threats from the neighbour in question
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, that's not really realistic I'm afraid. Prosecution authorities never waved white flags above their head in this way.
Ultimately all you can do is deny the allegation. There is no way of proving a negative. It is impossible to prove that you did not do this. If they want to give you more details about the allegation then it might be that you are à la bide and so could not have done this but that is not your position at the moment.
I wouldn't waste your time with trying to force an apology from the housing association. They will never admit that they are wrong. In fairness, they are not really wrong as they are just repeating an allegation that has been made to them and they have a juicy to act upon these allegations.
You do have a claim in defamation against the neighbour although that is expensive and if he cannot pay the award you will never recover but the advantages that you get orders to prevent him repeating specific false hoods. I would ascertain from the council, by means of an injunction if necessary, what exactly has been said before you start a very expensive defamation action.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
First, is an allegation like this against me, once made, part of the public record in any way? Could it affect my public reputation, with regard to future employ,met etc?
Second, the larger issue here is that the neighbour is abusive and threatening to us, deliberately banging on th walls in the middle of the night and shouting obscenities. He is a housing association tenant, and we have been trying to get them, and the police, to take action to prevent his behaviour. Is there anything we can do?
Third, surely the association are commitin a form of defamtion if they claim that I have been given a formal warning for racist abuse when I have not?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
1 Yes, possibly. It depends. It is not a conviction but it is possible for prosecution authorities to lay hands upon the fact of an allegation. The practical reality is that they won't but they could.
2 Yes, I understand. They are always the people who make these stupid allegations to throw the scrutiny off themselves. He has probably been abused by Jimmy Savile too if you ask him! I think every female subject of an ASBO I have ever known has been the victim of domestic abuse if you believe their ridiculous instructions. The point is that irresponsible people pretend to be vulnerable to avoid the consequences of their actions.
3 It depends. Probably they were just asserting what they have been told. A person can be liable in defamation for publishing an untrue statement even if they were not the original maker which ought to concern the Daily Mail in particular. If a councillor was copied in on it then probably that would amount to publishing it but it depends whether they can argue fair comment applies which probably it does. It is quite unlikely that somebody at the Housing Association has gone off on a frolic of their own and started to make false allegations.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Jo. Given that this guy is driving us crazy, and the housing association clearly don't want to take action , what are our choices? Do we just have to live with it, and accept that anytime we make a complaint against him, he is going to make a counter allegation? I see his introduction of th race elements a significant escalation of the issue and am concerned about it
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, you will experience that.
There are just some people who make a disproportionate number of allegations. I don't know whether you have ever noticed but people like you and I seem to get through our whole lives without ever even once making allegations of racism, raising grievances about discrimination at work, making allegations of rape, calling the police to domestic rows, taking out injunction orders over personal disputes etc. Unfortunately there are some people who do it all the time and often the problem lies with them.
So, if you complain he probably will respond in this way. Part of the problem is that they are never worth suing and nobody is ever prosecuted under the criminal law for making false claims so they are fairly safe.
The options though are either you give in or you don't let that put you off complaining.
If he makes several allegations that are without basis then you can always sue him in harassment which is much more economical and there is very helpful case law.
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Jo. Not feeling very encouraged, but appreciate the help!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/