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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I am a member of a golf club (which is a limited company)

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I am a member of a golf club (which is a limited company) and for the last three months have been subjected to bullying and harassment by the Ladies Captain and other lady members. I have been excluded and rumours have been spread about me. This has resulted in me receiving an unpleasant message in my locker(YOU BITCH) and an anonymous letter to my home. I have become ill and am now on prescribed anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication. I have not heard from the Board of Directors, either condemning this or offering their support. I would like to know if I have a case against the board of directors for failing in their duties to protect me from the harassment I have suffered?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please can you advise me whether I have a case?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Please can you tell me how long you have been a member of the golf club? Also, please can you advise whether you have made any verbal complaints prior to sending them a letter?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been a member for almost three years. I spoke with the Ladies Captain after I was insulted by another lady member regarding my handicap and the LC concurred with the insulter. There have been a number of emails exchanges. The Membership Committee investigated the problem and it was passed to the Captain's Committee after I registered a formal complaint. The board have done nothing.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

No problem at all

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Trying to make the club liable for the issues you have experienced may be difficult. This is not the same situation as in an employment relationship for example where an employer will have certain liability over the acts of those working under it. This is a private club and whilst he club could investigate the matter, it would be difficult to pursue them if they do not take the steps you would have hoped them to.

So apportioning liability on the club will be difficult legally. Instead you could pursue the people directly responsible for these acts, namely the ladies concerned. They would have personal liability for their own acts and whilst it would have been better to pursue a corporate entity, in the circumstances you may have to pursue individuals instead.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law which protects you here and what you can do to take matters further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. The conduct could potentially amount to harassment, which could be both a civil matter and a criminal one. The law states that a person must not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another and which he or she knows or ought to know amounts to harassment. Although there is no definition of what specifically amounts to harassment, it would usually include alarming a person or causing them distress and must have occurred on at least two occasions.

Under criminal law, and if this is reported to the police who then take action, the punishment for harassment can be imprisonment and/or a fine. A court may also impose a restraining order for the purpose of protecting the victim.

In addition to criminal action, a civil claim can also be brought against a person who is alleged to be guilty of causing harassment. The courts would award compensation to the victim, something that is unlikely to happen if this is pursued as a criminal issue.

So in the first instance the police can be contacted and this matter reported to them as harassment. However, they will not often get involved in trivial disputes so if they believe that this is not serious enough they could refuse to help and advise you that this is a civil matter. In such circumstances, the victim can warn the harasser that their actions are being treated as harassment and that unless they refrain from such behaviour in the future they will be reported to the police and legal action under harassment legislation taken against them.