Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. Can you please briefly explain the nature of the abuse?
Hi, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied last night. Have the police been contacted about this?
Well they may not get involved with slander cases, as that is a civil issue, but that is not necessarily going to be just slander.
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 it may be easy to prove that defamation has occurred, but 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.
The other option is to treat this as harassment and that is where it can also amount to a criminal matter.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on harassment and how you can apply it here, 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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Hi there, first in relation to payments I have no access to your account so for any payment or accounts issues please contact *****@******.***.
In terms of sending a letter, we are only a Q&A site, meaning we only deal with you through here – we cannot engage you formally as a client and send letters on your behalf – you need to engage a solicitor personally for that and in person, but obviously the costs will be higher if you do so. There is nothing stopping you from doing this yourself though and quoting the law.
As mentioned this could also 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.