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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Two women recently left our DIY stables owing money. I am

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Two women recently left our DIY stables owing money. I am currently pursuing them through the Money Claim On-line Service. One of them has made a partial admission but the 21 year old daughter wants to defend the action. In her statement to the Court she says "had no option but to move my mothers horses due to the fact that the claimant (me) and husband had stopped caring for the ponies which they had previously done, which also caused the horses to be ill".

I never had any dealings with the horses at all and left that to my husband. My question to you is, without written proof from a vet at the time the horses were with us, can the statement "made the horses ill" be perceived as libel?

Not if the statement is made in court papers as part of legal proceedings.

Defamation claims are horrendously expensive so unless you want to risk/waste/lose at least £10k dont even think of going there.

I would be sueing her backside off for the money though.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Surely she has to at least provide proof of "illness" caused to her animals. Surely she can't just blacken my husband's name? I've no intention of going for costs over this as I realise it would be expensive. I spent many many hours on my statement to the court to ensure I didn't say anything which wasn't true and for which I couldn't provide proof. It seems unbelievable that this very immature 21 year old can be allowed to make such a derogatory pronouncement and not give evidence of that.


I am agreeing to mediation through the Court to try and resolve the matter although she may not. However, during the discussion I thought I would be able to suggest that particular statement is potentially libellous.



I can fully appreciate how you
feel. However, if what you say was the case, then everyone who brings a
personal injury claim alleging that somebody else injured them, and if they
lose, they would face a defamation claim from the winner. It just does not

I appreciate everything you
are sending your statement is true, but I am sure that you do not need me to
tell you that occasionally other people are economical with the truth and
sometimes they lash out, sometimes verbally.

By no stretch of the very
vivid imagination is there a defamation claim here, although there is no point
in saying that you are of the opinion that her comments are potentially
libellous. It will give you satisfaction, but if she takes advice, she will
simply be told to ignore it.

I appreciate that this is
probably not the answer you wanted but there is no point in me misleading you.

Can I help further?

Please bear with me today because I will be online and

Please don't forget to positively rate my answer service (even if it was not
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The thread remains open for us to continue this exchange

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

So I really didn't need to be so careful with my statement and, if I'd said the girl was a nasty lying little toe-rag (for example), that would've been OK?


I have a form to complete an Allegation Questionnaire and in the section "other information" I can request info to be supplied by the other party. I am going to ask for proof that my husband made her horses ill. I know she can't because it simply isn't true as our other tenants attest. I can at least do that, surely?


Our stables are assisted DIY and for this they had stables, grazing, 6.30 a.m. turnout, and any holiday cover. My husband also brings them in if the tenants can't get to the farm for any reason and they still only pay £13.60 per animal. Their animals were always cared for even though that wasn't a guaranteed part of the deal.


They left their last stables owing an even larger sum than they owe us and I intend to ask this stable owner to be a witness if mediation doesn't work.


I am also intending to submit statements from former tenants as to my husband's care and commitment to their animals - and they are very happy to do this. Can you suggest anything else I can do?



You would be castigated by the

Imagine what she said was
correct BUT you defended it saying that what she said was incorrect. She wouldn't
have a defamation claim.

The wording is that you "put the
defendant to strict proof of her allegation."

She appears to blaming you for
any illness which you werent contracted to deal with in any event. Raise that
in reply to defence.

The fact that they owe another
stable is immaterial.

The other statements are
useful but are mere testimonials not really relevant to any care to this client.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I know what you're saying but we feel the witness and testimonials serve as a character reference for my husband and to show these people to be liars and repeat offenders.


I'm now getting the feeling from your replies that the law is on the side of the offender and I don't stand a chance of winning this.


I will use the sentence as you suggest and any others you can provide.







On the contrary. I would be taking give this all the way
to the court and letting a judge decide. I hate people who come up with a
spurious defence to a claim for money.

All the correspondence you were exchange now is liable to
be produced in court and therefore your replies need to be factual and requests
need to be formal.

I would tell them that you are of the opinion that their
claim is spurious and you require them to let you have a copy of any expert
evidence they have which links the standard of care that you were
contractually bound to provide
to any illness which they are animal
allegedly suffers. Put them to strict proof of the causal link (that the
illness was caused by your failure).

James Mather and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I've just been trying to rate your service and finish this chat but I keep getting "access denied" - so I hope my rating and payment gets through.


Thanks - I think we got there in the end!

It has thank you. Good luck.