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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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An open collection plate was placed at the door of a recent

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An open collection plate was placed at the door of a recent funeral and the family are convinced that not only was there more than the sum counted by my employees but they must have taken a sum of money from the total amount. This accusation is made on assumptions of the amount. How is this best handled

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have they involved the police? Also is there any proof at all for their claims or just assumptions? Please note I am mobile today so may not be able to respond fully until later this afternoon, thanks
Customer: I have been informed by a third party that they have been asked to make a statement. I had intended to say at the meeting tomorrow I wish to call in the police. All this is based on assumptions
Ben Jones :

At this stage, the allegations against you and your staff are somewhat baseless and have only been made based on assumptions of what one would have expected to find in the collection pot. This could be driven by various factors, such as false expectations at the start and could even be fuelled by the emotional background of this situation. Whatever the reasons, at this stage there would be few legal grounds on which they can do anything to try and take formal action against you and force you to pay. The main reason for this is the lack of evidence. This was an open collection box, no one took details of every single donation that was made to verify whether the amounts that were donated made it to the final collection sum and everyone is just working on assumptions. It would take formal statements by all the donors to establish what was donated and compare it to the final figure that you had handed over to the staff. Even then one may receive false statements from donors who are embarrassed to say that they did not perhaps donate enough or ones who do not want to be seen as having donated nothing and make up a figure just to appear generous and not sour family/friend relations.


If the police are involved, then again they would not just act on allegations and assumptions and they would want to see some evidence that would suggest foul play. Most likely they would refuse to do anything and just state that this is a civil matter, unless evidence of foul play emerges.


At this stage all you can do is protest your innocence and state that there is not much you can do unless you are presented with evidence that shows any discrepancy in the amounts donated and handed over. They could potentially make a civil claim for the difference they claim is missing but again they won’t be able to get very far with the process based on their word against yours.

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

Ben Jones :

Hi, are you having problems viewing or using chat - I can see you coming in and out but with no response? Thanks

Ben Jones :

Hello can you see my responses?

Customer: My final query relates to the fact that the person in question has publicly accused us when asking how much individuals have donated. This is obviously very damaging. Do I have any way of stopping any further accusations?
Ben Jones :

Legally that may not be easy to do because it is not a simple process to go to court and obtain an injunction to stop someone from making comments. So I would not recommend the legal route, that’s for certain. Instead you are best advised to contact the other party, make it clear that in the absence of any clear evidence they are potentially going to make defamatory comments if they continue and request that they do not make any more comments until they have an official confirmation that what they are claiming has actually happened, which they won’t really be able to get unless they have direct evide3nce or the police/courts have ruled in their favour.

Customer: Thank you Ben
Ben Jones :

You are most welcome

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