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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71154
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Blackmail is not committed - When making a demand

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Blackmail is not committed - When making a demand for payment or for damages - you use menaces in threatening to make the incident public knowledge - which would damage the plaintiff.
As this incident involves your belief the money is owed - therefore you have grounds to enforce it. The threat is a justifiable menace.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Try this - Lets say your collecting abandoned cars in the area and re selling them for cash.

In doing so you collect mine, and re sell it. I decide mine was not abandoned and you now owe me for it, plus compensation.

I explain that what you are doing is in fact theft, and is only working as nobody is making a claim or a fuss, as perhaps they had not wanted their cars anyway.

However should it become general knowledge that they could have a claim against you, they may well have wanted their car after all.

Threatening to make this general knowledge unless they deal with me on my terms is this blackmail?

It depends what you mean by deal with me on my terms. ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What terms would make it blackmail?

There are too many to explain.
What was meant in this instance?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

my terms are you must reimburse me for my car and compensation for doing it

That is blackmail I'm afraid.
That is a demand of an unwarranted nature with menaces for a financial gain. There is no way around it.
Whether anybody would act is another matter. The police are too busy pursuing historical sexual abuse to focus on much normal crime.
However, I'm afraid this is blackmail. For a start, the suggestion that his actions amount to theft are incorrect. It is certainly incorrect to say that his actions must have been a theft. That depends on other factors but if he is recovering abandoned vehicles then he has the defence of abdonment.
The real issue though is the demand which does amount to blackmail.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clairfy anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes can you clarify how this is different from any other normal case of money recovery?

if you took my TV for example or my lawn mower i would have the right to claim the value back from you plus compensation by asking for this surely is not blackmail?

Surely his actions are only not theft if he truly believed he had a claim to it? and I think you'll find abandonment is defined by the local council officer if HE deems it so?

Yo are sayin if I come to your house and remove your car from the street in front and sell it - I can simply claim it was abandoned? and you can not request or claim anything from me as this would be blackmail??

I can't really see the comparison. You have demanded money with a threat to reveal something.
No, he has a defence on the basis of abandonment for the reasons above. He doesn't need to wait for a local council pronouncement. People apply to transfer ownership of abandoned vehicles all the time to the DVLA.
In any event, even if this were threat, you cannot use that to extract money from him without committing a blackmail I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Excellent - That of course was hypercritical what has actually happened is we run a small storage facility.

For quite some time we have benefited from being able to sell left over or uncollected equipment. We are supposed to contractually give it 3 years but no one ever comes back for it.So we sell it.

One guy now has and has threatened to take us to court, in doing so he has suggested that this exposure will or could alert others to check, and that if he exposes us the problem could be a lot worse.

So we should want to give him what he wants (a compensation payment) quickly to make this go away.

Got him right? Blackmail...

Well, that could amount to blackmail.
You could make a report to the police.
Of course, they may not act but certainly in academic law his actions are blackmail.
You don't have to pay him to get over that hurdle.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thats what I love best about you solicitors..

"you cannot use that to extract money from him without committing a blackmail I'm afraid"

spin it round..its happening to me

"Well, that could amount to blackmail"

Thank you for your help.

Caution is always a lawyer's friend.
This is certainly blackmail.
The only issue will be whether the police will act. They may well say it is a civil dispute basically because they are having their resources cut and they are too busy spending scarce resources investigating false allegations against dead people from one years or indeed mediating domestic disputes which we euphemistically call 'domestic violence' to deal with any proper crime.
You can always complain if they refuse. Lets take some resources away from these compo hunters.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you.

and I admire your honesty.

Politicly correct - speeding ticket distributing, small man syndrome, wastes of space, will prob do nothing as you say,

But I do think I suddenly like you enormously :-)

Thank you.
For what it is worth, I was not actually being sarcastic. This is the reality of criminal work. The more ridiculous the allegation of sexual misconduct and the more trivial the allegation of domestic abuse the more seriously CPS seem to take it.
And what 'targeting' these areas really means is taking resources away from others.
In fairness, it isn't the fault of officers usually who would generally much prefer a more common sense approach. The police forces are run by the chiefs who have absolutely no idea of genuine policing.
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