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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50197
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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We run a private social club, one of our members gets a little

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We run a private social club, one of our members gets a little too much to drink, doesn't get into arguments nor shouts/swears etc, can get a little annoying. A group of people have taken a dislike to him and have tried to get him barred on numerous occasions. This has resulted in this man getting various reprimands over the years and resulted in a suspension for 6 months, he is currently on a 1 year behaviour stint which runs out in April '16. We have a committee meeting tomorrow, 5 of the group who do not like him have joined the committee and all have put in letters of complaint against him to try and get him barred, can they do this? I feel he is the victim of harassment and victimisation, he hasn't had a chance to defend himself and the only witnesses the group have is each other. Has he any rights in a Private Club, can he get legal advise and sue these individuals?
Hello are there club rules which say how one can get barred?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Club is run by Friendly Society Rules, Looking at our rule book, the committee should arrange a time for the person involved to give their side and provide witnesses, if they do not turn up at this meeting then the committee as the right to suspend their membership etc. This doesn't seem to happen at our club. They will read out the complaints tomorrow and then take a vote on the outcome eg. barred for a short time and then take a vote, the majority wins.
P.S I do not want to join your trail, this is a one time question with the agreed payment of £56.00 only.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you going to answer?
Hello, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied earlier. This person’s rights will not be that strong in the circumstances as this is mainly going to be a matter dealt with under the club rules. This is generally an internal issue and not really something which the law would cover in great respect. Whilst the person can expect the club to follow its rules, even if that does not happen, it does not give him the right to just go and sue them. There is no direct action he can take against them, unless for a potential breach of contract But that will only get him compensation for the losses suffered which in the circumstances would be the refund of the unused portion of membership fees. There is no compensation for upset, inconvenience, stress, etc.
In terms of harassment, whilst he can try and pursue that I do not see it being a strong cause of action here. 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. It is highly unlikely the police will get involved in this case.
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.
The victim can warn the harassers 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. Whilst this may not necessarily happen, the threat of it could prompt the harassers to back off a bit and reconsider their behaviour.
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