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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 66633
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I had recently attended my future daughter-in-laws Hen

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I had recently attended my future daughter-in-laws Hen Party. Not something I would usually go to but when I heard that some friends of mine had also been invited and most of future daughter-in-laws family, I felt that I should go. To say that I enjoyed it would be wrong but worse than that I had a very unpleasant talk with my son that left me in tears. Apparently a sister of the future daughter-in-law went to my son and told him I had insulted her family (Not true) that I did not take my eyes of the future daughter-in-law ALL evening (Not True) and that I spoilt every ones evening!!. The only thing I said was as I left its 10 o,clock and maybe keep the noise down as there are neighbours with children ( the hen night was held in the garden) The property belongs to my husband and I along also my son who wil be getting married. I was so upset and have not slept much since, found it very hard that the person would go to my son and tell him what a bad mother I was. Its caused so much bad feeling between us. On the wedding day the said person who accused me of all the above things also started relaying the above faults of mine and how horrible I am, not much luck there as the person knows me very well and would not believe what was told to her. I realise everyone will not be friends but I object lies being told about me. This could have ruined the wedding day but I felt I had to keep quiet as not to upset my son. CAN I SUE FOR SLANDER. Please helpRegards, ***** *****

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

How long ago was this?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The hen night was on the 3rd of August this year and the wedding on the 24th august this year.

Thank you. 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 rather difficult to pursue. Many people are keen on suing for defamation without having full appreciation of the law or practicalities in doing so. I will try and clarify the position below.

First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are:

1. There has to be a defamatory statement - the assessment that is often used to establish this is whether the statement tends to lower the claimant in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally

2. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant – this will vary based on what effect it will have but it really has to be something sufficiently serious

3. The statement has been published by the defendant to a third party

4. The claimant must prove that the words complained of were published about him - this should not be an issue if the claimant is named or clearly identified.

Whilst it may be easy to prove that defamation has taken place, the legal process of pursuing such a claim is often complex and prohibitively expensive. A claim must be made in the High Court and will likely require the help of professional defamation lawyers, so the costs will often be high right from the outset, usually in the thousands. There is also no legal aid available for such claims so the complainant must fund these personally.

You must also consider whether the publisher of the statement can potentially defend the claim. For example, this can happen by proving the statement was true or an honest opinion which could have been made based on the available facts.

Instead of starting legal proceedings it would be best to contact the publisher of the comment, advise 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 and issue an apology. This could prompt them to reconsider their position, which would avoid the need for court action. Of course, if they refuse to comply the option of suing still exists, but consider the above information before going down that route.

Does this answer your query?

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Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I felt that it would be expensive but sounds impossible for me to take any further sorry to say. I will take your advice and put all what I have to say in writing, choosing my reply very carefully, I don not wish to be in their company ever again as this has been so hurtful as we have welcomed both the said daughter-in-law with her daughter into our home and moved out of the house into a caravan while my son builds us an extension onto the house that cost us a lot of money at the time of purchase. Thank you for replying promptly and your advice Regards Jackie

All the best