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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75097
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Need advice regarding potential defamation of character,

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Need advice regarding potential defamation of character
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: lincoln
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Nothing as yet
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: nothing

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Please explain your situation in some more detail

Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Sent a request for a phone call.

The phone call was accepted by someone else so I can only proceed in writing. If you get back to me with some details then I will be able to reply on here

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Ok my apologies thought it was you who mad the call.

No problem. As you have already paid for a written response and that is the part I will continue helping you with.

Please explain your situation in some more detail

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
My wife has found out that her sister has been taking money out of her mothers bank account as she has had access to it for a number of years. She has confronted her about it but has denied it even though we have the statements to prove it’s been withdrawn from her bank from atms. This could amount to thousands over the years so we thought this could be financial abuse of an elder. She has not threatened my wife with defamation of character if she doesn’t retract the accusation.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
She has threatened her
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Her mother who is 97 had to go into a nursing home she still has capacity so this came to lite during the serco financial assessment.
She has already admitted infront of witnesses to having thousands at her house but as yet will not disclose where her mums money has gone.
We have had correspondence from her son saying that her mother was a very generous matriarch so there is nothing left. This we do not believe and they have not offered any proof as to these claims. He has given my wife 30 days to retract the accusations or her will right to the family with his conclusions and potentially discrediting my wife.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. Many people are keen on suing for defamation without having full appreciation of the law or practicalities of doing so. I will try and clarify the position below to give you a better understanding and cover some of these practicalities.

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 them - 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.

So I doubt that these threats are something that would materialise into anything further from a legal perspective and are likely to be just empty threats between family members.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
My wife hasn’t published her accusations on any social media platforms only talking to immediate family members, as to ascertain any knowledge of any large amounts of money her mother may have given away as they have claimed.
Which know-one has any knowledge of, they claim to have proof of her generosity but as now they will only release it through legal representation.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
As we have 30 days we will wait and see what or if they decide to take this any further, we both think that we may have to report this as a financial abuse of an elder if we feel this is our only option.

Hi there, thank you for your further queries, which I will be happy to answer. A ‘publication’ means making a statement to another person, whether it is verbal or in writing. But I do not see this being a defamation matter to be honest and what you propose to do is a sensible solution to start with.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Many thanks for your time, we appreciate your expertise, I will keep your contact details if we need further guidance.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best