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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26822
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I have client I wish to sue Telford libel and defamation,

Customer Question

Hi I have client I wish to sue Telford libel and defamation, she is slandering me all over Facebook being verbally abusive and asking anyone she can to join in I have all screenshot proof and have an appointment with police today
JA: Can you provide me with more details about the situation? It will help in determining if this is legally considered slander.
Customer: it’s a really long story to type and I can’t add screenshots here?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this slander issue?
Customer: No
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: when I spoke to the police they said it’s libel
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

Hello. My name is***** you for the question.

It is my pleasure to assist you today.

I have been in the legal profession, in High Street practice, for almost 30 years so I have wide range of experience in a great many different aspects of law.

Please bear with me and I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you.

Although I am shown as online, I may be dealing with other people, on the telephone, or typing.

Please be assured that you will receive an email once I have written a reply.

Just Answer is not a chat service, it’s an email reply board and therefore sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes it may be longer, even hours or overnight.

I apologise in advance if you suffer a delay.

Kind regards.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

What do you mean by Telford?

and what has been said and why please?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Telford?
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Sorry can I just have my 5 refunded I’d rather speak that’s type and I’m not paying a further 50 to do that when your advertises as no win no fee!
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Telford was a typo
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

You have probably seen a pop-up offering you the chance of a telephone call at an extra cost. It is up to you whether you have a telephone call or not but do bear in mind that a 15-30 minute telephone call covers an awful lot of ground and you can get an awful lot of information in that time. So you can ignore it or go ahead or go ahead later. It’s your choice.

Meanwhile, we can carry on on here.

Derogatory comments made to a 3rd party may be libellous and/or slanderous allegations. Slander is spo***** *****bel is written

A claimant has to prove that the words are defamatory, that the words would be understood to refer to the complainant by even one other person; and that the words have been published to a third party.

Comments made directly to a person about them to their face or a letter written to them, isn’t published or spoken to a 3rd party so cannot be defamatory however bad or untrue it might be. It might be harassment however if it continues

A libel claimant does not have to prove that the words are false or to prove that he has in fact suffered any loss. Damage is presumed. A slander claimant will need to prove that the defamatory allegations caused actual damage, unless the slander is within certain categories.

There is no set definition of 'defamatory'. A statement may be considered to be defamatory if it tends to do any one of the following:

· lower the claimant in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally;

· disparage a claimant in his business, trade, office or profession;

· expose the claimant to hatred, ridicule or contempt; or

· cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided.

Of course fair opinion is not Libel or Slander. So, if I say that "In my opinion ABC is not as good an athlete as XYZ", that is not slander, it is an opinion.

Speaking/writing truth even if defamatory, is not slander/libel but the "offender" may have to prove it true , the recipient does not have to prove it untrue.

BUT a person cannot hide behind “In my opinion”,. So you can’t say “In my opinion he is a thief and a liar with 27 failed marriages behind him”. It must be fair opinion with some kind of basis for the opinion.

The claimant can get a solicitor to write (better coming from a solicitor) to the offender refuting these allegations and advising them that unless these allegation cease forthwith, (cease a desist) and there is a retraction/apology you will make an application to court for an injunction preventing them making any such allegations in future. If they do make any they will be in contempt of court and liable to arrest. The solicitor should threaten to seek the costs of the court proceedings from them. They should also threaten to apply for damages in respect of tarnished reputation.

Let me tell you now that defamation claims are the preserve of the rich, famous, television and film personalities and footballers. They're very expensive and only dealt with by specialist lawyers. That's not to say that a snotty letter from your local solicitor will not have the desired effect and if the person simply ignores it you are faced with risking a lot of money.

There is a limitation period of 12 months from when the defamation occurs, after which time a defendant can raise limitation as a defence to have the claim thrown out.

If a complainant does not want to spend £lots, there is little one can do other than complain or write a solicitors really snotty letter threatening an application for an injunction and costs. BUT…

There is one final thing that can be done: Go to the Police and ask them to warn the person under the Protection from Harassment Act.

This is harassment if there are allegations on 2 separate occasions and it is a criminal offence. Some Police forces dismiss this so you may need to be firm. If necessary, ask to speak to high ranking officer. If they still do nothing, make a formal complaint. Police are under a duty to stop you being harassed.

It may be libel but nonetheless it is still harassment so you may need to press the police.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question. I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards

Stuart

Expert:  Stuart J replied 19 days ago.

Can I help you any further with this?

It's my pleasure to help. I’m glad that I was able to help so far.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

I'm happy to clarify anything which is outstanding.

Please don't hesitate to ask.

Kind regards

Stuart

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
I just need my money back
Expert:  Stuart J replied 19 days ago.

I’m sorry but you’ve lost me. Your question was about a defamation claim not about recovering any money and you have had an extremely lengthy response about that.

If you don’t have any further questions, I will mark this question thread as complete for now, but don’t worry, the thread stays open if anything else crops up over the course of the next days weeks or months.

I’m glad that I was able to help.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

Kind regards

Stuart