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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12569
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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The private golf club of which I am a full member is looking

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The private golf club of which I am a full member is looking to take action against me for a post I made on my private Facebook page which criticised the golf club. They have written asking that I attend a meeting to explain my comments which I am happy to do, however when asked if I could bring my own Representative to the meeting I was denied and told that was not allowed under the constitution of the golf club.I have two questions really.1. Can a private golf club ban a member for stating an opinion on a private Facebook page where the golf club, captain, committee or members were not named?2. Can they stop me from bringing a representative to a meeting to ensure my side of the story is accurately written down in any minutes?

I am a solicitor in Scotland. What did you say on Facebook that has upset the club? What does the club rules or constitution say about the way that disciplinary matters are to be handled?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I have no idea what the constitution says as I have never had the opportunity to read it in my 8 years as a member. A screengrab of the post should be attached.It all started when my friend and playing partner replied to a post on my personal Facebook page where he criticised the golf club and he received a 7 day ban for bringing the club into disrepute. I feel strongly that as a paying member I am entitled to air my opinions as long as I remain within the laws of my country?
Let me know when you have the constitution and I will be able to assist you.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I will see if I can get a copy, however knowing the club as I do they will most likely not have an electronic version. There is certainly nothing to download within the members' only section of the club website.

Thanks.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The attached letter was hand delivered through my door this morning. It would seem they have backed down on me not being allowed to bring a witness, and they have quoted the clause of the constitution I have allegedly breached. Does this help?

Yes it does. The issue is whether posting on social media has the effect that the rule describes. Evidence would have to be produced that the way you acted endangers the interests or good name of the club. The expression “appears to them” is used. That can’t be used arbitrarily. The committee has to act reasonably and objectively and adhere to the principles of natural justice. They may not like what you said but that is different from endangering the interests or good name of the club. Do you think, knowing the club, that what you did endangers its interests or good name. If not, why not, and that is your defence to this charge. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited fro my time.

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