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QLD Charity Almost Closed Down Due to Defamation through Social Media

Discussion in 'Defamation Law Forum' started by Mesito HARLEY, 22 November 2015.

  1. Mesito HARLEY

    Mesito HARLEY Active Member

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    I am here to be sent in the correct direction in regards to the last 2 years of hell I have suffered which is mainly defamation online through social media, e.g. Facebook.

    I have children and a farm and it began with social slander and bullying and facebook messages being sent to me telling me that I would lose everything and also threatening me with the RSPCA and welfare, etc

    After this, we started having our animals shot. Our gates were taken off the hinges. Our signs to property removed and then RSPCA council and welfare investigated us.

    This has gone on for 2 years now.

    We have been constantly ridiculed and defamed and we have now received emails ( 108 emails) of screenshots with the 2 women who have done these acts to us.

    Any help is appreciated.

    We have had our private property photographed and our children and have suffered through years of false accusations and vicious vindictive lies and rumours which have resulted in the charity we run almost being closed.

    We are all fearing for our futures and desperate for help.
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    You know what?
    Maybe close the charity down.
    Ask yourself - is it really worth this much pain?
     
    Louise4007 likes this.
  3. Mesito HARLEY

    Mesito HARLEY Active Member

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    No thanks. We are not going to stop rescuing 500+ deathrow animals because someone has personal issues. Justice will be served :)
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Setup surveillance cameras, there are some good battery powered cameras that record movement during both day and night to a SD card - be prepared to pay for large numbers of batteries, these cameras chew through batteries.

    Record events. Document events. Then take your evidence to a lawyer. Suspect there are multiple laws being broken. As these people have shot animals treat them as dangerous. Also report the more serious offences to the police eg shot animals, property damage.

    Without you being prepared to put some time and effort into stopping this behaviour it will just continue. The responsibility at the moment is yours - record, document, report.
     
  5. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Before you "start" anything - make sure all your own compliances are in order.

    For example:
    1. Does Council have rules about land use as an animal refuge?
      Keeping a couple of companion animals is one thing,
      but large numbers of critters might mean a different set of land use rules applies.
      Just because your land is (say) an acreage, or for that matter a bona fide working farm doesn't give you the automatic right to use it as an animal refuge.

    2. Are you conducting a business* (yes, a charity can be a business) at home?
      And is Council OK with that?
      (understand that the absence of enforcement is not the same thing as approval)

    3. Does your activity infringe on the amenity of your neighbours?
      Things like noise, smell, waste management (both on-site and as regards disposal),**
      and the behaviour of individual animals is all in play.
      Depending on the facts and circumstances, even the amount and type of traffic can be a thing.

    4. Are you wholly compliant with the laws about charities and fundraising in Queensland?

    5. So far as things like signs are concerned - do you have all the relevant approvals - such as DA(s)?
      If you are putting signs on telegraph or electricity poles, do you have the consent of the owner of the pole?

    6. Do you have any structures on your land (sheds etc) that are not properly approved?

    7. Are you compliant with all your animal welfare obligations?
      What was the outcome of the various investigations?

    8. Has Council issued you with Notices or Infringements?
      If so, have you paid any fines?

      Has the RSPCA given you notices to improve, or asked you to show cause why they should not prosecute you?

    One last thing - understand anyone can photograph your land - as long as they don't enter it.
    You do not have the kind of right to privacy you think is being infringed.


    -------------------------------------------
    * The farm, if it's a genuine business, and the charity, would be considered per each in any question of land use compliance.
    ** For example - are you putting out commercial-scale or domestic scale amounts of rubbish?
    Are you managing water runoff containing animals' body waste?
    How do you dispose of carcasses?
     
    Louise4007 likes this.
  6. Mesito HARLEY

    Mesito HARLEY Active Member

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    Thanks for the above help. Our charity has foster carers only. No charity animal reside at our home. The animals that the police had to investigate that were shot, etc., were our own personal animals. Cameras and signs in use. Asking whether our charity is above board is more of an insult than a helpful question.

    Thankfully we have a lawyer who is assisting us with the case and there is a lot more that can be done than we were aware of :)
     
  7. Mesito HARLEY

    Mesito HARLEY Active Member

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    We also have no neighbors and are in a rural area. The council and rspca had no case or grounds for any action as we have our animals in foster care. Their visits were very kind and understanding and quite pointless on their behalf. They have also stated that they cannot accept claims from the lady in question again as she reports people so frequently and they are dead end cases.
     
  8. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    OK then.
    It sounds like you are indeed in a position to move.

    Take the advice of the lawyer you already have.
     
  9. Mesito HARLEY

    Mesito HARLEY Active Member

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    We are. But being new to such issues I felt here was a great place to ask and I genuinely do appreciate the assistance. I also hope no one else has to experience and endure such issues. It would be nice to know what drives people to do such things.
     

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