TAS Defamation against a Forum Member (not this forum)

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bridgyguy

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15 April 2020
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Hi, is it legally possible to take a member of an online Forum to court for Defamation, a member who makes false accusations against me without being able to support their claims with any evidence when ask for it, and then claiming that nobody knows who they are so legal action cannot be taken against them, so they can say whatever they like.

I would have thought that if i went to a defamation lawyer to provide my case with sufficient evidence of what this person has been saying about me, and they accepted that i may have a case, the lawyer should be able to contact the owner of the Forum to inform them of my intention to to take legal action, the forum owner is required to supply the offending members details to the lawyer, if the forum has them on record from when the offending member signed up to the forum.

The issue here is that some forums do not require you to provide real names and addresses and phone numbers, which would make it impossible to find the offending members real identity.

Any thoughts on this much appreciated.
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

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Rod

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is it legally possible to take a member of an online Forum to court for Defamation
Yes is the short answer.

Identity is an issue but a name can be linked to an online pseudonym with varying amounts of effort.

Whether you are willing to put effort and money into it is another issue.
 

bridgyguy

Active Member
15 April 2020
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Thanks for this, i was told by a law student that it should be possible, with the full co-operation from the Forum owners, or their representatives (Admins or even their legal advisor if they had one) and if the forum does not require one to offer their proper and correct identity when joining the forum (full real name and contact number etc) then there are still ways and means of locating the identity of this person possibly via their IP address or something like that.

I have the money available to take such action, and i have the time, but if i was to detail exactly what has transpired so far, i think anyone would want to pursue a case against this person, as well as the forum owners when i think about it, as i have reported the matter several times and they seem unwilling to stop this particular person from continuing with their defamatory actions.

Cheers.
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

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Not saying that they were wrong, but please realise that law students are one of the most dangerous places to get legal advice from - second only to that one person who did that one thing that one time and got a perfect result, so they’re now an expert.
 

bridgyguy

Active Member
15 April 2020
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Not saying that they were wrong, but please realise that law students are one of the most dangerous places to get legal advice from - second only to that one person who did that one thing that one time and got a perfect result, so they’re now an expert.
No sorry i didn't actually go to a law student to get legal advice for this matter, i happened upon this person some time ago and i just ran it by them to see if they knew much about it, but of coarse this is a very serious matter and i would definitely be seeking the advice from someone qualified/specializes in Defamation law.

I called legal aid services this morning and ran it by them, and i was told to contact the senior forum administrator, or the owner via the forum website contact page, and explain the situation to them again, but this time to advise them that i am now seeking legal advice regarding this matter, and that if i do decide to take legal action against the offending member, my legal representative will be contacting the forum admins or the owner to notify them of my intentions.

At this stage i would simply ask my legal rep to advise the forum owner to notify the offending member of my intentions, and to simply request an open apology from them in the forum, and then to have this person removed from the forum as well, if they are not prepared to do this, then we will need to work out another plan.

Personally i think the forum owners are just as liable for allowing this kind of behavior to happen, if a journalist wrote a defamatory article in a newspaper about someone, the newspaper owners would surely be just as responsible as the journalist is by allowing the article to be published.
 

Tim W

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...second only to that one person who did that one thing that one time and got a perfect result, so they’re now an expert.
Yeah. We have several of these here!