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WA Seek Legal Advice on Grounds of Defamation?

Discussion in 'Defamation Law Forum' started by DCO, 9 July 2016.

  1. DCO

    DCO Member

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    Not sure what to do. My stepdaughter is going through a custody of children battle with her ex. Up until now, I’ve stayed out of it thinking it’s the best thing to do, but this changed after reading an affidavit that contained absurd accusations filed by her ex, stating he has observed members her family including myself, my wife and my other stepdaughter being verbally aggressive, and he states at one point, he observed me chasing my wife through the house with a loaded shotgun!

    I don’t own any firearms, have no criminal record nor have any record of violence and I'm not an aggressive person, and although we haven’t spoken for some time (because we live thousands of klm apart), we always got on quite well.

    So should I be seeking legal advice on the grounds of defamation?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Regards.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi DCO,

    An affidavit is a legally sworn document, so if your stepdaughter's ex has lied in it, he could be liable for a serious offence.

    While the statements made in the document about you may be defamatory in nature, (as they convey an imputation about you that lowers your reputation in the eyes of reasonable members of society), the statements were made in the context of court proceedings and are therefore privileged and no action for defamation can be brought in relation to them. However this privilege only extends to court proceedings so if the statements were made to third parties outside the court then it may constitute grounds for a defamation action.
     
    Kim Walters likes this.
  3. DCO

    DCO Member

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    Hi Sophea, thank you very much for your response to my question.

    I was thinking at the time of writing it this guy is not stupid and would have known through advice rendered from his legal counsel that he would be safe from any legal ramifications from myself when making the accusations mentioned in the above post, however, I’m thinking perhaps the cross examination process during the impending court hearing may expose not only the above mentioned accusations extracted from his affidavit but other false statements contained within it directed to deliberately discredit and debilitate my step daughter.


    Once again thanks,

    Regards
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you are right DCO, cross examination should reveal inconsistencies and lies in his story.
     
  5. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Let it go. Stepdaughter's ex will have damaged his case in family law .

    But also - who reads the affidavit? Not your workmates, boss, friends, etc So if your reputation has been damaged it has been damaged only in the eyes of people who don't know you, don't care about you and have seen this tactic used in family law to no avail millions of times.

    More importantly, sit back and do nothing... Mate, wait till all this crap is settled and the ex has screwed his case in family law and then if you feel the need you can remind him that he told lies about you and your family and now that he dust has settled on family law he can reasonably expect no favours from any of you - but do it with a smile. Or better still, just let it go, he ain't worth your time money or energy.
     
    Sophea likes this.

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