Hot 100: Rupinder Bains, Pinder Reaux & Associates

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  • I congratulate Rupinder for her victory over Facebook. However, it may very well be a Pyrrhic victory to obtain the names of the offenders, only for the costs of the Pharmacal to out weigh the compensation offered by the Defendants.

    I know this from bitter experience. Not to mention that even if you do proceed with what you believe is a claim sure of victory, only to have the claims thrown out because the judiciary take a disliking to you & the Defendants conspire to blacken your name behind your back by writing to the Judge & not sending copies of these letters to the Claimant.

    It seems to me that unless the matter of Pharmacal costs are addressed fairly, then any claimant would be forced to suffer inequitable costs in order to seek justice. Even if they obtain the names of the attackers, these Defendants are very unlikely to compensate the Claimant for costs which could amount to tens of thousands to avoid a claim being issued. The Claimant is either forced to swallow these costs or take on a greater uncertainty that they will ultimately lose their libel claim, thereby incurring even greater costs, as well as already suffering the original humiliation of the libel & harassment. The Defendant may not even have the funds to pay the court order even if you win.

    Case law allows the innocent 3rd party to seek the costs of representation in a Pharmacal application, so long as they do not oppose the Pharmacal. However, it is often the case that the 3rd party has incurred some liability and therefore, they can force substantial costs just to get the information, with the aim of deterring any litigation.

    It seems to me that it would be fairer if the law only allowed minimal costs for retrieval of the information (one 3rd party tried to claim costs of a £50k computer to download information that actually costed less than £100 to retrieve) and would only allow legal representation costs if the 3rd party was opposing the Pharmacal and succeeded.

    For instance, one of my Pharmacals was not opposed, the 3rd party wrote a letter to the court and the order was produced for the cost of the paperwork, essentially nothing. On the opposite side, another 3rd party did not oppose the Pharmacal, but racked up costs of £14k, only for the matter to have to go to the CofA, who allowed another Pharmacal (more costs of £12k) and the 2nd Pharmacal was another £14k.

    After that much in costs, it was necessary to take the Defendants all the way to seek adequate restitution. The matter could not have been settled with an apology & retraction, even though this was offered.

    Until the law on Pharmacal costs is corrected, internet libels are going to be forced into contentious litigation, where the only winners will be the lawyers. The only alternative for most victims of libel & harassment is to use harassment law and let the Police go after the offenders. If the Police refuse to do so, then the victim has to weigh up whether their own reputation is worth the cost they will incur.

    In the case mentioned above, someone accused of paedophilia, you may agree that the victim would have to respond to avoid these unfair accusations affecting her professional & private reputation. In the case of Lord McAlpine, he appears to have been successful. However, I have no criminal record, yet I have been accused of crimes & the Judges threw out my claims for libels. So there is no guarantee that even if your claim is rock solid, that you will achieve vindication, even if the Defendants apologise for their statements and offer amends - without costs.

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