August 2023 – Decision on Action for damages for defamation of personality in the context of family litigationlawuser
Our client brought an action for defamation of personality with a claim for compensation for moral damages against the closest relatives of his ex-wife, namely her father, her mother and her sister, on the ground that they had committed the offences of defamation and false testimony by making false statements in their sworn statements before the courts and authorities, slanderous allegations against him concerning the alleged use of domestic violence against his ex-wife and their child, his unsuitability as a parent, but also by making value judgments which are intended to defame him, referring to his irritable, nervous and violent behaviour, allegations which causally affected his personality. He also requested that the insults be withdrawn and that they be omitted in the future.
After evaluating the submitted claims of the opposing parties and the evidence, the Court rejected them in toto, accepting in whole the claims of our client. Subsequently, it held that the offences of defamation, false testimony and that there was also an intent to defame in relation to value judgments were committed.
In particular, it was held that the allegations against the plaintiff for allegedly causing violence to his ex-wife and their child were defamatory. Similarly, the allegations of his unfitness were also found to be defamatory, in that the plaintiff’s commitment to his parental role was proven. Furthermore, it was held that the defendants knew the falsity of their allegations because of the close family relationship with the plaintiff’s ex-wife, and also because they testified to false facts as alleged eyewitnesses, which proved their knowledge of their falsehoods. Therefore, the objection of 367 PC was also rejected, which applies to simple defamation and libel and not to the case of slander. Finally, the objection proposed by the plaintiff was also accepted in relation to value judgments against him, which were found to have a defamatory purpose.
Subsequently, the Court held that the plaintiff’s personality had suffered an unlawful and culpable insult which caused him non-material damage and upheld his action against the opposing parties, awarding the plaintiff damages for the non-material damage suffered in the amount of EUR 1,000. The Court also ordered the opposing parties to refrain from any future defamatory and libellous conduct, threatened them with personal detention for one month and a fine of EUR 500 for each infringement of the immediately preceding provision and ordered them to pay part of the costs of the proceedings, in the sum of EUR 600.