Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterPrima facie
an insulting statement that does not actually harm someone's reputation is prima facie (external - login to view) not libelous."
Quite right Durka, that is why all kinds of name calling goes on and nobody thinks anything of it. But a factual statement is in a different category. Where the clear intent is name calling, a factual statement perhaps may not matter all that much (e.g. your mother wears army boots, while a factual statement, is clearly meant as an insult and may not be actionable).
But factual statements such as somebody is not a doctor, somebody works at such and such a place, they are different thing altogether.
means that the argument sounds good on first being heard, that is to say, it probably won't be dismissed out of hand, that is to say it will pass the "snicker" test.
So evidence that is Prima facie
is the kind that will be admissible and probably hold up.
For example a child covered in cookie crumbs that claims he hasn't been stealing cookies is not making an argument that is prima facie, it will also doubtlessly fail the snicker test.
I'm not sure what is meant by the quote in which the term is being used (in red). I suspect it is saying that so long as the insulting statement stays away from being libellous it could remain prima facie, that is to say, that there is a certain line which a comment can cross where it becomes libellous and whether it is true or not becomes irrelevant; i.e., as soon as a comment becomes libellous it is no longer prima facie. A good example would be calling someone a "fag," it might be true but so what? It isn't indicative of anything and thus if used to warrant a claim isn't prima facie.
Last edited by Scott Free; Jun 4th, 2009 at 12:47 AM..