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Malicious report to Gardai

If a person made malicious and untrue claims to the Gardai about you and you were investigated and no evidence was found can you see the Garda file and can you sue?

A person who has been investigated by the Gardai isn’t automatically entitled to see the file.  The file, in its entirety may have confidential information and even in this particular case the person who made the claims might themselves be a Garda informant - so the Gardai will very reluctant to hand over the file.  Even in a standard road traffic accident case you are not entitled to a copy of the Garda file but you are entitled to an ‘abstract of report’ in other words a series of predetermined questions and answers that come from the file. Equally you can write a letter to the Gardai asking a series of questions of fact (names addresses etc) that you need answered for a civil case.

My advise would be to see the Superintendent and explain that you believe it was malicious and untrue and that the Gardai should not allow this person hid behind the non production of the Garda file. Tell the Superintendent and you intend to launch a lawsuit for defamation and possibly malicious prosecution and you will need certain information in order to mount that civil action.

You can also consider asking the Superintendent to send a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions with a view to the complainant being charged with criminal offences arising out of the malicious and untrue report including wasting Garda time. If such a prosecution goes ahead then you and your solicitor can attend the criminal trial and take notes - this is known as "holding a watching brief." 

If you get no satisfaction from the Superintendent you can ask the Garda Ombudsman (www.gardaombudsman.ie ) to intervene -not by way of complaint but more by way of honest broker and either get a copy of the file for you or get the information you are looking for.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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