The case goes like this – a couple, married and divorced. The couple were married for 27 years, during which they had several children. In 2014 they broke up and then legal disputes began, among which – a dispute over child custody. Exceptionally, the court allowed some of the children to remain in custody of the mother and some of the children to remain in custody of the father.
One day, when some of the couple’s children were supposed to stay with the father on a week-long family vacation, the woman suddenly discovered that according to the divorce agreement, the children had to stay with the father for only three days. She turned to the father and demanded that they return from their vacation. The father thought, with a great deal of justice, that he would not be responsible for sending the children by bus or taxi, as the woman requested.
The children returned, but when they arrived with the father at the mother’s house, she was not home – so the father claimed. The mother, on the other hand, turned to the police and claimed that the father had kidnapped the children. She also claimed that the father intended to smuggle the children away and even noted that the father had “a very violent background” and was therefore worried about the children’s safety.
The police arrived at the father’s house, with the woman being present too. The father asked that the woman leave the house and at a certain point he was arrested by the police. The father claimed that he had asked the woman to leave his house because she had been rummaging through his belongings.
The father filed a claim of libel suit against the woman. All this – on the grounds that the complaints she filed regarding the abduction of the children were false. He also claimed that tort of negligence had been committed in that she had trespassed and provided false information against him, in violation of the law. The court that dealt with the claim was a family court in Jerusalem.
The mother’s argument:
The mother claimed that not once, the father took their children without her permission and opposed to the divorce agreement. Moreover, she argued that the claim should be dismissed. The woman also claimed that while she was at home, the father tried to attack her with “fists”.
The provisions of the law:
It is important to note that filing a false complaint with the Israel Police constitutes a tort in the form of “defamation.” The Prohibition of Defamation Law, 5725-1965, provides that defamation is the publication of anything that may harm a person’s good name, profession, or publication of anything that may harm a person on the basis of race, sex, religion, etc. A person accused of defamation, can “escape” the proceeding if he/she does prove that there was truth in the statements that were made, or that they were made in good faith, but it is important to note that this claim was based on the tort of negligence that refers to cases in which a reasonable person deviates from the standard of caution expected of him/her.
The court’s decision:
The court accepted the father’s version. Among other things, it determined that the woman’s version to the police is incorrect and includes facts that have no basis in reality. In addition, the court ruled that the complaint of child abduction was hasty and was not based on any reasonable evidence. Thus, it was ruled:
“The Defendant claimed to the police ….that the Plaintiff kidnapped the minors in the past. However, there was no evidence that the Plaintiff had done so.” The Plaintiff claimed that the Defendant had complained against him three times for a similar claim of abducting the minors and the cases were closed. The Defendant did not deny this. However, she continued to ignore the lack of evidence of the abduction of the minors and repeatedly raised the argument. There is also no truth in the Defendant’s claim that the children are afraid of the Plaintiff. The Defendant claimed that “since that incident my children have been stricken with anxieties of another abduction by their father, and, sometimes, when a Like the father’s car passes by, they cling to me in terrible fear. “However, in the opinion of the expert it was firmly established that the kids love the Plaintiff and have a strong connection to him. “
What is the rate of compensation that the court imposed on women?
As stated, the court rejected the woman’s version. After the woman’s liability was determined in tort, the court had to award the plaintiff appropriate compensation. The court ruled that compensation should be imposed, taking into account the following: “When the complaint filed by the defendant with the police was proven to be false, and given maliciously, and it was proven that following this complaint the police were unnecessarily summoned to the plaintiff’s home and as a result his peace of mind and liberty were revoked for the duration of the incident – This is enough to establish a cause for tortious compensation for the plaintiff. ” The court ordered the woman to pay 20,000 NIS compensation to the husband, as well as court costs of 10,000 NIS.