A user sentenced to pay 1,800 euros because of a notice on Google

This is an isolated case that could set a precedent. This story told to us by The Picard Courier is that of a visibly recovered forty-year-old who took place at the end of 2021. On the Internet, he left a notice on Google about a notary he had dealings with. Indeed, the search engine makes it easy to leave an opinion on a business or a professional, with a star system and a box to write your opinion. The 45-year-old man will be particularly vehement and leave two unequivocal messages: “A notary who does not deserve to be known” and even stronger: “Notary scammer. A shame to have that in France.”

The professional concerned, an Amiens, quickly spotted the notice on Google in December. As the man left his name, going back to him is not complicated. According The Picard Courier, she initiates direct citation proceedings against him for defamation. The man therefore appeared Thursday, June 2 before the court of Amiens. If he was not present at the hearing, the lawyer for the notary said more about his recriminations which relate, according to him, to a project to transfer a commercial lease.

“Major repercussions”

According to the plaintiff’s lawyer, the case concerned a change of activities in a premises but he needed the agreement of the owner and the case did not go as he wished. He would then have “decided that the notary was responsible”. Judging that “the slightest opinion can have significant repercussions” all “in an extremely competitive field”, the notary claimed through his lawyer 15,000 euros in damages. The prosecution had recognized the offensive nature of the notice posted on Google and had requested a suspended fine of 800 euros. Finally, he only received a suspended fine of 500 euros but must pay the sum of 1,800 euros, 1,000 euros for damages, and 800 euros for legal costs. Something to make him think about the next time!

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