C/ Enric Granados, 86-88, 5è 1ª – 5è 2ª, 08008 Barcelona · 93 268 87 40 info@ms-advocats.com

The use of offensive words in relation to the information to be communicated is part of freedom of expression.

Comunidad de propietarios. Honor del presidente

There are expressions which, taken in isolation, may seem offensive to the person to whom they are addressed. However, if they are related to the information they are intended to communicate or to the political or social situation in which they take place, they are tolerable within the right to freedom of expression. They are part of the criticism and increase the degree of tolerance that can be demanded towards them.

The president of a homeowners’ association brought an action for protection of the right to honour, privacy and self-image due to comments and statements made on Facebook on the page in the name of the association, as well as on two television programmes and a vexatious letter sent to all the owners of the association against one of the owners of the association.

According to the president, he was conducting a smear and discrediting campaign. In addition to insults, he had filed false complaints against him for alleged irregularities and crimes of misappropriation, fraud and false documentation, all of which have been shelved.

The defendant owner stated that he had merely demanded transparency, accountability and disagreement with the management carried out by the plaintiff. He also criticised the occupation of the position of president for more than a decade.

The courts have not been favourable to the president’s claim. They point out that the expressions and accusations made are accompanied by reports of allegedly criminal acts for investigation. The fact that the allegations were subsequently shelved does not delegitimise the defendant’s conduct. The expressions that the president considers offensive to his person do not constitute unlawful interference with his right to honour, but are protected by freedom of expression, reflecting a climate of confrontation between the two.

Although the president has ultimately tried to argue that the public dissemination of the false accusations and the statements made by the defendant about him went beyond the strictly private sphere of the homeowners’ association where the controversy originated and were made with the aim of damaging his reputation and good name, The Supreme Court has considered that the defendant was protected by freedom of expression, given that he was seeking transparency in the accounts of the community of owners, the supervision of the management and a healthy rotation of the community charges.

If you are affected by a situation similar to this one, our firm is at your disposal to analyse your case and take the appropriate action.