Recently, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice recognized a new common law tort of Internet or online harassment. In order for a plaintiff to succeed in a claim for online harassment the following steps must be satisfied:
- the defendant maliciously or recklessly engages in communications conduct so outrageous in character, duration, and extreme in degree, so as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency and tolerance;
- the defendant intends to cause fear, anxiety, emotional upset or to impugn the dignity of the plaintiff; and
- the plaintiff suffers such harm
For this tort to succeed provable harm is not expressly required. The conduct of the defendant must go beyond something that is merely a nuisance and is reserved for the most serious harassing conduct. One of the possible remedies for the tort is an injunction.
If you would like to read more about this tort, the case that brought about this tort of online harassment is Caplan v. Atas, 2021 ONSC 670.
For more information on online harassment or if you have been victimized by online harassment, please contact the media lawyers at Melekhovets Law. We can also support our clients as corporate lawyers or in other roles depending on the needs of each case.