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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions

You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> Morgan v Southend County Court [2005] EWCA Civ 1740 (11 November 2005)
Cite as: [2005] EWCA Civ 1740

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Neutral Citation Number: [2005] EWCA Civ 1740
A2/2005/2101, A2/2005/2102, A2/2103, A2/2131


Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2
11 November 2005

B e f o r e :


MICHAEL MORGAN Claimant/Appellant
SOUTHEND COUNTY COURT Defendant/Respondent
MICHAEL MORGAN Claimant/Respondent
MICHAEL MORGAN Claimant/Appellant
MICHAEL MORGAN Claimant/Appellant


(Computer-Aided Transcript of the Stenograph Notes of
Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited
190 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2AG
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Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)


The Appellant appeared in person
The Respondent was not represented and did not attend



Crown Copyright ©

  1. LORD JUSTICE LAWS: This is an application for permission to appeal against orders made by His Honour Judge MacDuff QC, sitting as a High Court judge at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre on 14 September 2005.
  2. The background, which is not easy to discern clearly from the papers, arises out of three sets of proceedings issued by the applicant in, as he put in the claim forms, the Birmingham High Court. They were issued respectively against the Basildon Community Housing Association, Chief Constable of Essex Police and the Southend County Court. Each of these claims was struck out by Judge MacDuff as being wholly devoid of merit and an abuse of the process.
  3. The judge also made a Civil Restraint Order preventing any further applications or proceedings in the Birmingham District Registry or the Birmingham County Court for a period of two years until 14 September 2007 unless permission be first obtained. All of these orders were made without notice and of the court's own motion. At the end of the Civil Restraint Order this is stated:
  4. "This order is made without notice and of the court's own motion, and the parties or any of them may apply within 7 days of service of this order upon them, to set aside or vary all or any part of this order.
    Note to Mr Michael Andrew Morgan: You may apply (as provided in paragraph 7 above) without the permission of DJ Asokan or DJ Middleton, to set aside this order. You may also apply without the permission of DJ Asokan or DJ Middleton within seven days to set aside the three orders of today's date striking out your three actions as an abuse of process. You may also apply to the Court of Appeal in London for permission to appeal this order. You may take no step in any of the three actions here in Birmingham nor may you issue any new case here in Birmingham without the permission of DJ Asokan or DJ Middleton."
  5. The claim forms in the three sets of proceedings which the applicant issued are among the papers before me. I have to say that they are not at all informative. The one against Basildon Community Housing Association states as follows:
  6. "Brief details of claim: A landlord that attempts to deprive a tenant of assured tenancy is liable to pay damages under sections 27 and 28 Housing Act 1988 and tort of deceit and other torts."

    Then sums claimed by way of damages are set out.

  7. The claim form against the Chief Constable says this:
  8. "A police officer that attempts to deprive a tenant of assured tenancy is liable to pay damages under sections 27 and 28 Housing Act 1988 and tort of deceit and other torts."
  9. The one issued against the Southend County Court states this:
  10. "Violating Article 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 also under sections 6 and 7 Human Rights Act. Court as public authority."
  11. A month before Judge MacDuff made the orders complained of, on 18 August 2005, His Honour Judge Yelton, sitting in Southend County Court, had made an extended Civil Restraint Order against the applicant by which -
  12. "It is ordered that you be restrained from issuing claims or making applications in any court specified below concerning any matter involving or relating to or touching upon or leading to the proceedings in which this order is made without first obtaining the permission of HHJ Yelton."

    In addition, it was further ordered -

    "That the said Michael Morgan is not to enter Southend County Court or Basildon Combined Court save to attend pre-arranged hearings. This order will remain in effect until 18 August 2006."
  13. There is clearly a history here. These orders in Southend were also made of the court's own motion. It appears, not least from the terms of the Civil Restraint Order made by Judge Macduff, that the three claims which I have enumerated were issued in defiance of the order made by Judge Yelton, but I pass that by.
  14. Mr Morgan has told me this morning that he was arrested on false testimony, and there clearly has been bitter dispute arising out of (as I understand it) his tenancy of certain property. He has been at pains to emphasise the provisions of Sections 12 and 27 of the Housing Act 1988. They contain provision dealing with a situation where a possession order has been obtained by misrepresentation, concealment or deceit. That is a circumstance that gives rise to a right to damages. He has also put before me an extract from a textbook summarising the effect of Section 27 of the 1988 Act. It is said that that effectively overturns an earlier decision of the courts and creates a new statutory tort -
  15. "It gives the residential occupier evicted after 9 June 1988 a right to sue his or her landlord or any person acting on his or her behalf but committing an act which amounts to a criminal offence under Section 1 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and which has caused him or her to give up occupation of the premises as a residence."
  16. The applicant's grounds of appeal to this court are drafted in these terms:
  17. "Southend County Court prevented prosecution under section 27 Housing Act 1988 also prevented prosecution under"

    ("under" means "in relation to")

    "tort of deceit also under other torts."

    Certain authorities are then referred to.

  18. The applicant issued a fresh application in this court, received yesterday, for an order that the -
  19. "Southend order preventing civil claim under section 12 and 27 Housing Act 1988 Southend Court has breached section 12 and 27 Housing Act 1988 there has been breach of statutory duty in private law."

    A page of an earlier document containing numbered paragraphs 7 to 11 is attached which describes facts relating to a dispute or disputes with neighbours of the applicant. The application form in this new application has a space for the evidence relied on. The applicant has filled it out in these terms:

    "In addition to Article 6 and section 6 and 7 of Human Rights Act ie: failure to disclose false testimonys [sic] of convicted drug dealers and drug addicts there has been breach of statutory duty in private law example possession order obtained by deceit, misrepresentation, concealment the statutory provision under section 12 and 27 to claim damages as possession order has been obtained by deceit. Section 12 and 27 gives the occupier a right to sue landlord and persons acting on his behalf ie: police civil offence under section 12 and 27 Housing Act 1988 which caused the occupier consenting to possession order - condition disclose false testimonys [sic]."

    Another document headed "Additional Grounds" sets out much the same material.

  20. The applicant has been emphatic in his insistence before me this morning that he has statutory rights to damages under Sections 12 and 27 of the Housing Act 1988. It is quite true that that Act does create statutory rights to damages. He has also said that he desires to make other claims - trespass to goods and trespass to land. The difficulty is that it is entirely impossible to ascertain from the papers put before the County Court whether there is any viable legal complaint under these statutory provisions or otherwise. If there is a legitimate complaint - and I am very far from holding that there is, I am in no position to do so - the applicant's proper recourse would be to apply in the County Court to set aside the order or orders against him, made as they were on the court's own motion and without notice. I make it clear that I do not suggest that the court should accede to such an application or that it should not have made the orders that it did; it may have been amply justified.
  21. There is nothing to justify this court's interference, and it is my duty to refuse the application.
  22. Order: Application refused. A transcript of judgment to be supplied to appellant at public expense.

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