|[Home] [Databases] [World Law] [Multidatabase Search] [Help] [Feedback]|
England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions >> HM Attorney General v Harold Singer (aka Harry Singer)  EWHC 326 (Admin) (24 January 2012)
Cite as:  EWHC 326 (Admin)
[New search] [Context] [View without highlighting] [Printable RTF version] [Help]
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE CRANSTON
|HER MAJESTY'S ATTORNEY GENERAL||Applicant|
|HAROLD SINGER (AKA HARRY SINGER)||First Respondent|
|JUNE SINGER||Second Respondent|
WordWave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
165 Fleet Street London EC4A 2DY
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7404 1424
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
The Respondents appeared in person
Crown Copyright ©
"(1) If, on an application made by the Attorney General under this section, the High Court is satisfied that any person has habitually and persistently and without any reasonable ground -
(a) instituted vexatious civil proceedings, whether in the High Court or any inferior court, and whether against the same person or against different persons; or
(b) made vexatious applications in any civil proceedings, whether in the High Court or any inferior court, and whether instituted by him or another, or
(c) instituted vexatious prosecutions (whether against the same person or different persons),
The court may, after hearing that person or giving him an opportunity of being heard, make a civil proceedings order, a criminal proceedings order or an all proceedings order."
"1. ... [B]efore the court can make an order under the section it must be satisfied that the statutory precondition of an order is fulfilled, namely that the person against whom the order is sought has habitually and persistently and without any reasonable ground instituted vexatious civil proceedings or made vexatious applications whether in the High Court or any inferior court and whether against the same person or against different persons.
"2. ... Whether, where the condition is satisfied, the court will exercise its discretion to make an order, will depend on the court's assessment of where the balance of justice lies, taking account on the one hand of a citizen's prima facie right to invoke the jurisdiction of the civil courts and on the other the need to provide members of the public with a measure of protection against abusive and ill-founded claims. It is clear from section 42(3) that the making of an order operates not as an absolute bar to the bringing of further proceedings but as a filter."
"22. From extensive experience of dealing with applications under section 42 the court has become familiar with the hallmark of persistent and habitual litigious activity. The hallmark usually is that the plaintiff sues the same party repeatedly in reliance on essentially the same cause of action, perhaps with minor variations, after it has been ruled upon, thereby imposing on defendants the burden of resisting claim after claim; that the claimant relies on essentially the same cause of action, perhaps with minor variations, after it has been ruled upon, in actions against successive parties who if they were to be sued at all should have been joined in the same action; that the claimant automatically challenges every adverse decision on appeal; and that the claimant refuses to take any notice of or give any effect to orders of the court. The essential vice of habitual and persistent litigation is keeping on and on litigating when earlier litigation has been unsuccessful and when on any rational and objective assessment the time has come to stop."
Is the Tribunal a court for the purposes of section 62?
"[T]he power which every sovereign authority must of necessity have to decide controversies between its subjects, or between itself and its subjects, whether the rights relate to life, liberty or property. The exercise of this power does not begin until some tribunal which has power to give a binding and authoritative decision (whether subject to appeal or not) is called upon to take action."
"In a powerful passage in paragraphs  and  of his judgment, Sullivan J explained why he was of the view that the statutory scheme in the present case was 'fair, adequate and proportionate'. At paragraph , he said this:
"'[T]here is a 'coherent statutory scheme' for dealing with disputes relating to service charges. It does not ensure that an LVT's decision will be 'reviewed' by a legally qualified judge, but that is not inconsistent with the underlying purpose of the scheme: to remove such disputes from the Courts, and dispose of them simply, expeditiously and inexpensively by a hearing before a specialist tribunal, the LVT, with a limited right of appeal to the Lands Tribunal.'"
Whether the section 42 test was met
"[...] it is against public policy for the judicial system to deal with a dispute and then allow the same dispute to be tried again and again [...]."