Docklands Solicitor

Latest legal news from Docklands Solicitors, Kaslers Solicitors LLP.

Friday, 20 August 2010


Committal Proceedings for Contempt of Court

The defendants B, C and D each commenced personal injury claims in the County Court against A. During the course of the County Court proceedings B and C had made false statements as to the extent of their injuries. It was alleged that D had made a false statement that he was unable to work and was living on benefits. All three statements were verified by a statement of truth.

The Claimants (A) applied to the Divisional Court for permission to begin committal proceedings against the defendants B,C and D.

In the pleadings, A had informed B and D that A intended to seek permission to begin committal proceedings. The police had investigated the claim against C but had not prosecuted him. A applied for permission to begin committal proceedings against C two years later.

B submitted that under the Civil Procedure Rules, A should have applied to the County Court Judge dealing with the initial proceedings to refer the matter to the Attorney General and should not have applied directly to the Divisional Court.

The Court held that, whilst CPR 31.23 and 32.14 provided for an application for committal to be made to the Judge dealing with the original proceedings, and that Practice Direction 32.28 contained the words “must refer that allegation to the court dealing with the claim”, a party to County Court proceedings was also entitled to apply to the Divisional Court for a committal order for contempt under Order 52 of the Rules of the Supreme Court.

The Court went on to deal with

1. the issues that the Court would need to consider before granting permission to make an application for committal,

2. the contents of the application, and

3. the effect of delay in making the application.

The Court found that permission to make an application for committal in respect of C should not be granted in view of the delay of two years. However, in respect of B and D, it found that the evidence was strong that they had knowingly made false statements in relation to matters that were material to the main issues of the case and that it was in the public interest that proceedings for contempt should be brought.

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Call Michael Breeze on 07900 195 195 or call 0845 270 2511 to if you need legal advise about any of these issues

Kaslers Solicitors LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England under LLP no. OC310653; authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under reg no 408936; governed by professional rules set out in the Code of Conduct click here to visit and has its registered office / main trading address at Suite 3, 10 Churchill Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4YU - tel: +44 (0)845 270 2511; fax: +44 (0)845 270 2513; DX 92863 West Malling.
The LLP Members are Michael D Breeze LL.B (Hons) (SRA reg no 110184) and Simon McCree Scott LL.B (Hons) (SRA reg no 298202).