Neutral Citation Number: [2001] EWHC Admin 1152




Royal Courts of Justice


London WC2

Thursday 13th December 2001

B e f o r e:




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(Computer-aided Transcript of the Stenograph Notes of

Smith Bernal Reporting Limited,

190 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2HD

Telephone No: 0207 421 4040

Fax No: 0207 831 8838

Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)

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The Claimant did not appear and was not represented.

MR S KOVATS (instructed by Treasury solicitors) appeared on behalf of the Defendant.

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(As Approved by the Court)

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Crown Copyright

Thursday 13th December 2001


1. LORD JUSTICE KENNEDY: Her Majesty’s Attorney-General invites this Court to make an order pursuant to section 42 of the Supreme Court Act 1981, which, so far as material, provides that:

“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 in 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 proceedings (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...”

2. In this case it is a civil proceedings order which is sought, and I need not read further from the section.

3. The person against whom the order is sought has plainly been given an opportunity to be heard. He has been served with the documentation to which we have been referred today, and he has, in writing, made it clear that he has no intention of attending today in order to say what might be said on his behalf. Accordingly we have looked at the documentation with the assistance of Mr Kovats, who appears on behalf of the Attorney-General.

4. The background to this matter is that Mr Jamieson was born on 5th September 1940, and he has, for some time, been a tenant of Wirral Borough Council.

5. On 16th December 1993 a judge in the Wirral County Court awarded Mr Jamieson £2,195 damages against the council for dilapidation and ordered the council to carry out certain works upon his property. No complaint whatsoever is made in relation to those proceedings. They were properly brought, and they were determined in the way that I have just indicated.

6. But since 1998 Mr Jamieson has issued a further ten sets of proceedings against the council or associated persons in connection with his present, or his previous, council property. Nine of these subsequent actions have been struck out, the tenth being a small claim that was dismissed with costs awarded against Mr Jamieson because of his unreasonable behaviour.

7. We have looked at the files in relation to each of those actions, and it is clear that they are actions which, in each case, were brought without any reasonable prospects of success whatsoever.

8. I take, by way of example, the proceedings instituted on 2nd February 2000 against the council for damages to property caused by flooding from a sewer. That case was allocated to the Small Claims Track, and on 19th July 2000 District Judge Peak gave judgment in favour of the defendants in those proceedings. In dealing with those proceedings the District Judge said:

“Mr Jamieson alleges that in September 1999 there was a water leak at his property. If I had found in his favour I would have awarded him a diminution in value between July 1999 and January 2000. However, my findings of fact are, firstly, that any leak which occurred at the property as identified did not occur in September of 1999, it occurred in January 2000, and that leak is the leak in respect of which these proceedings are brought. This is not the same leak as that which may have occurred in April 1999.”

9. He then went on to deal with the particular facts of the case, and after he had given judgment for the defendants, said in relation to the question of costs:

“I have to say that I am appalled in the way that Mr Jamieson has behaved in this case. It may be that he has had cause to complain against the council, but reading the correspondence I am ... concerned as to Mr Jamieson’s mental health. To describe it as irrational is an understatement. Some of the comments levied at the council and the solicitors acting for the council were quite atrocious. If he were here I would have made that clear to him.”

10. In that case, and this is of some materiality, the solicitors had incurred expenses so that a proper claim for costs was made in the sum of £4,381.26, but the learned District Judge recognised that he could only make what he regarded as a proportionate order, and in those circumstances he had to reduce the order which he made to the sum of £2,322.66. In other words, to reduce it by approximately 50 per cent, and that 50 per cent was, on any possible view, money thrown away by the irrational behaviour of the litigant who had failed. That was one set of proceedings, but it was mirrored in what followed.

11. On 23rd June 2000 Mr Jamieson issued an application to set aside the order of the District Judge. That came before a different District Judge, District Judge Clerk, on 24th July 2000, and it was then dismissed.

12. On 25th May 2000 Mr Jamieson issued a set of proceedings against the council, and that set of proceedings was struck out on 22nd June 2000 by District Judge Peak. The significance of that set of proceedings was that it was, in reality, nothing more than a re-run of the earlier set of proceedings which had been struck out by the District Judge in the terms to which I have already referred.

13. On 12th May 2000 Mr Jamieson issued proceedings against Mr Paul Brant, a member of the Bar who had acted for the council in respect of these matters, and those proceedings were in defamation. It is fair to say that it is somewhat difficult to ascertain from the manuscript prepared by Mr Jamieson what precisely the nature of his complaint was, but it was clearly intemperate and it disclosed no reasonable cause of action. As Mr Kovats pointed out, it was also, for what it is worth, brought in the wrong court.

14. On 1st April 2001 Mr Jamieson issued more proceedings against the council for stress, intimidation, flood damage and a deterioration in his health, and so one could go on.

15. What is also significant is that in recent times Mr Jamieson has, in correspondence, indicated that this type of behaviour on his part will continue. Not only is he, as is clear from the documents to which our attention has been invited, abusive but he proposes to go on behaving in precisely the same way. If his threats were taken seriously, they would be very serious matters indeed. He indicates that he proposes to cause physical harm to council employees and those whom they instruct. So far, so far as we are aware, he has done neither, but nobody should be permitted to go on behaving in that sort of way.

16. We have looked, for example, as regards recent correspondence, at a letter of his of 11th April 2001, and at a further letter of 10th May 2001. In the May letter he says:

“This case will be ongoing. I am not in any rush. I will not move until compensated, plus £7,000 to move out. But with all the dishonest lawyers and landlord and his employees I have had to deal with, some jails, some still on run from justice, until I am compensated on all my losses and health for my loss of employment et cetera.”

17. We also have had the communication which was sent to the court this morning, which is in somewhat similar vain. It is unnecessary, for the purposes of this judgment, to cite from that document; the document in which he indicates that he will not be here.

18. I, for my part, having looked at the documentation to which our attention has been invited, am wholly satisfied that Mr Jamieson has habitually and persistently and without reasonable cause instituted vexatious civil proceedings in the tribunals to which I have already referred, which in almost every case has been the Birkenhead County Court, and in those circumstances I am satisfied that, having given him an opportunity to be heard, it would be appropriate in this case to make a civil proceedings order, and that is the order which, at this stage, in my judgment, should be made: an order that no civil proceedings shall, without leave of the High Court, be instituted in any court by Mr Jamieson; that any civil proceedings instituted by him in any court before the making of the order shall not be continued by him without the leave of the High Court; and that no application other than one for leave under the appropriate section shall be made by him in any civil proceedings instituted in any court by Mr Jamieson without leave of the High Court. I would make such an order without limit of time.

19. MR JUSTICE KEITH: I agree.

Attorney General v Jamieson (1)
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