Kirk v Walton: QBD 24 Jul 2008

The defendant sought leave to bring proceedings for contempt of court against the claimant saying that she had had no honest belief in the matters deposed in her statement of truth, in that she had substantially exaggerated her injuries.
Held: Leave was granted. The court approached the application on the basis ‘that the discretion to grant permission should be exercised with great caution; that there must be a strong prima facie case shown against the Claimant, but that I should be careful not to stray at this stage into the merits of the case; that I should consider whether the public interest requires the committal proceedings to be brought; and that such proceedings must be proportionate and in accordance with the overriding objective’ and ‘the context for this application is a particularised schedule of damages in which, before disclosure of the DVD recordings, this Claimant was seeking to recover over andpound;800,000 in damages from the Defendant’s insurers. The allegations are, in my view, sufficiently serious as to merit such proceedings being brought in the public interest and, having regard to the overriding objective, are proportionate in the circumstances. There is, in my judgment, a strong public interest in personal injury claimants pursuing honest claims before the courts.’

[2008] EWHC 1780 (QB), [2009] 1 All ER 257
England and Wales
CitedMalgar Ltd v R E Leach Engineering Ltd ChD 1-Nov-1999
The Civil Procedure Rules could not change the substantive law. It therefore remained necessary for it to be shown that in addition to knowing that what was said was false, the party had to have known that what was being said was likely to interfere . .
CitedSony Computer Entertainment and Others v. Ball and Others ChD 17-May-2004
Pumfrey J considered the test to be applied when a party applied for leave to commence proceedings for contempt of court against another party: ‘It seems to me, in the light of the judgment in Malgar v. Leach, that the discretion to permit . .

Cited by:
CitedKJM Superbikes Ltd v Hinton CA 20-Nov-2008
The claimant had been sued for the misuse of trademarks by selling motorcycles imported via a parallel market. It claimed that the defendant had filed false evidence in that action, and now appealed a refusal by the judge to bring contempt . .
See AlsoWalton v Kirk QBD 3-Apr-2009
Coulson J considered RSC Order 52 to decide whether he had jurisdiction to hear a complaint of contempt of court arising from statements filed in County Court proceedings and said to be false.
Held: He did have jurisdiction: ‘At the outset of . .
CitedBarnes (T/A Pool Motors) v Seabrook and Others Admn 23-Jul-2010
In each of three cases, the former defendants sought leave to bring claims for contempt of court in respect of what it said were fraudulent claims by the respondents. The defendants argued that a party had first to go to the Attorney General.
CitedStobart Group Ltd and Others v Elliott QBD 11-Apr-2013
The defendant applied to the court for various officers of the cliamant companies to be subject to contempt proceedings. The claimants asked the court to strike of the defendant’s counterclaim and to make a civil restraint order against him. There . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Contempt of Court

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.272257