KJM 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 proceedings. The defendant argued that proceedings could only be brought with the consent of the Attorney General.
Held: The claimant’s appeal succeeded. When considering whether to give permission for contempt proceedings to be taken in any particular case the court must have regard to the public interest alone. The judge had not given the witness’s offence due seriousness. He was not in a position when considering leave to consider the potential penalty. ‘The immunity of a witness from proceedings in respect of things said in the course of giving evidence does not extend to immunity from punishment in respect of statements made under oath which are known to be false. A witness who knowingly makes a false statement in the course of giving evidence orally or in an affidavit does not expose himself to an action for damages at the suit of anyone injured as a result, but he does expose himself to the risk of prosecution for perjury and as such is publicly accountable for his attempt to interfere with the course of justice.’ It was incumbent on a party who became aware of an untrue statement to warn the contemnor as soon as possible, and a failure to do so may affect the readiness of the court to grant consent. Though the contemnor lived in Australia, it would be wrong for a witness living abroad to think that he was immune to such proceedings because of that.

Moore-Bick LJ
[2008] EWCA Civ 1280, [2009] 3 All ER 76, [2009] 1 WLR 2406, [2009] CILL 2645
Civil Procedure Rules 32.14(2)
England and Wales
CitedKabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (t/a Sony Computer Entertainment Inc) v Ball and Others ChD 17-May-2004
The claimant sought an order for the defendant to be pursued for contempt of court having filed a statement of truth which was known to be false. . .
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 . .
CitedDaltel Europe Ltd and others v Makki and others ChD 3-May-2005
Application was made for leave to bring proceedings for contempt of court. David Richards J said that: ‘Allegations that statements of case and witness statements contain deliberately false statements are by no means uncommon and, in a fair number . .
CitedDaltel Europe Ltd and others v Makki and others CA 28-Feb-2006
The defendant had breached freezing orders and had verified statements put before the court without honestly believing them. He now challenged the subsequent contempt proceedings saying that they were criminal within section 25 of the 1988 Act and . .
CitedKirk 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: . .

Cited by:
CitedSectorguard Plc v Dienne Plc ChD 3-Nov-2009
The claimant alleged misuse of confidential information in the form of its customer list, and its charges to them. The defendant company was run by former employees of the claimant. A later allegation was made of accessing the defendant’s private . .
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.

Contempt of Court, Civil Procedure Rules

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.277918