Mr Seal noisily objected to a neighbour blocking in his car. Police were called who took him into custody under the 1983 Act. He was released several days later, and eventually sought damages for his wrongful treatment. He had failed to first seek permission from the court as was required by s139(2).
Held: The appeal failed. In considering the effect of non-compliance with such a section: ‘the all important consideration is the particular provision under consideration. In my judgment failure to obtain the necessary consent before the proceedings are begun renders the proceedings a nullity. I have been driven to this conclusion primarily by the structure of the section and the fact that it applies to both civil and criminal proceedings. ‘
Clarke, Scott Baker LJJ, Ouseley J
 EWCA Civ 586,  1 WLR 3183
Mental Health Act 1983 139(2)
England and Wales
Cited – Rendall v Blair 1890
Where a statute requires leave to commence proceedings to be granted, a failure to obtain such consent does not automatically render the proceedings a nullity.
Bowen LJ said: ‘this section is not framed in the way in which sections are framed . .
Cited – In re Saunders (A Bankrupt) ChD 1997
Very emphatic language was required in a statute before want of leave should, without more, result in proceedings being treated as a nullity. Leave could in appropriate circumstances be granted after the event notwithstanding the proceedings had . .
Cited – Pountney v Griffiths; Regina v Bracknell Justices, Ex parte Griffiths HL 1976
The applicant was a male nurse at Broadmoor Special Hospital. He was on duty while patients were saying goodbye to visitors. He approached the detained patient telling him to ‘come on’ and allegedly punched him on the shoulder. The patient brought . .
Cited – Pountney v Griffiths QBD 1975
A mental patient sought damages for assault from a nurse. The nurse replied that the proceedings were a nullity since the patient had not first obtained permission to commence proceedings.
Held: Lord Widgery CJ said: ‘Although no point was . .
Cited – Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department Ex Parte Jeyeanthan; Ravichandran v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 21-May-1999
The applicant had failed to comply with the Rules in not using the form prescribed for appliying for leave to appeal against a special adjudicator’s decision to the Immigration Appeal Tribunal. The application, by letter, included all the relevant . .
Cited – Regina v Immigration Appeal Tribunal, ex Parte Jeyeanthan Admn 3-Apr-1998
An appeal by the Home Secretary against a ruling that he had to use the same prescribed form as would be used by the asylum seeker. The use of a letter which omitted a substantial and important declaration was invalid. Lord Woolf MR made plain the . .
Cited – Sekhon, etc v Regina CACD 16-Dec-2002
The defendants appealed against confiscation orders on the basis that in various ways, the Crown had failed to comply with procedural requirements.
Held: The courts must remember the importance of such procedures in the fight against crime, . .
Appeal from – Seal v Chief Constable of South Wales Police HL 4-Jul-2007
The claimant had sought to bring proceedings against the respondent, but as a mental patient subject to the 1983 Act, had been obliged by the section first to obtain consent. The parties disputed whether the failure was a procedural or substantial . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Health, Torts – Other
Updated: 08 January 2022; Ref: scu.225231