Stocker v Stocker: QBD 10 Jun 2015

The claimant alleged defamation by his former wife in a post on facebook. The posting and associatedeEmails were said falsely to have accused him of serious abuse, and that the accusations had undermined his relationship with his new partner.
Held: However unappealing it may be to contemplate these issues being resolved via a defamation trial, it cannot possibly be said in my judgment that paragraph 15.13 discloses no reasonable ground of defence.


Warby J


[2015] EWHC 1634 (QB), [2015] 4 Costs LR 651, [2015] EMLR 24




England and Wales


CitedDavy v Garrett 1878
It is not sufficient in pleadings to allege facts from which fraud might be inferred but which are also consistent with innocence.
Thesiger LJ said: ‘Fraudulent conduct must be distinctly alleged and distinctly proved, and it [is] not . .
CitedArmitage v Nurse; etc CA 19-Mar-1997
A clause in a trust deed may validly excuse trustees from personal liability for even gross negligence. The trustee was exempted from liability for loss or damage ‘unless such loss or damage shall be caused by his own actual fraud’.
Held: The . .
CitedParagon Finance Plc (Formerly Known As National Home Loans Corporation Plc v D B Thakerar and Co (a Firm); Ranga and Co (a Firm) and Sterling Financial Services Limited CA 21-Jul-1998
Where an action had been begun on basis of allegations of negligence and breach of trust, new allegations of fraud where quite separate new causes of claim, and went beyond amendments and were disallowed outside the relevant limitation period. . .
CitedThree Rivers District Council and Others v Governor and Company of The Bank of England (No 3) HL 22-Mar-2001
Misfeasance in Public Office – Recklessness
The bank sought to strike out the claim alleging misfeasance in public office in having failed to regulate the failed bank, BCCI.
Held: Misfeasance in public office might occur not only when a company officer acted to injure a party, but also . .
CitedHowe and Co v Burden QBD 11-Feb-2004
Defence of consent – no strike out. The precise ambit of the defence of consent in a defamation case is best established at trial on the basis of the tribunal’s findings of fact. . .
CitedFoley Independent News and Media Ltd and Others v Lord Ashcroft KCMG CA 4-Apr-2012
The defendants in this defamation action appealed against interlocutory orders striking out their defence of justification.
Held: Elias LJ indicated obiter that his ‘strong preliminary view’ was that ‘a pleading of fraud in the context of . .
CitedLord Ashcroft KCMG v Foley and Another (No 2) QBD 30-Jul-2012
Eady J considered whether a pleading of fraud in a defamation case should be subject to similar restrictions as to a similar pleading in a torts claim, and ruled that the introduction of the probability test would unduly inhibit the pleading of . .
CitedDar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Com v Al Refai and Others ComC 12-Jun-2013
Andrew Smith J, dismissed a defendant’s application for summary judgment, saying that that it was not fatal to the claim that the claimant could not plead or prove that the defendant caused or authorised publication of ‘the specific defamatory words . .
CitedSimpson v MGN Ltd and Another QBD 27-Jan-2015
The court had struck out the defendant’s plea of justification. The parties now disputed the costs to be paid for that element of the action, the defendant arguing that the claimant had failed to comply with the requirements to comply with costs . .
CitedYeo v Times Newspapers Ltd QBD 4-Feb-2015
The claimant MP sought damages alleging defamation by the defendant newspaper. The court heard a second case management conference as to amended particulars of claim. . .
CitedSerious Organised Crime Agency v Namli and Another CA 29-Nov-2011
An application was made to vary a disclosure order. The application raised a question as to the scope of CPR Part 33.6 and the relationship between that provision, Part 31.5(2) and Part 31.19, and the exercise of the powers conferred on the Court by . .
See AlsoStocker v Stocker CA 24-Mar-2015
Application for leave to appeal . .

Cited by:

See AlsoStocker v Stocker QBD 29-Jan-2016
Application on pre-trial review . .
Appeal fromStocker v Stocker CA 12-Feb-2018
Defamation proceedings after divorce.
Sharp LJ said this about the use of dictionaries as a means of deciding the meaning to be given to a statement alleged to be defamatory: ‘The use of dictionaries does not form part of the process of . .
See AlsoStocker v Stocker SC 3-Apr-2019
The parties had been married and divorced. Mrs S told M S’s new partner on Facebook that he had tried to strangle her and made other allegations. Mrs S now appealed from a finding that she had defamed him. Lord Kerr restated the approach to meaning . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Costs

Updated: 29 January 2022; Ref: scu.548007