The High Court has dismissed an attempt to stop a former litigant in person getting a second chance at making their claim after the first was struck out due to a technicality. Property owner Philip Davies is pursuing the second action against a company of boiler installers after his first attempt was struck out due to him failing to meet the court’s unless order.The defendants in Davies v Carillion Energy Services Ltd & Anor applied to have the second action similarly killed off, arguing Davies was guilty of an abuse of process given his failure to advance the original claim.The case is another in a growing list of litigation where the courts are attempting to grapple with issues arising from people representing themselves. Most indications are that judges are minded to give litigants in person a little more leeway in compliance with rules and procedure, while trying not to interfere with court processes.Ruling in the High Court, Mr Justice Morris agreed with a district judge’s decision to dismiss the defendants’ application and allow the claim, for a sum estimated at almost £20,000, to proceed.Morris said Davies, who was a litigant in person when the first claim failed, had not shown a ‘wholesale disregard’ of the civil procedure rules and it had been struck out for a technical problem rather than an inordinate or serious delay.‘I am satisfied that the claimant’s conduct in the first action was neither an abuse of process nor inexcusable and thus that the second action should not be struck out as an abuse of process,’ added the judge.Davies had first issued a claim form in July 2010 alleging that his new boiler ceased to function, but the defendants contended he had failed to set out any allegations in support of his claim and failed to show any calculations as to how he arrived at the figure he was claiming for.After further correspondence between the parties, Davies was ordered to provide fully pleaded particulars of claim by 4 July 2011 ‘specifying on what legal basis the claim is made’.He filed a 39-page manuscript document in purported compliance, but a district judge ruled this did not meet the order as specified and the claim was struck out. The second action was issued in December 2015 with Davies now represented by solicitors and counsel.Describing this as abuse of process, the defendants said the second action should be struck out unless the claimant could show special reason why it should be allowed to proceed.But Davies’ lawyers said there was no provision in the civil procedure rules which automatically prohibits the commencement of a second action after a first action has been struck out.
Dear Editor,On Saturday, February 3, 2018, Stabroek News’ top story was: “Surinamese investor pulls gaming machines from delayed Sleep-In casino – gives two-month deadline for positive word on licence”.The action by the Surinamese investor is a good lesson for us all: take no BS! Extracts from the poem by Martin Niemöller, commenting on the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power, are insightful:First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist.Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.Then they came for the sugar workers — and there is an oppressive political, economic and racial nexus between the loathsome treatment of Sleep-In International Hotel and Casino (Sleep-In) application and the sugar workers.The truth is: there was no earthly reason to deny, delay, or retard the casino application process; and, in addition, reportedly threaten and undermine the application process by requesting that Sleep-In revoke and replace the auditor. I am that auditor.Sleep-In seemingly acquiesced to the Gaming Authority. It was the passivity that the rubber-stamping Gaming Authority Board sought to continue their vendetta against Sleep-In and the group that Sleep-In is perceived to favour and support. Also, my role as Auditor became persona non-grata for the Gaming Authority after I expressed my concerns about the inexplicable behaviour of the Guyana Gaming Authority.Auditors more eminent then I have found no anomaly in the audited financial statements; and now we are in the dead zone, with the Gaming Authority stalling, stymying, or failing to make a decision after having been provided, in April 2017, with a new and all-inclusive casino licence application.Subsequently, individual tax returns of the directors and supporting documentation for source of funds were provided to the Gaming Authority upon their request. The tide has now receded, and to paraphrase Warren Buffet, we can see the nakedness of the Gaming Authority Board members and their handlers. I apologize to the readers for illustrating these likely unfit and improper images without warning.Maybe we should have asked for multiple years of individual tax returns of Darren Woods, CEO & Chairman of ExxonMobil, and the other ExxonMobil Directors. Can’t have that, these are foreigners from an extremely “reputable” company.The dissimulation of the Gaming Authority is evidenced in a most visual manner by the repossession of some of the gaming machines from Sleep-In by one of the investors. What a tragedy for local business entrepreneurs.Now what are the options for the self-described independent and objective Gaming Authority? After having received a comprehensive application that complied with the requirements of the Gambling Prevention Act and the other statutes the Gaming Authority claims relevancy under. Options: (1) Issue the licences; (2) adhere to the preceding option.However, we are not dealing with an independent or objective Gaming Authority, and thus there is only one directive they will execute: Do not issue the licence to an entity that is perceived to be controlled by the PPP.As Walter Rodney noted in his book, The Grounding with my Brothers: “Why not struggle for multi-racial and harmonious living, which nobody on a theoretical level would oppose. This is what we are struggling for.”Sincerely,Nigel Hinds