Friday, October 10, 2014

A bit of a Downer*

Mr Justice Mostyn
A very quick post about Bakir v Downe [2014] EWHC 3318 (Fam), which contains a warning for litigants in person. It concerned a husband, unrepresented by choice, who wrote to Mr Justice Mostyn's clerk on a number of occasions, including seeking an explanation of why an undertaking that he has given was included in an order, despite the fact that he had not signed the general form of undertaking.

Mr Justice Mostyn took a dim view of the husband's actions:
"The courts are now being visited with an increasing number of informal applications made by litigants in person ... I am taking the opportunity in this judgment ... to explain, both for the benefit of Mr. Downe and for any other litigants in person, that the court does not afford any indulgences or deviations to the litigants in person from the clear procedure that is prescribed for ... all applications that are made to the court. The court is not some kind of advice bureau for the benefit of litigants in person who do not understand how orders have been made. If a litigant in person wishes to make an application to the court, then he must do so in accordance with the procedure laid down by the law of the land."

Mr Justice Mostyn treated the husband's correspondence as an application, which he promptly dismissed, with costs.

*This pun is entirely the fault of @nickholmes - blame him.

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