General civil restraint order granted against ‘serial claimant’


Re: Howell v Evans & Anor [2020] EWHC 2729 (QB) (16 October 2020)

In this case, a general civil restraint order was granted against the claimant as he had issued seven claims or applications which were deemed totally without merit and he had done so in five different sets of proceedings (each relating to different defendants and different factual circumstances) which were either in the High Court or the County Court. Furthermore, the claimant has been the respondent to five strike out applications in the last twenty years, all of which were refused. The Judge also found, having reviewed litigation history, that the Claimant had issued three further applications that she was satisfied were totally without merit (though not certified as so at the time).

It was concluded that the risk presented by the claimant is that he is a litigant with a number of different grievances against different people. He does not have one complaint or grievance against a particular defendant, rather he has pursued hopeless litigation or appeals against different defendants in a number of different circumstances. As a result, this is a case where it is clear that an extended civil restraint order would not be sufficient or appropriate to meet the risk presented. The only order which meets that risk is a general civil restraint order. This order will last until 10 September 2022.

Tom Gillie and Roisin Swords-Kieley were involved in this case.

Please find judgment here.