Litigants in Person be vigilant not to be in contempt of Court

The claim on possession of a commercial property was initially stated by our client who was, at the time, a litigant in person. The claim dates back to 2013-14 when his commercial tenants failed to comply with the agreed renting fare payment. 

Subsequently, our client brought a claim against the tenants requiring them to vacate the property. After the first and the second claim for possession, the tenants did comply with the requirements to pay the rent. However, the failure continued. It always ended with our client involving a judiciary power to enforce the compliance with the Tenancy Agreement.

On the last occasion, our client vacated the property himself and gave notice to the tenants. Notwithstanding the pending claim for possession of the property, the tenants neither rushed to vacate the property nor paid the outstanding rent balance. In fact, the Tenants started a claim alleging that some of their personal chattels were lost and disposed of unlawfully.

The client of the Tenants started a counterclaim when our client applied for the Company Strike action from the Companies House register as the company no longer met his commercial commitments. Our client, as a director did not, however, follow up on the progression of his claim on possession of the property at the Court. In fact, he totally disregarded the proceedings when he applied for company Strike off. 

His initial claim was responded with deference and counter-claim by the Tenants. In fact, because of our client’s negligence, his claim struck out for non-compliance. His company now became the Responding party. Subsequently, a judgement was entered against our client’s company to repay the losses of the Claimant’s i.e. the Tenants. 

Our client, unfortunately, was not even aware of these proceedings being actually intact and the judgement being entered against his company until the Claimants applied to the Court to find him in contempt. 

There were several correspondences sent to the company and personal addresses summoning our client, the director of the company, to attend the hearing for examination of the Companies property. Our client informed us that no correspondence was ever received at his personal address, whereas the company address was now occupied by a new company. Subsequently, the Claimants claimed that our client was in contempt of court and applied to lift the corporate veil as per Prest v Petrodel [2013] UKSC 34 and sentence our client with 2 years’ custodial sentence.

We have successfully defended our client’s interest at the County Court in Central London that led the Claimants to withdraw their application both for contempt of Court and lifting corporate veil. The claim was discharged with after two hearing and the Claimants are no longer pursuing the claim against our client.

Navdeep K Gill and Nozima Rakhimjonova represented the client’s interest in cooperation with Charlotte Walker of counsel.

 

Nozima Rakhimjonova

nozima@sterlinglawyers.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8599

Mobile: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477

 

 

Navdeep Gill

navdeep@sterlinglawyers.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8599

Fax: +44 (0) 87 2352 4427

 

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