Hinds v Liverpool County Court and Others

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtQueen's Bench Division
JudgeTHE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE AKENHEAD,The Honourable Mr Justice Akenhead
Judgment Date11 April 2008
Neutral Citation[2008] EWHC 665 (QB)
Docket NumberCase No: 7LV13166

[2008] EWHC 665 (QB)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION

LIVERPOOL DISTRICT REGISTRY

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Before:

The Honourable Mr Justice Akenhead

Case No: 7LV13166

Between:
Anthony Dominique Hinds
Claimant
and
1.Liverpool County Court
2.Liverpool City Council
3.Cafcass
4.The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester
5.Dr. Brian Tully
Defendant

Mr Timothy Holloway (instructed by The Treasury Solicitor) for the 1 st Defendant

Mr David Taylor (instructed by Liverpool City Council) for the 2 nd Defendant

Mr Sam Karim (instructed by CAFCASS Legal Services) for the 3 rd Defendant

Mr Graham Wells (instructed by Weightmans LLP & Berrymans Lace Mawer) for the 4 th and 5 th Defendants

Approved Judgment

Hearing dates: 17 th March 2008

I direct that pursuant to CPR PD 39A para 6.1 no official shorthand note shall be taken of this Judgment and that copies of this version as handed down may be treated as authentic.

THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE AKENHEAD The Honourable Mr Justice Akenhead

Introduction and Factual Background

1

Mr Hinds is the Claimant in these proceedings. He is the father of three children who I will call RH (born on 17 January 1998 and now aged 10), RQ (born on 23 June 1999, aged 8), and RM (born 13 July 2001 and aged 6). The mother of these three children is Sonia Graham from whom Mr Hinds separated some years ago. Ms Graham is also the mother of some other children born to various fathers prior to her relationship with Mr Hinds.

2

Over the years, Mr Hinds' three children (by Ms Graham) have been the subject of care proceedings. In the case of RH and RQ, they have been adopted. Since about 2003, RM has been the subject matter of one or more care orders. Mr Justice Ryder in the Family Division of the High Court is seised of that matter and will be hearing what I have been told will involve a final disposal of all matters relating to RM at the end of April 2008. Nothing I say in these proceedings should be taken as involving any interference in those Family Court proceedings. Certainly none is intended.

3

There have been various hearings before various judges since 1999:

(a) 13 April 1999, before HHJ Downey (now deceased) at which she addressed the question of care orders in respect of, amongst other children, RH. Apparently, RH, and the other children, had been the subject of Interim Care Orders since 25 August 1998. Mr Hinds was present and represented by Counsel. He and Ms Graham had jointly instructed a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, Dr Bryan Tully (the Fifth Defendant in these proceedings) to give an Opinion to the Court as to the personalities of Ms Graham and Mr Hinds. Dr Tully's report of 25 March 1999 was in its conclusion not favourable to Mr Hinds. HHJ Downey reviewed the evidence before her, including Dr Tully's report (he not being called), and decided that a final care order was the proper disposal for all the children including RH. There was no appeal.

(b) November 1999, before HHJ Downey when she dealt with a care order in respect of RQ, who had apparently been under an Emergency Protection Order from shortly after she was born. Mr Hinds was again legally represented and is recorded as being present on one of the hearing days. The judge approved the local authority and made a care order in respect of RQ. There was no appeal.

(c) 6 March 2001, again before HHJ Downey when Mr Hinds and Ms Graham applied for an order to discharge the care orders which had been made in relation to RH and RQ. He was represented by Counsel. He did not attend the hearing because apparently he had a job interview; the judge turned down an application for an adjournment. Two psychological assessments are recorded in the judgment as having been before the Court, one from Dr Tully dated 12 December 2000 and the other from a psychiatrist Mr Bellamy (whose report has not been put before me). The judge records that neither consultant's report was favourable to Mr Hinds. She reviewed some allegations of violence made against Mr Hinds. She effectively rejected the applications: she formed the view that the best prospects for the future of the two children lay in their being adopted. There was no appeal.

(d) 9 December 2002, before HHJ Daley at which she addressed an application by Ms Graham to discharge the care orders in respect of RH and RQ or to allow contact and adoption proceedings. Mr Hinds is recorded as not making the applications himself but as being dealt with as if he was a respondent to the proceedings; he gave evidence and attended the hearing. By this time Ms Graham and Mr Hinds had parted finally. In a full judgment, the judge dismissed the applications by Ms Graham and Mr Hinds requesting that the proceedings be adjourned. There was no appeal.

(e) 14 January 2003, before HHJ Daley at which she made or continued a care order in respect of RM and issued an anti-molestation injunction against Mr Hinds. Mr Hinds had been represented by Counsel but had himself left the hearing in an apparently agitated state. The judgment is substantial. The judge, however, allowed RM to be placed with his mother, Ms Graham. There was no appeal.

(f) 25 September 2006, before HHJ Daley, when she had to deal with a new development in the context of an application by Ms Graham to discharge the care order in relation to RM. Ms Graham was represented but Mr Hinds was not, having not been notified apparently of the application or the hearing. Ms Graham did not attend this hearing. She had been charged with possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply. The judge dismissed Ms Graham's application.

(g) 30 November 2006, before HHJ Wilkinson, when he had to address some of the difficulties created for RM by the fact that his mother had received a prison sentence for the drugs offence. Ms Allen, of CAFCASS (the Third Defendant) was appointed the child's Guardian; RM was now in care.

I should point out that the first and third of these judgments involved the Wirral Borough Council which is not a party to these proceedings. It is likely that the second judgment, although headed as involving the Liverpool City Council (the Second Defendants in these proceedings), involved the Wirral Borough Council.

4

Since then, Mr Hinds has become aware of Ms Graham's application for contact in relation to RM and is being copied in and served with relevant court papers. Those proceedings have apparently joined with proceedings in front of Mr Justice Ryder who first became involved in January 2007.

5

Mr Hinds commenced these current proceedings originally in the Manchester County Court on 23 April 2007 but on 19 November 2007 they were transferred to the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court, by order of District Judge Rawkins.

These proceedings

6

Mr Hinds' Claim form consists of some prose and various attachments. These have been amplified by various other documents, served by Mr Hinds as this matter has gone on. I ordered on 18 February 2008 at what was in effect a kind of Pre-Trial Review that five statements which had been served pursuant to the order of District Judge Rawkins should be treated as part of the Claimant's pleaded case solely for the purposes of the Defendants' applications to strike out and for summary judgment. I made that order to ensure that all Mr Hinds' real complaints could be addressed in the application rather than address only some. If I decide that any part of those complaints is reasonably arguable or has some realistic prospects of success, he might have to apply to amend his Claim. If I decide that he has no such prospects, the judgment will then have addressed all his complaints and that will or should be an end of the matter.

7

Mr Hinds' complaints stem from a deep-seated and longstanding dissatisfaction with various authorities and individuals who he feels have let him down and breached his Human Rights with the result that he has been deprived of his three children over the last ten years or so. I do not intend to do more than summarise what Mr Hinds' complaints are against the five Defendants:

(a) First Defendant: the Liverpool County Court is the court which handled the care and adoption matters between 1999 and September 2006. The complaints are essentially that he has one or more causes of action arising out of the way in which the Liverpool County Court, judges and court staff, have behaved towards him, in that decisions have been taken (so he contends):

(i) unsupported by any or reliable evidence;

(ii) contrary to the Children's Act 1989;

(iii) contrary to Articles 3, 6, 8,13 and 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights (“ECHR”);

(iv) based upon bias, prejudice, and racial and sexual discrimination;

(v) without him being served;

(vi) in breach of an inter-agency agreement;

(vii) which slander Mr Hinds; and

(viii) which are otherwise disproportionate, wrong and unlawful.

(b) Second Defendant: The Liverpool City Council is the council which had responsibilities under the Children Act and associated statutes and which brought these matters to the court on a number of occasions. It is said by Mr Hinds that they acted:

(i) in breach of Articles 3, 6, 8, 13 and 14 of the ECHR for instance by failing or refusing to make an assessment of Mr Hinds as a parent for one or more of his children or failing to notify him of what was happening to his children, particularly RM or to involve him in the process of child care and control or by allowing RM to be open to persistent inhumane and degrading treatment by leaving him with his mother over a period of years.

(ii) negligently in and about their conduct of the various care and adoption proceedings in:

(a) failing to disclose various matters to the Claimant;

(b) failing to ascertain the Claimant's views from time to time;

(c) seeking or going along with the anti-molestation order made...

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