Robert James Jeffreys v The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtQueen's Bench Division
JudgeMr Justice Morris
Judgment Date04 May 2017
Neutral Citation[2017] EWHC 1505 (QB)
Date04 May 2017
Docket NumberCase No: QB/2016/0261

[2017] EWHC 1505 (QB)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION

The Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London

WC2A 2LL

Before:

Mr Justice Morris

Case No: QB/2016/0261

Between:
Robert James Jeffreys
Claimant
and
The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis
Defendant

Sophie Khan (of Sophie Khan & Co) appeared on behalf of the Claimant

Lisa Dobie (instructed by Weightmans LLP) appeared on behalf of the Defendant

(As Approved)

Mr Justice Morris

Introduction

1

This is an appeal brought with permission by Robert James Jeffreys (“the Appellant”) from the order of His Honour Judge Freeland QC sitting at the Central London County Court dated 17 November 2016 (“the order”). By the Order, the learned judge ordered that the Appellant pay the costs of the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (“the Respondent”) relating to an action brought by the Appellant against the Respondent and further ordered that the Respondent be permitted, pursuant to CPR 44.16(2)(b) to enforce that order for costs to the extent of 70 per cent.

2

By this appeal, the Appellant seeks an order to set aside the order for enforcement of costs against him and further seeks an order that the Respondent pays the costs of the costs hearing before the learned judge on 17 November 2016.

3

The appeal raises a point on the construction of the provisions, relatively newly introduced, of the CPR dealing with Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting and raises points upon which there is to date no reported decision.

The Order

4

The Order was made at the end of civil proceedings brought by the Appellant as claimant against the Respondent as defendant for damages for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, assault and battery, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office. After a jury trial, on 27 July 2016, the claims were dismissed by the learned judge. Following a hearing on 27 November 2016 on cost issues consequential upon that dismissal and after giving a fully reasoned judgment, the learned judge made the Order which provided, so far as relevant as follows:

“2. For the period 5 June 2014 to 27 July 2016, the Claimant do pay the Defendant's costs to be subject to detailed assessment on the standard basis in default of agreement.

3. The Claimant do pay 70% of the Defendant's costs of today, to be subject to detailed assessment on the standard basis in default of agreement.

4. As to enforcement of the costs under part 2 and 3 of this order, the Defendant be permitted under CPR 44.16(2)(b) to enforce the order for costs in its favour to the extent of only 70%.”

Factual background

5

The factual background to the appeal is as follows. Following an incident on 29 September 2009 at his home, when he was arrested and then detained, the Appellant was charged with an offence of harassment without violence contrary to section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. On 15 July 2010, the Appellant was acquitted of that charge at Waltham Forest Magistrates Court.

6

On 8 October 2012 the Appellant brought a civil claim against the Respondent in Central London County Court. The brief details of claim endorsed on the claim form stated:

“The Claimant claims damages, including aggravated and exemplary damages for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, assault and battery, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office arising out of the actions of the police officers acting in the purported performance of their police functions under the direction and control of the Defendant on 29 September 2009.

As a direct consequence of the actions of the police officers under the direction and control of the Defendant, the Claimant has suffered, pain suffering and loss of amenity.

Value

The value of the claim is in excess of £15,000 but not more than £50,000 to include a claim for pain suffering, and loss of amenity which exceeds £1,000…”

7

The Particulars of Claim served on 7 February 2013 expanded upon these brief details, repeating the causes of action of assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office. The essence of the latter two causes of action was an allegation that police officers had provided information to the CPS which they had concocted and which they knew to be false. The claim for loss was pleaded in paragraph 13 which stated as follows:

“By reason of the matters set out above, the Claimant has suffered pain, distress, anxiety and inconvenience, injury to feelings and loss of liberty.”

Then, under the subheading “Particulars of Loss” within that paragraph, the Appellant identified four distinct elements of loss, namely: (a) loss of liberty; (b) soft tissue injuries and swelling to the hands; (c) exacerbation of existing medical condition; and (d) distress, humiliation, fear and upset.

The “existing medical condition” referred to in subparagraph (c) is a reference to the Appellant's pre-existing medical condition of paranoid schizophrenia.

8

Additionally, the Appellant sought in paragraph 14 of the Particulars of Claim, aggravated and exemplary damages.

9

Thus, from the Claim Form and the Particulars of Claim, it is clear that by this action the Appellant was seeking damages in respect of four distinct causes of action (assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office). It is further clear that the Appellant was seeking damages in respect of personal injuries to himself (both physical and psychological) and, importantly, that he was also seeking damages in respect of other loss (including loss of liberty and distress, humiliation, fear and upset, ie, subparagraphs (a) and (d) of the Particulars of Loss); and he was also seeking aggravated and exemplary damages.

10

A jury trial of this claim took place between 18 July and 27 July 2016. On the latter date, the jury returned the jury questionnaire and essentially found in favour of the Respondent in respect of the questions which had been put to it. As a result, the learned judge dismissed the claims in respect of each of the causes of action and then ordered a hearing on costs issues.

Relevant provisions

11

Before turning to the learned judge's judgment on the question of costs and the parties' arguments on this appeal, I set out the relevant provisions of the CPR which are material to the issues:

Qualified one-way costs shifting: scope and interpretation

44.13

(1) This Section applies to proceedings which include a claim for damages —

(a) for personal injuries:

(b) under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976; or

(c) which arises out of death or personal injury and survives for the benefit of an estate by virtue of section 1(1) of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934;

but does not apply to applications pursuant to section 33 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 or section 52 of the County Courts Act 1984 (applications for pre-action disclosure), or where rule 44.17 applies.

(2) In this Section, ‘claimant’ means a person bringing a claim to which this Section applies or an estate on behalf of which such a claim is brought, and includes a person making a counterclaim or an additional claim.

Effect of qualified one-way costs shifting

44.14

(1) Subject to rules 44.15 and 44.16, orders for costs made against a claimant may be enforced without the permission of the court but only to the extent that the aggregate amount in money terms of such orders does not exceed the aggregate amount in money terms of any orders for damages and interest made in favour of the claimant.

Exceptions to qualified one-way costs shifting where permission required

44.16

(1) Orders for costs made against the claimant may be enforced to the full extent of such orders with the permission of the court where the claim is found on the balance of probabilities to be fundamentally dishonest.

(2) Orders for costs made against the claimant may be enforced up to the full extent of such orders with the permission of the court, and to the extent that it considers just, where –

(a) the proceedings include a claim which is made for the financial benefit of a person other than the claimant or a dependant within the meaning of section 1(3) of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (other than a claim in respect of the gratuitous provision of care, earnings paid by an employer or medical expenses); or

(b) a claim is made for the benefit of the claimant other than a claim to which this Section applies.

(3) Where paragraph (2)(a) applies, the court may, subject to rule 46.2, make an order for costs against a person, other than the claimant, for whose financial benefit the whole or part of the claim was made.”

12

CPR 2.3 , which deals with the interpretation of the CPR as a whole, provides certain definitions as follows:

“‘claim for personal injuries’ means proceedings in which there is a claim for damages in respect of personal injuries to the claimant or any other person or in respect of a person's death, and

‘personal injuries’ includes any disease and any impairment of a person's physical or mental condition…”

The learned judge's judgment

13

In his judgment, the learned judge recorded that at the costs hearing it was accepted that this was a case where in principle Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting applied. The issue was whether or not an exception to that principle should apply. It was common ground that the claim in the proceedings included a claim for personal injuries. The learned judge considered that that had been rightly accepted because the Appellant claimed damages for an exacerbation of his pre-existing psychological condition and also for his soft tissue injury as a result of the unlawful assault: see...

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3 cases
  • The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v Andrea Brown
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division
    • 31 July 2018
    ...for damages for personal injuries or the other claims specified in CPR r 44.13(1)(b) and (c) is made. 28 The second case is Jeffreys v Commissioner of the Metropolis [2017] EWHC 1505 (QB), [2008] 1 WLR 3633. In that case, the claimant sued the Met for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, as......
  • Andrea Brown v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 18 October 2019
    ...appeal. She referred to a number of authorities, including the decision of Morris J in Jeffreys v Commissioner of the Metropolis [2017] EWHC 1505 (QB), [2018] 1 WLR 3633, a case decided after Judge Luba's judgment of 24 March 2017 but on this very point. She concluded that, because this w......
  • The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (First) v Andrea Brown
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 31 July 2018
    ...or the other claims specified in CPR r 44.13(1)(b) and (c) is made. 28 The second case is Jeffreys v Commissioner of the Metropolis [2017] EWHC 1505 (QB), [2008] 1 WLR 3633. In that case, the claimant sued the Met for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, assault and battery, malicious prose......

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