Dermot Nottingham adjudicated bankrupt

I believe there is significant public interest providing this information.

Yesterday (11 September 2018) in the Auckland High Court Dermot Gregory Nottingham was adjudicated bankrupt, with claimed debts of about $2 million “yet he claims to be penniless”. That amount includes about a quarter of a million dollars in court costs owed to a number of ex-defendants in unsuccessful public prosecutions,

It has taken about a year to get to this point. Some background in this judgment: HONEY & Ors v NOTTINGHAM [2018] NZHC 575 [29 March 2018]

In July Nottingham tried to avoid bankruptcy by putting a proposal to creditors. If more than 50% of creditors with more than 75% of the debt vote in favour of a proposal it can be considered for acceptance by a court as an alternative to bankruptcy.

The proposal passed a vote:

[13] As I understand it, insofar as the critical question of whether to accept or reject the proposal is concerned, Mr Nottingham’s judgment creditors, Mr and Mrs Honey and Mr Taka, HT & E, Mr Prentice, Allied Press and Mr George, voted against the proposal and all other creditors voted for it. The number and value of the votes in favour of the proposal dwarfed those of the judgment creditors. Accordingly, a resolution to accept the proposal was passed.

But this was appealed because many of the alleged creditors provided no evidence. Regulation 12 stipulates that creditor claim forms must “have attached to it evidence of the debt and any other evidence supporting the claim.”

[23] On the evidence I am satisfied that none of the creditors whose claims are the subject of this appeal lodged claims with [proposed trustee] Mr Whitley which came remotely close to complying with Regulation 12.

These include claims of over $1.2 million from associates of Nottingham – Phillip Nottingham, Earle McKinney, Marc Spring and Cameron Slater – who have been involved in various litigations with Dermot Nottingham (including the attempted prosecution of me) .

[28] In my judgment, Mr and Mrs Honey and Mr Taka have established that Mr Whitley was wrong to have accepted the claims of the general creditors and allowed them to vote. I propose to allow the appeal and overturn his decision.

Mr Nottingham’s application for approval of his proposal

[29] The effect of overturning Mr Whitley’s decision to accept the claims of all creditors who voted in favour of the proposal entirely undermines the vote in favour of the proposal at the meeting. It means that 100 per cent of those creditors eligible to vote voted against the proposal. In those circumstances, there is no question of approving the proposal.

The judge then moved on to the bankruptcy application, which as well as the original application had another argument.

[39] There is a further consideration namely that Mr Nottingham has, since Mr and Mrs Honey and Mr Taka commenced their proceedings for an order that he be adjudicated bankrupt, put a proposal to his creditors in which he asserts that he has no assets and debts in the order of $2 million. As Associate Judge Christiansen said in
Re Wesley Liddle the presentation of a proposal by an insolvent to his or her creditors evidencing significant indebtedness may itself be an independent act of bankruptcy in terms of s 22 of the Insolvency Act where it carries the implication that he does not intend to meet his financial obligations.

[40] Mr and Mrs Honey and Mr Taka have now filed and served an amended application dated 6 August 2018 referring to this second possible act of bankruptcy on Mr Nottingham’s part.

[41] There is nothing in any of the arguments which Mr Nottingham advanced in opposition to the application of Mr and Mrs Honey and Mr Taka which persuades me that I should exercise my discretion by declining to make an order adjudicating him bankrupt.

[42] On the contrary, as Mr Grove submitted, there is, in this case, a significant public interest in making such an order.

[43] Mr Nottingham has a demonstrated history of commencing private prosecutions against individuals in which he has thus far been entirely unsuccessful.

He was unsuccessful in such a private prosecution against me. After eleven months of trying he withdrew the charges in June 2016. Costs were subsequently awarded against him, and that is the debt I claim as one of the creditors.

[44] Unquestionably these apparently groundless prosecutions have wreaked havoc with the lives of those wrongly accused of criminal activity. In my view, if Mr Nottingham’s bankruptcy puts an end to this practice on his part, then that is a public good.

[45] Furthermore, as Mr Grove also submits, whilst there may be some room for doubt as to whether all of those persons who claim to be creditors of Mr Nottingham and who filed the claims in the context of his proposal that I have overturned are all bone fide creditors, if they are, it would seem that Mr Nottingham’s creditors have paid to him something in the order of $2 million (in cash or value) over recent years and yet he claims to be penniless. In my view, there is a public interest in Mr Nottingham being bankrupted so that the Official Assignee can investigate his affairs to establish whether all of these claims are legitimate and if so what has happened to the $2 million which Mr Nottingham has received but claims no longer to have available to him.

[46] For those reasons, I propose to make an order adjudicating Mr Nottingham bankrupt on the application of Mr and Mrs Honey and Mr Taka.

Given his history of litigation and appeals and threats to appeal this is unlikely to be the end of the matter, but as of 3:30 pm 11 September 2018 Nottingham is adjudicated bankrupt.

Further to “these apparently groundless prosecutions have wreaked havoc with the lives of those wrongly accused of criminal activity”, Nottingham was convicted and sentenced on five charges of criminal harassment (and two or breaching suppression). from the sentencing notes:

During the five year period the defendant undertook numerous campaigns of harassment against a number of individuals, the most egregious and persistent of which were represented by the five complainants in the trial. I concluded that his conduct by publishing said articles, through other intimidating and harassing conduct – including threatening, watching, photographing, following – was either carried out by Dermot Nottingham or at his direction and that he knew his conduct was likely to cause the individuals to fear for their safety or the safety of family members.

Nottingham has not acted alone.

It must also be said in the context of the evidence in this case that the degrees of attack, abuse, harassment and it’s relentless nature appears to be far worse in Dermot Nottingham’s case than in the examples he relies on to claim unfair or biased treatment.

He was sentenced to 12 months home detention – see Blogger dodges prison over court suppression breaches, harassment campaigns. That and the bankruptcy are unlikely to be the end of the matters.

In my case Nottingham’s first appeal against costs (High Court) was unsuccessful. He is now seeking leave from the Court of Appeal with a hearing set for next month. It is now over three years since this saga started (in July 2015). Another appeal is pending in another matter (with some common links) in the Court of Appeal this month.

Leave a comment

17 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  September 12, 2018

    A wretched man living out a wretched life. Obviously supported by some lying fools. Bizarre.

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  September 12, 2018

    Hard to fathom the motivation for sure.
    Presumeably he represents himself and files the actions on his own knowledge of procedure.

    Reply
    • Yes, he represents himself. He has some knowledge of procedures, but also often ignores procedures – it’s hard to know how much of this may be deliberate and how much may be ignorance. Courts have been remarkably lenient in my view (I don’t think they knew how to handle someone blatantly bucking the system) and not following rules and protocols), but seem to be prepared to deal to him more recently.

      Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  September 12, 2018

        I have seen numerous examples of people who completely ignore “the system” and legal requirements. It is incredible (and a little frightening) what people can get away with when they do not follow the rules. In civil matters there is little to no recourse on people who do not meet their obligations. When they have no assets, or have adequately removed the assets from being attacked by creditors they are close to untouchable.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  September 12, 2018

          My mother was disgusted when someone in Wanganui transferred the assets to the wife and family and they carried on as before,living in the same house, driving an expensive car. sending the children to schools like St George’s (a prep school) and Collegiate while the people he dropped in it were left with no way to recover their money.

          I don’t know if this can still happen or not. I wonder how people can live with themselves.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  September 12, 2018

            Well, my lawyer gave me a heads up on this issue. Trust laws are being revised. Many trusts will not meet the new criteria and will face being disbanded. In the case you outlined the trust will not now be able to protect such assets. Other factors are the length of time a trust has been a legal entity.

            If it was just a straight ownership change without the involvement of a trust I believe they wouldn’t have legal protection and any chattels would be recovered. Although I’m not 100% sure.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 12, 2018

              Your lawyer keeps odd hours.

              What’s his name, Mr Google ?

  3. Gezza

     /  September 12, 2018

    The man’s acts like someone who’s got one or more personality disorders, in my view.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 12, 2018

      Damn.
      *The man acts
      Dunno what’s wrong with me today.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  September 12, 2018

        Some days are like that, alas. I know the feeling. I have more than once asked for a coffee and a latte instead of a muffin and a latte…..

        Reply
  4. Fillip

     /  September 12, 2018

    I don’t understand how Cameron Slater could possibly be OWED money by Nottingham. For a starter Slater and wife claim how badly their business has been ruined by Hagers book and second, Slater is hardly revered for his generosity in spending. Oh and I missed point 3 that in the court case with Colin Craig he submitted how his reputation had been ruined by Craig rendering his income potential negligible.

    It is quite clear the Judge here doesn’t believe Nottingham actually ever received this money in which case why aren’t they all being prosecuted for conspiracy and contempt of court?

    Reply
    • The amount claimed to be owed by Slater was relatively small, and I don’t think he voted.

      I don’t agree that it is clear the judge doesn’t believe Nottingham, but it’s clear he is sceptical given no profs of debt were provided by for many. It does seem odd that so many would all not see or ignore the clear message to provide “details and identification of documents that evidence or substantiate the claim”, while all those voting against the proposal all provided evidence (court judgments).

      I expect the official Assignee will look at the unsubstantiated claims and decide on what should be done about the alleged creditors. It does look a bit suspect.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  September 12, 2018

        Understatements there, PG. My reading is that the judge didn’t believe a word of it and is handing Nottingham over for a grilling.

        Reply
        • That’s the most hopeful judgment I’ve seen, but I have become accustomed to not getting my hopes up too much on how the next step might go.

          Reply
  5. Loki

     /  September 12, 2018

    With reference to #45
    What recourse does the official assignee have if the claims by the gang of numpties proves to be fictitious?
    Would it be an attempt to pervert? Fraud?
    Or just common or garden stupidity?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 12, 2018

      Obviously fraudulent and a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

      Reply
  1. Nottingham has not been acting alone | Your NZ

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