Nottingham, McKinney named as habeas corpus lockdown litigants

Name suppression has lapsed for the lay litigants who alleged that the New Zealand Government’s response to COVID-19 has subjected them to unlawful detention in a Habeas Corpus writ that failed in both the High Court and Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal judgment  names them as DERMOT GREGORY NOTTINGHAM and ROBERT EARLE MCKINNEY (changed from A and B).

This isn’t a surprise to me for various reasons. Both Nottingham and McKinney (usually with Nottingham as the named litigant) have been mostly unsuccessful in many court proceedings over the past decade.

Nottingham and McKinney worked with each other as real estate agents and also in the company Advantage Advocacy Limited (now in liquidation), and jointly tried to prosecute myself and Allied Press Limited (charges withdrawn after 11 months of legal proceedings and also tried to prosecute APN Limited and Lynn Prentice on similar charges (dismissed at trial).  Both also unsuccessfully opposed costs being awarded through multiple court proceedings.

One of the worst examples is summarised in Nottingham v Real Estate Agents Authority (CAC 10057) [2019] NZREADT 53 (26 November 2019) – this dates back to a business dispute beginning in 2009 and court proceedings starting in 2011, and I don’t know if it is over yet.  The judgment details just some of a litany of woeful litigation, and is summarised:

The abuse of process which the instant case exemplifies is the initiation of proceedings in a court of justice for the purpose of mounting a collateral attack upon a final decision against the intending plaintiff which has been made by another court of competent jurisdiction in previous proceedings in which the intending plaintiff had a full opportunity of contesting the decision in the court by which it was made.

We find that it would be frivolous, vexatious, and an abuse of the Tribunal’s processes to repeat the re-consideration and consideration directed by Justice Thomas, and already undertaken by Judge Paul, whose findings were upheld in the High Court. As a result of that process, the appellants’ appeals can properly be described as “meritless”.

There’s other judgments that make similar findings.

That saga included a private prosecution that resulted in a scheduled 3 day trial taking 17 days and failing. As a result substantial costs were awarded against Nottingham, which led to him being adjudicated bankrupt in 2018 (I was one of a number of creditors owed unpaid costs awarded against Nottingham). McKinney featured in the bankruptcy proceedings, claiming Nottingham owed him hundreds of thousands of dollars, but that appears to be a part of a failed attempt to avoid bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy judgment due to unpaid court awarded costs:  HONEY v NOTTINGHAM [2018] NZHC 2382 [11 September 2018]

Also in 2018 Nottingham was found guilty of two charges of name suppression breaches and five charges of criminal harassment, and sentenced to home detention. He failed in an appeal against convictions and sentence and the Crown succeeded in having his sentence extended. Nottingham very narrowly avoided a prison sentence, but is currently appealing the home detention (ironically if he wins that case he risks having tio serve some of his sentence in prison because that was the alternative outcome).

In this trial Nottingham was found to have been the main person responsibl;e for the notorious Lauda Finem website:

Either Dermot Nottingham is Lauda Finem (in other words, the leading mind of that blog) or he is so intimately related to it that it is proper to conclude that he provided information and draft articles to that blog site knowing and intending that they would be published.”

“He makes the concession…that he has never denied that he has supplied information to the website…”

See “Either Dermot Nottingham is Lauda Finem…or he is so intimately related to it…”

Nottingham also tried to appeal his sentence via Habeas Corpus and failed last month – see Nottingham v R [2020] NZSC 39 (24 April 2020).

He was released from home detention on bail last month pending a Supreme Court hearing later this month (currently rescheduled to 28 May).

In a separate proceeding Nottingham failed getting leave to appeal last month: Nottingham v Maltese Cat Limited [2020] NZSC 36 (17 April 2020)

There is also nothing in the various factual matters raised by Mr Nottingham that would justify a grant of leave.

It was reported on Thursday Duo who sued PM now ask for judicial review of Govt’s pandemic decisions

Two men who sued Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern by claiming unlawful detention during the Covid-19 lockdown are now asking for a judge to test the legality of the Government’s pandemic decisions.

The two men, who had their habeas corpus (unlawful detention) claims dismissed by the Court of Appeal last week, allege Ardern, Bloomfield, Director of Civil Defence and Emergency Management Sarah Stuart-Black, and the Commissioner of Police made orders “were no medical grounds of sufficient cogency to impose the lockdown”, documents filed with the High Court read.

The High Court confirmed it had received the application from the men for a judicial review yesterday, but it was yet to be processed.

There was good reason I commented at the time that I hope the court requires security for costs, due to Nottingham and McKinney’s high failure rate and failure to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs in various failed proceedings.

With another person, Andrew Borrowdale, having a judicial review proceeding already before the court there must be low to no public interest in Nottingham and McKinney being able to  waste more court time without at least fronting up with security in advance.

From my experience, while Nottingham has put his name to most of their legal proceedings, McKinney has been almost as responsible for extensive harassment via legal proceedings.

Leave a comment


  1. Have you read Bleak House, where Dickens savages the endless Chancery court cases of his time ?

    Or Little Dorrit, with the Circumlocution Department run by people with names like Tite Barnacle ?

    • Corky

       /  9th May 2020

      I’m afraid I haven’t. My perusal of the classics is limited.

    • Duker

       /  9th May 2020

      I dont think Dickens could even make up characters like this

      • Corky

         /  9th May 2020

        Do you remember Kelvin Milne’s interview with Nottingham on Fair Go, Duker? Worth a look if you can find the clip.

        • Corky

           /  9th May 2020

          * Kevin.

          • Duker

             /  9th May 2020

            Nottinham took ‘judicial’ recourse
            Fairgo asked
            Are you going to refund any or all of Evonne’s $13,000?
            Are you going to pay the money back before it goes to court?
            How was the other lawyer able to do the job successfully for $5,000?
            Are you going to threaten to dob Evonne in to the ACC?
            Are you going to keep the $13,000?
            Are you still going to dob her in?

            ACC wouldnt recognise Nottinhams Advantage Advocacy is a claimants advocate as he doesnt work constructively

            All claims by Nottingham denied

      • Duker, the Circumlocution Department’s motto is ‘How Not to Do It’ (meaning not what we mean by this, but how to avoid doing it altogether) 😀

        He, Thackeray and Trollope invented some very unpleasant characters between them.

  2. artcroft

     /  9th May 2020

    I’m surprised Nottingham failed so badly in his case against Ardern. He spends so much time in court surely he must be able to pass the bar exam in his sleep. a slow learner I guess.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  9th May 2020

      I think he skipped the Dale Carnegie paper.

    • They’ve been repeating similar mistakes for years and getting similar results. McKinney has worked closely with Nottingham – he was sole director and shareholder of his company but the registered office address was Nottingham’s home. They shared the same email address in court proceedings.

  3. Even if the name hadn’t been revealed at the beginning somewhere, it would have been a fair bet that one was Dermot Nottingham.

    He must be a fool to risk having a home detention overturned and made into a prison sentence.

    • duperez

       /  9th May 2020

      Him a fool? Gee, that’s a hard one. Um, let me consider it for about .00000000000000001 of a second. 🤔

  4. Fight4nz

     /  9th May 2020

    Risk takers so they must be intelligent.

    • Gezza

       /  9th May 2020

      As I have already noted elsewhere, risks are also taken by the stupid, the young, & those after money.

      • Fight4nz

         /  9th May 2020

        I got this pearl of wisdom from the same place you noted that Gezza. Still looking at this case, already can’t say it rings true..?

  5. Stuff: Pair who challenged legality of lockdown named

    Odd they have used a photo from 2009.

    He looks much different now – a photo a from the Herald in 2018 here: Blogger dodges prison over court suppression breaches, harassment campaigns

  1. Dimwitted habeas corpus duo « The Standard
  2. Borrowdale challenge to legality of lockdown | Your NZ
  3. Borrowdale judicial review of level 4 lockdown legality beginning | Your NZ

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