Nottingham’s conviction and sentence appeals delayed

Dermot Nottingham’s appeal against conviction and sentence, and the Crown appeal against a ‘manifestly inadequate’ sentence, has been moved to 25 June, after the scheduled appeal date last Monday was used for a pre-hearing application for further disclosure.

Recently NZH reported that the Court of Appeal declined an application for non-party disclosure – see ‘Malicious and nasty’ blogger accuses former MP of perjury, asks court to release their emails

The judgment says that Nottingham was on a fishing expedition trying to get phone, email and medical records of victims of criminal harassment, which he was convicted of and sentenced in July last year, and that Nottingham and his defence had had ample opportunity to cross-examine at trial.

We are neither satisfied that those persons are likely to hold the information Mr Nottingham seeks nor, even if we thought that was likely, that all or part of it appears to be relevant. The open-ended and speculative nature of the reasons on which Mr Nottingham based his application reflect the almost inevitability of that conclusion. The application is, in reality, a fishing expedition and, being made in the context of an appeal, has even less justification than might have been the case if it was made pre-trial.

This sort of speculative fishing for evidence in court to support accusations made by Nottingham is a common tactic of Nottingham – his failure to support accusations with evidence has been a recurring problem in his private prosecutions and appeals. This is why he has failed in court so often. He also tried to avoid bankruptcy by submitting claims of debt from family and associates that had no proof of debt supplied.

The recent judgment also details an application by Nottingham for further Crown disclosure. The Court determined that this had to be decided at a hearing, so the scheduled appeals hearing last Monday was changed to deal with the disclosure application, and;

…the Crown and Mr Nottingham’s appeals against sentence and conviction and sentence respectively will be heard on 25 June 2019.

That runs close to the end of Nottingham’s 12 month home detention sentence, but his six months’ post-detention term runs beyond that.

The judgment also gives details of the criminal harassment that Nottingham was convicted of.

(a) A1, separated from her partner A2 and made a complaint to police of assault against him. Mr Nottingham was an associate of A2 and began, in his capacity as an advocate, to work on his behalf. This resulted in an extended course of conduct towards A2 characterised as criminal harassment.

(b) Between 2011 and 2013 the defendant adopted a course of conduct towards B characterised as criminal harassment.

(c) Between 2011 and 2015, the defendant embarked on a course of conduct which has been characterised as harassing C.

(d) Between November 2011 and February 2015, Mr Nottingham embarked on a course of conduct amounting to criminal harassment of D.

(e) Between November 2011 and June 2014, the defendant embarked on a course of conduct amounting to criminal harassment of E.

So the harassment was over extended periods of up to more than three years. From sentencing notes:

It was clear to me that, for some of the complainants, life over an extended period of time had been made very uncomfortable and distressing, in some cases affecting the daily lives of some complainants whose reputations in their community had been so badly maligned as to cause them to withdraw within themselves.

These were just deemed to be the worst examples.

During that 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.

There are many people who have been targeted by Nottingham and associates, which includes Earle McKinney, Marc Spring and Cameron Slater. Given what Matthew Blomfield was subjected to he dispute “the most egregious and persistent of which were represented by the five complainants in the trial”.

And I know there are others who feel they had valid claims of harassment as well.

To a lesser but still substantial extent Nottingham and his associates also attacked, abused, threatened and harassed me via email, Twitter, that infamous website, and via the courts for three and a half years. I’m not sure if it is over yet, because Nottingham has a record of attempting out of time appeals.

However Nottingham is now quite restricted in what court action he can take, as any legal action is subject to approval of the Official Assignee. He was adjudicated a bankrupt in September 2018, which normally lasts for three years. However, despite being required by law to provide a Statement of Affairs within two weeks that has still not been done, and the three years doesn’t commence until the Statement has been provided.

This will give some respite for the many people who have been hassled and harassed by Nottingham. The same applies to Slater, who periodically claims to be the victim of what he calls ‘lawfare’ – something he has been very much associated with doing himself. Also a bankrupt, Slater (since February this year) is also now under the jurisdiction of the Official Assignee.

The current 12 month home detention sentence began on 26 July 2018. It includes the following restrictions:

[61] Mr Nottinghan, the jury having found you guilty on all seven counts, you are convicted on each of those counts and sentenced as follows. The conditions are as follows:

(b) You are not to associate with or contact any victim or witness of your offending without prior written approval of a probation officer, except in relation to C. You may correspond with her solicitors in relation to current proceedings.

(c) You are not to possess or use any electronic device capable ofaccessing the Internet for capturing, storing, accessing or distributing images (including without limitation any personal computers, notebooks, tablets or cellphones) without prior written approval from a probation
officer.

[62] You will also be subject to six months’ post-detention conditions which will mirror the conditions that I have just imposed.

There will be a number of people interested in the outcome of Nottingham’s appeal, and also the Crown appeal.

And whether he has been rehabilitated. There is little sign of that yet. Sentencing notes:

Mr Nottingham does not qualify for any consideration of reduction of sentence for guilty pleas, or indeed for
remorse. He has doggedly defended the allegations and required the complainants to give evidence. Although this does not add to the sentence I impose, it highlights why Mr Nottingham is not entitled to any discount for remorse or acceptance. Indeed, I recall that one of the complainants stated quite clearly that she considered her being required to give evidence in this proceeding was a continuation of the harassment towards her.

The recent judgment noted that a hearing for an application for phone, email and medical records from victims would have further impacted on them.

[24] That A and D, as the jury’s verdicts establish, victims of Mr Nottingham’s criminal harassment, is a further reason not to put them through the invasive process that a hearing of this application would occasion.

Sentencing notes:

[53] In his written submissions, Mr Nottingham makes it plain that he disagrees with the findings of the jmy and challenges many of the rulings of the Court. As is characteristic of his approach to legal proceedings, I anticipate that Mr Nottingham will pursue all avenues of review and appeal and is unlikely ever to accept that what he did was not only unlawful, but reprehensible.

NZH:

Brian Dickey, Auckland’s crown solicitor, said Nottingham’s harassment was at the high end of the criminal spectrum, calling it “so malicious, so nasty”.

“He shows absolutely no insight into his offending, no remorse,” he said at the blogger’s sentencing.

That doesn’t appear to have changed.

I haven’t seen any sign of remorse from Nottingham’s associates either. One was recently still trying to blame me for standing up to them and reacting to their harassment.

Nottingham’s apparent ongoing lack of remorse may or may not be a factor in next month’s appeal, but it must be a concern for the many victims of his attacks and harassment.

Court of Appeal, 25 June 2019 is the next date of significance, unless Nottingham tries more of his delaying stunts.

Nottingham’s claims of perjury and court record

Dermot Nottingham has an extensive record of litigation, most of it unsuccessful. When he doesn’t get the judgments he wants he often blames others – sometimes the judges, and this has got him into trouble with courts. He also has a habit of blaming the victims of his legal misadventures, and also the victims of his harassment.

And this is what has happened after he was convicted of five counts of criminal harassment last July – he claims the victims of his harassment committed perjury.

NZ Herald: ‘Malicious and nasty’ blogger accuses former MP of perjury, asks court to release their emails

While ‘malicious and nasty’ may sound harsh from my experience with Nottingham it is an appropriate description. I think he could justifiably be called worse things than that.

A “malicious and nasty” blogger, who was convicted of criminal harassment and breaching court orders, has now accused a former parliamentarian of perjury.

Dermot Gregory Nottingham was found guilty of five criminal harassment charges and two breaches of court suppression orders following a lengthy trial, in which he represented himself, during April and May last year.

Nottingham was targeting business people, civil servants and a former member of Parliament.

He had taken and published photos of them, their homes and was making false claims of drug abuse and corruption.

One of the five victims, all of whom have permanent name suppression, said they had been stalked and photographed, with their images appearing on the blog page.

Now, however, Nottingham wants the cellphone records, emails and medical notes of three of his victims.

He claims they are guilty of perjury, having testified at his trial.

In an application for a non-party disclosure hearing, Nottingham asked the Court of Appeal for the emails sent and received by the then-MP about himself.

He also sought the cellphone records for the past six months from a second victim and the medical records of a third.

Nottingham claimed this would prove they lied at his trial.

However, in its decision sent to the Herald yesterday evening, the Court of Appeal refused Nottingham’s application.

The three judges said the application is “in reality, a fishing expedition”.

Accusations of lying and fishing expeditions sound familiar. When launching private prosecutions against myself, APN, Allied press and Prentice he didn’t have evidence, just accusations that he hoped to prove in court (not the way prosecutions are supposed to work).

The first and only time I met Nottingham face to face, outside the Dunedin court in October 2015, he falsely accused me of lying in front of my lawyer. Later viaa email he threatened to report my lawyer to the Law Society for falsely alleged ‘serious misconduct’. He also said:

In due course I will be examining certain persons that I have been reliably informed are anonymous posters on your clients hate blog.   As part of that process I will be seeking their email and others records. 

I will also obtain your clients telephone and text records, and his emails.
 
This procedure will clarify whose criminal agenda he [and they] are pushing.

His ‘reliable’ informants were as bad as him at making things up.

This is a similar tactic he has just used with the Court of Appeal. It indicates he didn’t have evidence he claimed he had when applying to a judge to file charges. He made up accusations and conspiracies  – he claimed that the police, court officials and media had conspired against him, but never produced any evidence.

After eleven months the charges against APN and Prentice were dismissed at trial, and a week later Nottingham withdrew the charges against Allied Press and myself. The costs judgment NOTTINGHAM v APN NEWS & MEDIA LTD [2018] NZHC 1004 [9 May 2018] gives some indication of how the prosecutions were conducted:

[13] Mr Nottingham had brought a private prosecution against APN and Mr Prentice alleging that they had breached confidentiality orders in contravention of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011.

[14] Judge Collins dismissed the case against APN because Mr Nottingham did not have the right defendant..

[16] Judge Collins also held that Mr Nottingham’s evidence at trial fell well short of proving that Mr Prentice was the author or guiding hand behind the website alleged to have made the offending publication. He ruled that Mr Prentice had no case to answer.

[17] Before me, Mr Nottingham did not attempt to explain how, on any appeal, he could remedy this evidential lacuna. Rather, he sought to argue:

(a) that he, as prosecutor, should not have been required to bring the best available evidence to the Court;

(b) he should not have been required to prove every element of the charges; and

(c) that counsel for the defendants had an obligation to advise him if there was an error in his charging documents.

[18] These assertions demonstrate Mr Nottingham’s fundamental misunderstanding of the criminal justice system. They are untenable propositions, and it was frivolous and vexatious to attempt to advance them.

[24] Importantly, for present purposes, the affidavit was in any event inadmissible. As I noted in my judgment, it was replete with irrelevant material, opinion evidence and pontification by a Mr McKinney, who appeared as Mr Nottingham’s McKenzie friend, as to what he – Mr McKinney – thought the law is, or perhaps more precisely, should be. The affidavit contained a number of pejorative comments about Judge Collins and how he ran the trial. It also contained pejorative comments about other persons, in particular…Mr Prentice’s solicitor.

Conclusion

[26] The respondents were put to unnecessary expense, by Mr Nottingham’s multiple procedural failings, and by his obduracy in persisting with this matter, when it was or should have been clear from the outset that the proposed appeal was devoid of any substantive merit.

This is typical of a number of judgments against Nottingham.

The website nzlii.org lists 49 legal documents involving Nottingham going from last year back to 1989. Thirty five of them have been since 2015, an average of nine per year – and these are by no means all. They don’t include any from the District Court, where many of the proceedings began, and they don’t include judgments still covered by suppression.

In my case (alongside Allied Press) none of the proceedings documents are online. Over three years there were nine District Court appearances up until the charges were withdrawn. And following that there were two costs judgments in the District Court, two in the High Court (appeals) and one in the Court of Appeal. Nottingham must have been to court over a hundred times over four years.

Lying and perjury are common accusations.

From Nottingham v Real Estate Agents Authority [2015] NZHC 1616 (10 July 2015)

[29] The appeal is on the grounds:

That the Tribunal acted corruptly, dishonestly, and immorally…

1.1 Misreporting or not reporting evidence that proved that [the defendant] was guilty of the alleged offending;

2.1 Misreporting or not reporting evidence that proved that the CAC had acted corruptly;

14.1 Relying on the impossible explanations of [defendants] when the evidence that was before them proved those explanations as clear and relevant perjury;

[153] I also note that the Tribunal described itself as being concerned and disturbed that the Messrs Nottingham “generated an atmosphere of intimidation in our courtroom”.

[154] Given the nature of some of the appellants’ allegations against the Committee,the Tribunal had to ensure that the hearing was conducted in a structured and measured fashion and that the more extreme allegations did not detract from the real issues.

[155] I am satisfied that the exchanges of concern to the appellants amount to no more than the Tribunal doing its best to manage proceedings and to deal with issues sensibly and reasonably while being fair to all parties.

From Nottingham v Auckland District Court [2017] NZHC 777 (27 April 2017):

[8] Mr Nottingham commenced the present proceeding on 12 September 2016. The proceeding is styled as an application for judicial review. However, it alleges a criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and seeks relief that cannot possibly be given in the context of an application for judicial review.

[9] In particular, Mr Nottingham alleges that Judge Paul and Judge Collins (who made procedural directions and rulings in the criminal case) conspired with District Court staff, the second defendants, the second defendants’ counsel and unnamed others, including members of the judiciary, the executive and the legislature, to “defeat, prevent, pervert, interfere, and obstruct justice in order to wrongfully acquit the second defendants” and to award costs in favour of the second defendants.

[10] The asserted “overt criminal actions” are baldly stated in 43 subparagraphs. These comprise outrageous and scandalous conclusory allegations which are wholly unsupported by any factual particulars. This can be illustrated by reciting the first ten alleged overt criminal actions on the list: “committing perjury”; “suborning perjury”; “promoting perjury”; “maladministering judicial office by protecting perjurers”; “maladministering judicial office by ignoring perjury”; “maladministering judicial office by encouraging perjury”; “making formal and informal applications that were based on, and supported by perjury, which perjury also contained false accusation against the plaintiff, [and others, involved]”; “maladministering judicial office by encouraging, and/or ignoring such applications, as cited immediately above”; “making [knowingly] false written, and/or oral, submissions, and/or rulings, as to facts, and law, in order to defeat, prevent, pervert, interfere, and obstruct justice”; and “ordering and/or carrying out the destruction of evidence”.

[11] No one is entitled to make allegations of serious misconduct, such as fraud or bad faith, let alone the extremely serious allegations of criminal conspiracy, corruption and dishonesty that have been advanced in this case, without being in possession of sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case to prove it. Detailed particulars of the specific facts relied on must be pleaded to support the allegation. The statement of claim filed in this case fails miserably when judged against that standard.

Three months later Nottingham was granted leave to file charges against myself and three others after making conspiracy allegations that for which no cogent evidence was ever presented.

[14] The hopelessness of the present claim becomes even clearer when one examines the relief sought, almost all of which could not possibly be entertained in the context of an application for judicial review. The relief sought includes:

(a) an order setting aside the judgment of the District Court acquitting the second defendants and replacing it with a judgment of this Court entering convictions against the second defendants on all charges brought against them by the plaintiff, including convictions on charges that were not accepted for filing or heard;

(b) an order setting aside the judgment awarding costs to the second defendants and replacing it with an award of indemnity costs against the second defendants and their counsel in favour of the plaintiff;

(c) an order holding the second defendants and their counsel “in contempt for perjury, suborning perjury and conspiring to falsely accuse, and conspiring to defeat the course of justice”;

(d) a declaration that the perjury committed by the second defendants and suborned by their counsel was of a most serious nature and that the police should be notified of the specificity and impact of that perjury;

(e) an order directing that the behaviour of the defendants’ counsel be reported to police and the Law Society;

(f) a declaration that the District Court judges have criminally mis-conducted themselves in public office and should be subject to removal procedures as a result;

(g) a declaration that the judges should be investigated for contempt of court;

(h) an order giving access to the plaintiff of all communications between judges and staff and the second defendants, any anyone else [who] communicated with the District Court and the judges;

(i) a substantial award of damages in favour of the plaintiff against the judges and unnamed District Court staff; and

(j) an order stopping the defendants from harassing the plaintiff and his family.

[16] I have no doubt that Mr Nottingham’s claim must be struck out. It is replete with scandalous and outrageous allegations without any attempt having been made to provide supporting factual particulars. Further, almost all of the relief sought could not be granted in the context of an application for judicial review. I am satisfied that these flaws in the claim are of such a fundamental character that they could not be saved by amendment.

That last relief sought (i) is ironic given that Nottingham was the one who was later found guilty of multiple charges of criminal harassment, but he had a habit of accusing others of doing what he did. I was accused of harassing him and his family and associates when they were clearly the ones doing the harassing.

Those here who witnessed the extensive attacks on myself, commenters and Your NZ in late 2015 will attest to who was harassing who.

From Maltese Cat Limited v Doe [2017] NZHC 1634 (14 July 2017):

[26] Mr Nottingham seeks to obtain a declaration that there exists a strong prima facie case to lay criminal charges against those involved in these proceedings where false allegations and fraud have been committed (in the Family Court proceedings). This is opposed on the grounds that it is not an interlocutory application. I agree. False allegations in the Family Court let alone fraud are not an issue in these proceedings.

[27] This is a statement of an intention to prove perjury by the plaintiffs and others under cross-examination etc. This is not an interlocutory application, contemplated in a Part 18 High Court Rules hearing.

[28] This application intends to prove that others have sought to promote, assist, and fund the litigation in order to subvert the due process. Similarly this is an abuse of a Part 18 hearing.

Nottingham made similar (false) accusations against me.

[37] This is an application to have the Court hold the deponents for the plaintiffs in contempt for perjury and conspiring by order to obtain a fraudulent means.

[39] This is an application by Mr Nottingham for search orders of the providers of the emails and phone services to the plaintiffs, to prove a collateral purpose. There is no basis for such an order.

Similar to what he has just tried with the Court of Appeal.

[45] This litigation is in a form far removed from that contemplated when the Court was asked and agreed that the proceedings should continue as an application under Part 18 of the High Court Rules. It is not possible in interlocutory proceedings to resolve all issues of admissibility of the hundreds of pages of “evidence” Mr Nottingham intends to rely on.

[46] I am also concerned that Mr Nottingham apparently does not intend to give evidence himself when there is a live suspicion that he is the person who is the source of the defamatory material on the internet.

Subsequent to this Nottingham was found guilty of posting such material on his website, and he admitted he was the author, but claimed he was immune from New Zealand law, and (NZH): He had tried to argue at trial that his “articles” were covered by freedom of expression rights.

From Nottingham v District Court at Auckland [2018] NZCA 345 (3 September 2018):

Background

[2] In 2014 Mr Nottingham commenced a private prosecution against the respondents, Mr Martin Honey, Mrs Stephanie Honey and Mr Hemi Taka. The charges arose out of claims by Mr Nottingham that the respondents had operated a fraudulent real estate website. There was also a charge of perjury. After a 17day judge-alone trial, Judge Paul dismissed the charges on the basis that there was no case to answer.[3] He acquitted the respondents and made an order that Mr Nottingham pay them costs totalling $117,000 under the Costs in Criminal Cases Act 1967.

So a private prosecution alleging perjury was dismissed. Costs awarded against Nottingham in this lengthy proceeding and others, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, led to him being declared bankrupt in September 2018 – see HONEY v NOTTINGHAM [2018] NZHC 2382 [11 September 2018].

I am not aware of any of Nottingham’s allegations of perjury or conspiracy being proven. He has been unsuccessful in almost all of this long litany of legal failures.

Talking of lying and perjury, in his failed attempt to prosecute me, in court documents Nottingham denied responsibility for posts on the now shut down laudafinem.com website.  From Notes of Judge J C Down on Sentencing 26 July 2018 (not online):

[22] Now, I make some findings of fact. Consistent with the verdicts of the jury I have concluded that between 2010 and 2015 Dermot Nottingham published or had published numerous articles on the blog site laudafinem.com. 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.

[23] During that 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.

There were many others, including against myself and commenters here. I think that it is debatable that the worst were represented by those Nottingham was convicted of harassing. I have been contacted by a number of victims, who have gone as far as claiming Nottingham has ruined their lives.

[41] In relation to the breach of non-publication orders, Mr· Nottingham states as follows at paragraph 40 of his submissions:

It would seem odd that a severe sentence would be imposed on a party to supplying information to an overseas website on two killers that received no punishment, inclusive of no convictions, and name suppression, as to their identities.

[42] Not only does such a statement reinforce the contempt with which Mr Nottingham holds the decisions of the Court and the non-publication orders, but establishes beyond doubt that Mr Nottingham harbours no sense of remorse in relation to any of this offending.

So he now doesn’t deny providing posts to the infamous blog, despite denials of involvement (lying or at least misleading) in other court proceedings.

Nottingham is appealing his conviction and sentence. The Crown is also appealing his sentence.

Court of Appeal daily list for Monday 20 May:

2:15pm
CA472/2018 & CA492/2018 (to be heard together)
CA472/2018 Dermot Gregory NOTTINGHAM (In Person) v The Queen
CA492/2018 The Queen v Dermot Gregory NOTTINGHAM (In Person)

Nottingham refused fishing expedition by Court of Appeal

Dermot Nottingham’s appeal against his conviction and sentence is on the Court of Appeal fixture list for next Monday. He has already been to the court trying to get cellphone records, emails and medical notes of three of his criminal harassment victims, claiming they lied at his trial, but the court refused that, calling it a fishing expedition.

NZ Herald: ‘Malicious and nasty’ blogger accuses former MP of perjury, asks court to release their emails

A “malicious and nasty” blogger, who was convicted of criminal harassment and breaching court orders, has now accused a former parliamentarian of perjury.

Dermot Gregory Nottingham was found guilty of five criminal harassment charges and two breaches of court suppression orders following a lengthy trial, in which he represented himself, during April and May last year.

He was then sentenced to 12 months’ home detention and 100 hours’ community work for what Judge Jonathan Down described as a blatant and contemptuous breach of court orders and an arrogant view of right and wrong.

Nottingham was targeting business people, civil servants and a former member of Parliament.

He had taken and published photos of them, their homes and was making false claims of drug abuse and corruption.

One of the five victims, all of whom have permanent name suppression, said they had been stalked and photographed, with their images appearing on the blog page.

The sentencing judge said they were the five worst cases of harassment, but that’s debatable. There were many victims of attacks from Nottingham and associates – including myself and others participating here at Your NZ.

Now, however, Nottingham wants the cellphone records, emails and medical notes of three of his victims.

He claims they are guilty of perjury, having testified at his trial.

This isn’t the first time he has made claims like that when court judgments haven’t gone his way (he has been a frequent visitor to courts over the past ten years, unsuccessfully most of the time).

In an application for a non-party disclosure hearing, Nottingham asked the Court of Appeal for the emails sent and received by the then-MP about himself.

Nottingham claimed this would prove they lied at his trial.

He also sought the cellphone records for the past six months from a second victim and the medical records of a third.

He has made a number of accusations in the past without having evidence, including in his failed prosecution of me.

But as in the past the Court of Appeal ruled against him.

“We are neither satisfied that those persons are likely to hold the information Mr Nottingham seeks nor, even if we thought that was likely, that all or part of it appears to be relevant,” Justices Stephen Kos, Brendan Brown and Denis Clifford ruled.

“The open-ended and speculative nature of the reasons on which Mr Nottingham based his application reflect the almost inevitability of that conclusion.”

The three judges said the application is “in reality, a fishing expedition”.

“Moreover, and most importantly, each of [the victims] gave evidence at Mr Nottingham’s trial and were cross-examined at considerable length.

“That cross-examination was an opportunity to test their evidence, both as to its credibility and its reliability.”

The Court of Appeal judges said because those being asked to divulge personal information were victims of Nottingham’s criminal harassment, it was further reason not to put them through the invasive process that a hearing would occasion.

Court of appeal judges referring to “victims of Nottingham’s criminal harassment” suggests it will be challenging for Nottingham to get the convictions overturned.

Nottingham, meanwhile, also appealed both his convictions and his sentence.

He had tried to argue at trial that his “articles” were covered by freedom of expression rights.

He has admitted writing “articles” on ‘that blog’ which will be nameless here, and I think that many who have read articles there, especially about themselves, will suggest Nottingham abused freedom of expression rights.

The prosecution against him, he claims, was a “false case” and the police had created evidence to “fit him up”.

That sounds like what he tried to do with me and others. Court costs awarded against him in those failed cases led to him being declared bankrupt last September.

Brian Dickey, Auckland’s crown solicitor, said Nottingham’s harassment was at the high end of the criminal spectrum, calling it “so malicious, so nasty”.

“He shows absolutely no insight into his offending, no remorse,” he said at the blogger’s sentencing.

The Crown had asked for a prison sentence after Nottingham’s conviction and is appealing the sentence. That will be heard at the same time as Nottingham’s appeals.

See Dermot Nottingham sentenced for criminal harassment, suppression breaches

Another Nottingham court failure highlights failures of courts

Dermot Nottingham keeps clocking up failures in courts. The latest is in the Supreme Court, which dismissed an extension of time to appeal a prior appeal.

There is some history going back over four years (with related proceedings that go back to events in 2009). The judgment being appealed: NOTTINGHAM v DISTRICT COURT AT AUCKLAND [2018] NZCA 75 [28 March 2018]:

[1] On 27 April 2017 Gilbert J granted the second respondents’ application to strike out Mr Nottingham’s statement of claim in a judicial review of the District Court at Auckland alleging a criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The Judge ruled that the claim was replete with scandalous and outrageous allegations without any attempt having been made to provide supporting factual particulars, almost all of the relief sought could not be granted in the context of an application for judicial review and that the flaws in the claim were of such a fundamental character that they could not be saved by amendment.

[2] Mr Nottingham did not file a notice of appeal of that judgment within the required time…

Background

[3] In March 2014 Mr Nottingham commenced a private prosecution in the Auckland District Court against the second respondents. Following a Judge alone trial extending over 17 sitting days, on 20 June 2016 Judge Paul dismissed all charges, acquitted the second respondents and made an order that the appellant pay costs totalling $117,000. Mr Nottingham’s application for leave to appeal pursuant to s 296 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 was declined by Davison J.

[4] The prequel to the criminal proceedings were complaints by both Mr Nottingham and Mr Honey to the Real Estate Agents Authority which culminated in a decision of the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal,
an appeal to the High Court and a further appeal to this Court.

The prequel goes back a long time – to 2009.

[5] On 12 September 2016 Mr Nottingham commenced this judicial review proceeding alleging that Judge Paul had conspired with court staff and with the second respondents to defeat the course of justice in order to wrongfully acquit the second respondents of the criminal charges Mr Nottingham had brought against them in the private prosecution.

[8] In the present case the delay of six months is substantial. While the notice of application states there are reasonable grounds including medical reasons for the delay, there is nothing in the extensive materials filed in support of the application that provides any detail of such a reason.

[9] Indeed it is difficult to understand how it could credibly be said that Mr Nottingham was precluded on medical grounds from lodging a simple notice of appeal within the 20 working day period provided in the Court of Appeal (Civil) Rules when he was actively involved in other litigation. On 15, 22 and 23 May 2017 he appeared in the High Court at Auckland in support of the application for leave to appeal heard by Davison J. He also appeared in the High Court on 12 June 2017 in support of an appeal from the District Court at Auckland finding him in contempt of Court for wilfully insulting a judicial officer.

[10] In Almond v Read the Supreme Court stated that a decision to refuse an extension of time based substantially on the lack of merit of a proposed appeal should be made only where the appeal is clearly hopeless. One of the examples given of a hopeless appeal was where there was an abuse of process such as a collateral attack on issues finally determined in other proceedings. We consider that Mr Nottingham’s judicial review proceeding is an example of such a collateral attack.

[11] Mr Nottingham’s private prosecution was dismissed. An application for leave to appeal was declined. An application under s 303 to this Court is still extant. In those circumstances we consider the nature of Mr Nottingham’s judicial review proceeding offends the general rule of public policy explained in Hunter.

[12] The implications of this collateral attack by a still further litigation process has obvious relevance to the third and fourth of the Almond v Read considerations.

[13] Having regard to all of these factors we conclude that the interests of justice plainly require that we should decline to exercise the discretion to extend time under r 29A for the filing of an appeal against the judgment of Gilbert J.

Result

[14] The application for an extension of time to appeal is declined. The appellant must pay the second respondents costs for a standard application on a band A basis with usual disbursements.

The latest judgment from the Supreme Court dated 20 November 2018 – Nottingham v Auckland District Court and Honey, Honey and Taka.

[1] Mr Nottingham wanted to appeal to the Court of Appeal against a decision of the High Court. He did not file his notice of appeal within time so applied for an extension of time. The Court of Appeal declined to grant an extension of time. Mr Nottingham seeks leave to appeal out of time to this Court against that decision.

[4] The principles applicable to the Court of Appeal’s decision whether or not to grant an extension of time were set out recently by the Court in Almond v Read. Mr Nottingham does not challenge those principles; rather, he seeks to challenge their application by the Court of Appeal to the particular facts of this case. No point of general or public importance accordingly arises. Nor does anything raised by Mr Nottingham give rise to the appearance of a miscarriage of justice. We add that his delay in filing in this Court is unexplained.

[5] For these reasons the application for an extension of time to appeal is dismissed. The applicant is to pay costs of $2,500 to the second respondents.

So a simple judgment, but again using court time and imposing further time and costs on the respondents after an extensive amount of litigation over nearly a decade.

In 2015 Nottingham told me that if ongoing litigation took him ten years he was up for it.

This judgment follows a similar judgment and a similar award of costs earlier this month: DERMOT GREGORY NOTTINGHAM v HEMI TAKA, MARTIN RUSSELL HONEY AND STEPHANIE FRANCIS HONEY [2018] NZSC 102 [5 November 2018]

Costs are supposed to be a deterrent to frivolous, vexatious and hopeless litigation, but they don’t deter Nottingham, who has clocked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs awarded against him which led to him being adjudicated bankrupt in September – see HONEY v NOTTINGHAM [2018] NZHC 2382 [11 September 2018].  I was involved in that proceeding and am owed court awarded costs by Nottingham for another failed private prosecution.

I met with the Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group on Monday to have my say, making suggestions on what I want from the criminal justice system and and how we might make it better. This focused on much of what is again highlighted in this judgment – successive courts have allowed Nottingham to proceed through multiple stages of litigation, incessantly  breaching laws, court rules and timetables, and not paying costs that are supposed to deter these sorts of abuse of the judicial system.

The Advisory group will make recommendations to the Minister of Justice next year, and then it is over to the Minister, Cabinet and Parliament as to what they change.

As per what is highlighted above, requiring judges to enforce procedural legislation and timetables could make a significant difference in limiting vexatious and hopeless litigation.

 

 

 

Nottingham fails in Supreme Court appeal

Another fail for Dermot Nottingham, this time the Supreme Court declining leave to appeal. This is entirely predictable, as he was seeking leave to appeal a Court of Appeal decision that said they had no jurisdiction to overturn the High Court declining leave to appeal. More wasting of court time.

Costs of $2500 were awarded against Nottingham, but as he has been insolvent for some time (probably years) and was adjudicated bankrupt in September he is unlikely to be able to pay these, on top of the quarter of a million dollars in various court costs he already owes.

Costs are supposed to be a deterrent to vexatious and hopeless litigation but Nottingham continues to file proceedings regardless. I don’t know if he is ignorant of the judicial processes (he shouldn’t be, he has extensive experience with it) or if it is deliberate abuses of processes as part of campaigns of harassment against various people.

From the Supreme Court judgment DERMOT GREGORY NOTTINGHAM v HEMI TAKA, MARTIN RUSSELL HONEY AND STEPHANIE FRANCIS HONEY [2018] NZSC 102 [5 November 2018]

[1] The applicant seeks leave to appeal against a decision of the Court of Appeal in which he was refused leave to appeal against two High Court decisions. Both had their origins in a private prosecution brought by the applicant against the three respondents in the District Court. All charges were dismissed by Judge Paul and he ordered the applicant to pay costs totalling $117,000 under the Costs in Criminal Cases Act 1967.

[2] The applicant sought leave to appeal against Judge Paul’s decision dismissing the charges and the award of costs.

[3] In the first of the High Court decisions, Paul Davison J refused leave to appeal and, in doing so, he addressed directly the costs argument.

[6] In dealing with the challenge to the judgment of Downs J, the Court concluded that there is no right of appeal to the Court of Appeal from such a decision, citing a number of cases decided under similar provisions of the Summary Proceedings Act 1957. In absence of a right of appeal, the Court found it had no jurisdiction to hear a challenge to the judgment of Downs J.

So the court (Court of Appeal) has no jurisdiction to overturn a lower a court (High Court) decision declining leave to appeal a lower court (District Court).

[7] In support of his application for leave to appeal to this Court, in respect of the judgment of Paul Davison J, the applicant repeats the submissions advanced to and rejected by the Court of Appeal.

[8] Although the judgment of Paul Davison J is lengthy, it is perfectly clear that he dealt with the case as an application for leave to appeal under s 296 and not as a substantive appeal. The order he made was to dismiss the application for leave to appeal. For the reasons given by the Court of Appeal, that decision was final. It was not susceptible to challenge in the Court of Appeal.

[9] We are likewise of the view that there was no jurisdiction to challenge in the Court of Appeal the decision by Downs J to refuse an extension of time.

[10] This Court relevantly has jurisdiction to deal only with appeals authorised by Part 6 of the Criminal Procedure Act. The proposed appeal is not within any head of jurisdiction provided under that Act. As to this, we note that s 213 to which we have already referred provides that an appeal court’s decision to give or refuse leave is final unless otherwise expressly provided for. This provision is as applicable to the Supreme Court as it is to the Court of Appeal and makes it clear that we do not have jurisdiction to entertain appeals against decisions of the Court of Appeal to refuse leave.

[11] The application for leave to appeal is dismissed. The applicant is to pay the respondents costs of $2,500.

So that should be the end of the legal line for Nottingham in this lengthy litigation.

Here is the Court of Appeal decision: NOTTINGHAM v DISTRICT COURT AT AUCKLAND [2018] NZCA 75 [28 March 2018]

[3] In March 2014 Mr Nottingham commenced a private prosecution in the Auckland District Court against the second respondents. Following a Judge alone trial extending over 17 sitting days, on 20 June 2016 Judge Paul dismissed all charges, acquitted the second respondents and made an order that the appellant pay costs totalling $117,000. Mr Nottingham’s application for leave to appeal pursuant to s 296 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 was declined by Davison J.

[4] The prequel to the criminal proceedings were complaints by both Mr Nottingham and Mr Honey to the Real Estate Agents Authority which culminated in a decision of the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal, an appeal to the High Court and a further appeal to this Court.

So this relates to a failed prosecution that began over four and a half years ago.

And that relates to even longer running litigation – it started with a business deal in 2009 that led to:

[4] In early 2011, Mr Dermot Nottingham lodged a complaint on behalf of PBRL with the Real Estate Agents Authority (the REAA) alleging misconduct by Mr Honey…

This is just one of a number of lengthy proceedings Nottingham has been involved in, including other failed private prosecutions, against myself and three others. My case has ‘only’ been going for three and a half years, with leave to appeal costs being declined Nottingham by the Court of Appeal last week – see Nottingham fails again in Court of Appeal, judicial system faltering. The week before: Nottingham fails another attempted appeal.

In July Nottingham was sentenced after being convicted on two breaches of non-publication orders and five charges of criminal harassment. From the sentencing notes:

[16] Variously, the conduct alleged in respect of the five complainants, and differently as between those five complainants, can be characterised as a combination of some or all of the following:

(g) Engaging in or threatening to engage in vexatious litigation.

[24] It was plain to me from the evidence that a number of these courses of conduct started with Mr Nottingham crossing the path of the individual complainant, either in his own capacity or on behalf of another individual, acting as their advocate.

[53] In his written submissions, Mr Nottingham makes it plain that he disagrees with the findings of the jury and challenges many of the rulings of the Court. As is characteristic of his approach to legal proceedings, I anticipate that Mr Nottingham will pursue all avenues of review and appeal and is unlikely ever to accept that what he did was not only unlawful, but reprehensible.

Nottingham has more proceedings pending in the courts.

Lundy appeal dismissed – “we are sure of Mr Lundy’s guilt”

Craig versus Williams granted leave to appeal and cross appeal

The Colin Craig versus Jordan Williams defamation saga continues, and it’s getting a bit complicated legally.

Williams won a record payout in a High Court jury trial. However the judge had concerns about that verdict.

Craig took it to the Court of Appeal, which ruled earlier this year hat it was “satisfied that the jury’s award of both compensatory and punitive damages was excessive or wrong, and must be set aside accordingly.”

Today the Supreme Court granted leave to appeal that to Williams, and also leave to cross appeal was granted to Craig.

So it’s looking increasingly likely the only winners will be the lawyers.

NZH: Supreme Court allows Craig v Williams defamation appeal over compensation amount

New Zealand’s highest court will allow challenges to a court’s ruling that $1.27 million in compensation for a man defamed by former politician Colin Craig was “excessive or wrong”.

New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union executive director Jordan Williams sued Craig, the former Conservative Party leader, for defamation after Craig, in 2015, delivered 1.6 million pamphlets criticising Williams to homes across the country and held a press conference.

Williams sought compensatory damages of $400,000 and punitive damages of $90,000 for the remarks against him, and a further $650,000 in compensatory damages and $130,000 in punitive damages for the leaflets.

So this is likely to take at least a few more months, if not longer.

In the meantime Craig is still waiting for a judgment on the judge only defamation he took against Cameron Slater, who also took an action against Craig.

The Court of Appeal ruling: WILLIAMS v CRAIG [2018] NZCA 31 [5 March 2018]

High Court ruling: WILLIAMS v CRAIG [2017] NZHC 724 [12 April 2017]

Judge ‘misguided’ over discharge without conviction, overturned

The police have successfully appealed a discharge without conviction after multiple assaults in Queenstown.

The appeal was covered here: Infidelity, assault, discharge, appeal

ODT now reports:  Comments by judge were ‘misguided’

A man who assaulted his wife, daughter and best friend in Queenstown after uncovering an affair has been convicted after the Crown appealed a decision to discharge him without conviction.

The High Court yesterday released its decision, which overturns a district court judge’s decision.

Justice David Gendall found Judge John Brandts-Giesen erred by allowing the 58-year-old man, who has name suppression, to be discharged after he admitted the assaults on September 14 last year.

Comments the judge made at the time of his decision had been “misguided”, “unfortunate” and attempted to normalise and minimise the offending and blame the victims, Justice Gendall said.

Judge Brandts-Giesen first erred because his assessment of the gravity of offending was “clearly wrong” and secondly because there was insufficient material before him to find the consequences of convictions were out of all proportion to the gravity of the offending, he found.

In the Queenstown District Court, Judge Brandts-Giesen had said it was a “nasty assault” on one level but on the other it “had to be seen in its context” and the defendant “saw red” when he discovered the affair.

He then said “there would be many people who would have done exactly what you did, even though it may be against the law to do so” and, later, that it was a situation “that does your wife no credit and the [male victim] no credit”.

That was widely criticised, and led to the police appeal.

Justice Gendall considered Judge Brandts-Giesen’s assessment of the gravity was “misguided” and said he appeared to have been influenced by the views of the defendant’s wife.

The “unfortunate” comments the judge made during the hearing also seemed to be “influential” in his reasoning, Justice Gendall said.

“[The comments] attempt, first, to normalise and minimise the respondent’s offending and secondly, to blame the victims here … In my view, this is quite wrong and it worked to significantly derail the judge’s assessment of the gravity … here.”

Justice Gendall granted leave for the appeal, set aside Judge Brandts-Giesen’s decision, entered convictions on all three charges and ordered the matter be remitted to the Queenstown District Court for sentencing on May 7.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the sentencing process approach is to be conducted entirely afresh.”

Discovering a partner has declared love for a friend would understandably be very upsetting, but the appeal by the police and this ruling have made it clear that resorting to violence is not a justified response and there must be legal consequences.

Infidelity, assault, discharge, appeal

An interesting case down this way involving a family, infidelity, multiple assaults when discovered, a prosecution, a discharge without conviction, and now an appeal against that discharge.

Discovering infidelity of a spouse or partner would understandably be upsetting to may people, but is violence an unacceptable response?

We have a major societal problem, especially involving men, where adverse situations result in violence against others or against themselves (like suicides ,and domestic assaults including murder).

ODT:  Appeal sought on assault discharge

The Crown has applied for leave to appeal discharges without conviction granted to a man who assaulted his best friend, wife and daughter in Queenstown last year.

The 58-year-old Central Lakes man, who has name suppression, had earlier admitted assaulting his wife, daughter and best friend on September 14, having discovered a text between his wife and friend declaring their undying love for each other.

Ultimately, Judge Brandts-Giesen found the gravity of the man’s offending was low to moderate and the consequences of convictions were out of proportion.

A problem is that “low to moderate” violence can easily have serious unintended consequences, and can easily escalate  into very serious situations.

At the time he said while on one level it was a ”nasty assault”, on another it had to be seen in context and there would be ”many people who would have done exactly what you did, even though it might be against the law to do so”.

That is alarming. He is excusing violent assault on a highly questionable “many people who would have done exactly what you did”. Many people have to deal with infidelity and relationship breakups, and the vast majority don’t lash out violently, and that sort of reaction should not be portrayed as a normal reaction by the Court.

The man left the bar when he saw the text message, but then encountered the male victim in the CBD.

He assaulted his friend and then when his daughter intervened he grabbed her around the throat, pushed her down and held her there, causing bruising.

When the defendant’s wife stepped in, he pushed her and she fell to the ground.

Ms Thomas submitted the matter ”became derailed” during the gravity assessment because Judge Brandts-Giesen appeared to consider the offending or surrounding circumstances ”unusual”.

”Infidelity of itself is not an unusual phenomenon in society.

”Nor, in my respectful submission, is the discovery of infidelity.

”Nor is it … in the context of domestic violence, or when assessing gravity, unusual that there may be actions arising … out of what’s seen as infidelity and the finding of infidelity.

”The sad reality … of domestic offending that the courts grapple with daily … is that it’s not unusual at all.

”The learned district court judge erred in … allowing mitigating factors to be taken into account … that he ought not to have.”

Having made that error, she submitted he erred further in assessing the consequences of convictions.

That will be for the appeal court to decide, if leave for appeal is granted – the High Court judge reserved his decision.

Although Ms Denton agreed infidelity was not unusual, ”in [the defendant’s] world, it was”.

The defendant had known the male victim longer than his wife, his reaction that night ”was very unusual” and described it as ”visceral”.

”He did not see the situation coming”.

Many people do not see situations like this coming, but most do not react violently.

With regard to the more serious assault on his daughter, Ms Denton said it was not ”a traditional domestic violence incident” and he had no idea whom he had grabbed until after the incident.

”He only became aware it was his daughter when she came up to him afterwards and said. ‘Dad, look at what you’ve just done to me’.”

That sounds like he was out of control. Anything could have happened – anyone could have been harmed, potentially very seriously.

People get convicted for far less – for example for things like momentary carelessness when driving. They are prosecuted for the potential risk to others, even if there is no actual harm done.

It will be interesting to see how this appeal progresses, if leave for appeal is granted.

Hagaman v Little appeal rejected by Supreme Court

The defamation case Hagaman v Andrew Little has reached a conclusion in the Supreme Court, where an appeal on behalf of Earl Hagaman has been rejected.

In April 2017 a jury could not decide on some claims in a defamation case brought by Earl and Lani Hagaman against then Labour Party leader Andrew Little. The jury found that one comment wasn’t defamatory, one was but they couldn’t decide if ‘qualified privilege’ was an adequate defence, and they couldn’t decide at all on four other claims.

An appeal was filed, but not long after the trial (25 May) Earl Hagaman died.

Since then Lani Hagaman has tried to argue that an appeal should survive Mr Hagaman’s death, but has failed.

The Supreme Court ruling follows a Court of Appeal judgment in November:

[1] Does the late Mr Hagaman’s appeal against a High Court Judge’s ruling in a defamation trial survive his death? That is the question this judgment is concerned with.

Background

[2] Mr and Mrs Hagaman owned a large New Zealand hotel chain. In 2014 Mr Hagaman made a substantial donation to the governing National Party of New Zealand. The Hagamans’ hotel chain later received Niue Government funding to
upgrade a hotel in that country. The ultimate source of that funding was New Zealand Government aid assistance. The Leader of the Opposition Labour Party of New Zealand, Mr Little, drew a connection between these events in a series of six
public statements.

[3] The Hagamans issued proceedings in defamation against Mr Little in June 2016. Trial commenced in April 2017. During the trial Clark J ruled that the six statements were protected by qualified privilege. The jury were agreed that
Mrs Hagaman’s claims failed. They also agreed that two of Mr Hagaman’s six claims failed. But they could not agree on the other four. Judgment was entered in the High Court for Mr Little against Mrs Hagaman. No judgment was entered in relation to Mr Hagaman’s claim.

[4] The present appeal against the Judge’s ruling concerns one only of those four disagreed claims — the second cause of action. The appeal was filed in April 2017. Mr Hagaman died in May 2017. Although his personal representatives have not yet been substituted as appellants, they are responsible for the present conduct of the appeal and accept responsibility for any costs ordered on it.

[5] The question trail on the second cause of action given to the jury by the Judge, and the answers they gave, were as follows:
First named plaintiff (Earl Hagaman): Second cause of action
5. Do the words set out in paragraph 10 of the second amended Statement of Claim carry any of the meanings set out in paragraph 11?
[YES]
6. If the answer to any of issue 5 is “Yes”, is that meaning defamatory of the first named plaintiff (Earl Hagaman)?
[YES]
7. If the answer to issue 6 is “Yes” was the defendant (Andrew Little) motivated by ill-will towards the first named plaintiff (Earl Hagaman) or, did the defendant take improper advantage of the occasion of publication?
[NO ANSWER]
8. If the answer to issue 7 is “Yes”, then assess:
(iii) General damages $
(iv) Exemplary damages $
[NO ANSWER]

[6] The practical question we must decide is whether the jury answers on the second cause of action amount to a verdict for Mr Hagaman. We will now explain why this point matters.

When does an appeal in a defamation claim survive death?

[7] The old common law rule was that personal actions in tort (including defamation) abate upon the death of the plaintiff (or the defendant): actio personalis moritur cum persona. The rationale for the rule is that such an action is personal to the victim and his or her tortfeasor, and should not devolve to their estates. Professor Pollock called it a “barbarous rule”. The effect of the rule, as we will see, rather depended on the stage the claim had reached.

[8] The rule was abolished in part by statute in 1936, permitting the continuation of an action despite the death of a party.

[9] Defamation is excluded from the reforming effect of s 3(1). That simply means that the reform (creating a new statutory survival rule for other torts) does not apply to it. For defamation the old common law rule continues.

[10] Whether a defamation claim abates with death or not ultimately depends on the stage the proceeding has reached.

Does Mr Hagaman’s appeal survive his death?

[14] We are concerned only with the second cause of action. Mr Tizard for Mr Little submits there is neither verdict nor judgment on that cause of action. It follows it has abated and the appeal must be dismissed. Mr Fowler QC for Mr Hagaman’s representatives submits that although there is no judgment, the cause of action does not abate because there is at least a verdict. He submits that the jury answers constitute a special verdict finding that Mr Hagaman was defamed by Mr Little.

[15] A special verdict is one where the jury is asked to respond with answers to a series of questions rather than simply stating whether they find for the plaintiff and in what amount.

[16] But an incomplete set of answers will not amount to a verdict for one party or the other. A verdict is a conclusive determination of all factual issues within a cause of action, for one party or the other. The verdict can then be perfected by entry of judgment. In defamation a verdict for the plaintiff must include the jury’s award of damages; otherwise it is incomplete and void.

[17] It is evident that in this case the jury was asked by the Judge to respond to a series of questions, the intended result of which would be a special verdict on each cause of action. This produced verdicts for Mr Little on the causes of action alleged by Mrs Hagaman. It also produced verdicts for Mr Little on the fifth and sixth causes of action alleged by Mr Hagaman. Here the jury, asked questionse, answered either that the words did not bear the meaning alleged or that the meaning was not defamatory. That meant, as the question trail makes clear, that the jury had no more work to do. The answers were complete, even though not all questions had been answered.

[18] The same cannot be said of the second cause of action. The jury’s work was incomplete. Having answered the first two questions affirmatively, they had to go on and answer the third. But they could not agree on it. That is not a special verdict, because there is no conclusive answer on that cause of action. No judgment upon it could be pronounced.

[19] It follows that no verdict was given on the second cause of action. It therefore abates with the death of Mr Hagaman. No appeal may now be advanced upon it. As the whole of the appeal is confined to that cause of action, it also follows that the appeal itself must be dismissed.

Result

[20] The appeal is dismissed.

[21] The appellant’s estate must pay the respondent costs for a standard appeal on a band A basis and usual disbursements.

This decision was appeared in the Supreme Court. RNZ: Little defamation appeal rejected by Supreme Court

A bid by the late Earl Hagaman’s estate to continue a defamation case against former Labour leader Andrew Little has been dismissed by the Supreme Court.

Mr Hagaman – who died in May last year – and his wife Lianna-Merie sued Mr Little for statements made about a hotel contract.

A jury was not able to reach a conclusive verdict.

Mr Hagaman’s widow tried to continue the case, taking it to the Court of Appeal.

It ruled the case could not continue after Mr Hagaman’s death and the decision was taken to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court decision today said the arguments by Mr Hagaman’s representatives were not sufficient to warrant a retrial.

Mr Little has been awarded costs.

So a win and costs award for Little, but it will have (hopefully) been a lesson to him. He will obviously not want to be taken to Court again, especially now he is Minister of Justice and Minister for Courts.