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Judge highlights ‘malevolent’ and abusive litigants

By Chloe Smith» A High Court judge has publicly highlighted the actions of a litigant in person who sent abusive emails and assaulted his opposing counsel, to demonstrate the problem of ‘unrepresented and malevolent litigants’. In Veluppillai v Veluppillai, a divorce case, Mr Justice Mostyn opted to waive a husband and wife’s right to privacy in order to expose the ‘extreme’ conduct of the husband in the public interest. His conduct included a threat to execute his wife, her lawyers and Mostyn in a gas chamber. Mostyn said: ‘The public should be aware of the scale of problems that courts administering justice and implementing the rule of law have to face at the hands of unrepresented and malevolent litigants determined to do everything they can to destroy the process.’ The case centred on a wife’s claim for ancillary relief, which first commenced in September 2012. Since then there had been over 30 hearings, including four appeals mounted by the husband, Michael Veluppillai, due to what Mostyn described as his ‘extreme litigation conduct’. Mostyn said: ‘In these ancillary relief proceedings he has been removed from the courtroom on at least one occasion by security staff. He has been repeatedly warned by judges about his unpleasant, menacing conduct in court. On one occasion he assaulted the wife’s counsel and the wife in court, for which he was convicted of assault in the magistrates’ court. He skipped his sentencing hearing and fled abroad from where he has bombarded the court with abusive emails.’ In his emails the husband claimed that he had a fatal illness, demanding proceedings be adjourned indefinitely. He then called Mostyn a ‘cruel and evil person’ when the judge ordered a hearing to remain listed despite the husband’s claim that he was fatally ill. In one email he said: ‘I WANT THE F**KING UPDATE ON WHAT IS HAPPENING YOU F**KING TALIKIUNG MY HARTD EARNED MONEY MOSTYN WHO THE HELL ARE YOU MAKING DECISION ON MY MONEY. HAVE YOU EARNED THIS F**KING MONEY. YOU ALL MUST BE EXECUTED IN A GAS CHAMBER (Sic).’ Mostyn said the husband’s conduct was ‘so abysmal’ that he should pay all his wife’s costs.

[Courtesy – The Law Society Gazette]