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Report No. 192

(ii) Bhamjee series:

Ismail Abdullah Bhamjee cases: This was another vexatious litigant in UK whose cases are widely reported. These cases involving Bhamjee are similar to those relating to Mr. Elbert.

(i) In Bhamjee v. Fordstick, (2003) EWCA 799 Brooke and Carnworth JJ (14th May 2003) were dealing with nine applications by Mr. Bhamjee including the one for permission to appeal for an extension of time within which to appeal against an order made by Park J on 27th Jan 2003 in relation to these cases filed by Mr. Bhamjee. The history of Bhamjee litigation which started in Dec 99 was referred to. The dispute was with regard to orders of the planning department refusing permission to allow him to use his rear yard for car-washing; against the insurance company, Secretary of State, five barristers, etc.

The court referred to statistics of increase in cases relating to vexatious litigation coming before the courts filed with court fee exemption, as follows (para 23)"

"Mr. Bhamjee is not alone in making persistent applications to this court with the benefit of court fee exemptions. The court has been handed a report by the Civil Appeals Office which identifies the litigants in person by a letter. A litigant I will call "A" has made 23 applications in the period since 1 January 2000. All of them have been unsuccessful, all of these have been with benefit of fees exemption. Litigant 'B' has made 28 applications, 23 unsuccessful, 3 undetermined, all with the benefit of fee exemption. Litigant 'C' has made 12 applications, 11 of them unsuccessful, 1 undetermined and all 12 with benefit of fee exemption.

Litigant 'D' has made 31 applications, 31 unsuccessful, 30 with the benefit of fee exemption. Litigant 'E' has made 15 applications, one of them successful, 13 unsuccessful, one undetermined, all with the benefit of fee exemption. Litigant 'F' has made 47 applications, one of them successful, 28 unsuccessful, 18 undetermined, with fee exemption 40 times. Litigant 'G' has made 22 applications, 19 unsuccessful, three undetermined, with a fee exemption on each occasion."

Parliament altered the Access to Justice Act 1999 (which relates to legal aid) with express purpose, as explained in Tanfern Ltd v. Cameron - MacDonald, 2000(1) WLR 1311 (1319-20) of the need for preserving the resources of the Court - namely skilled Judges, lawyers and staff. The Court observed: (para 26)

"two Deputy Masters of the Court have to spend two hours each day on Registry work determining and dealing with appellants' notices."

Such applications have been increasing and totalled 200 in a year as stated in Matlaszek v. Bloom Comillan, 2003 EWCA (Civ) 154. The Court of Appeal then passed a restraint order against Bhamje as follows:

"I would order stay on all his current applications to this Court and any applications he may lodge in future with the court until that further hearing takes place." While dismissing the three applications filed by Bhamjee for leave and directing as above, the learned Judges Brooke and Carnworth directed that the case be further referred to three Judges for deciding whether any other sort of injunction should be issued to control Mr. Bhamjee's future activities."

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