Litigant in person named and shamed

04 Jan 2016

Litigant in person named and shamed to highlight the challenges faced by the family court 

A litigant in person, who sent abusive emails and assaulted his wife’s barrister has been named and shamed by Mr. Justice Mostyn to demonstrate the scale of problems for the family court in the face of, in his words, ‘unrepresented and malevolent litigants’. 

In the recent case of Veluppillai v Veluppillai,  Mr. Justice Mostyn waived a husband and wife’s right to privacy within proceedings following the breakdown of their marriage, in order to expose the husband’s extreme conduct.

The husband’s conduct included persistently failing to comply with court orders, failure to provide full and frank disclosure, the transfer of various assets to third parties in order to place them out of wife's reach, unpleasant and menacing conduct in court, which led to him being removed on at least one occasion, assaulting his wife’s barrister and making threats to execute his wife, her lawyers and the Judge in a gas chamber. 

Mr. Justice 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.’

An application to deal with the financial arrangements of the Veluppillai’s marriage was filed in September 2012. There followed over 30 hearings, including four appeals mounted by the husband, Michael Veluppillai, due to what Mr. Justice Mostyn described as his ‘extreme litigation conduct’.

After being convicted of assault against his wife’s barrister in the magistrates’ court, Mr. Veluppillai skipped his sentencing hearing and fled abroad from where he continued to bombard the court with abusive emails.

At the final hearing the Mr. Justice Mostyn concluded that the husband’s conduct was ‘so abysmal’ that he should pay all his wife’s costs.  A costs order was made against Mr. Veluppillai for the full amount of his wife’s costs which came to £146,609.