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Harassment by proceedings

Successive proceedings on same issue

Allen v London Borough of Southwark
[2008] EWCA Civ 1478

Southwark issued five successive sets of proceedings over the years against the claimant, seeking possession orders on the basis of non-payment of rent, all of which turned essentially on an argument as to where the rent should be paid. All the claims were unsuccessful.

This was now a claim against Southwark alleging harassment contrary to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. The judge at first instance struck out the claim as having no real prospect of success. In this decision the CA overturned that decision. The question in the case will be whether or not the conduct of Southwark had been oppressive. If so, it amounts to harassment. A reasonable person might consider that Southwark's conduct did indeed amount to harassment. The judge was wrong to find that C's claim had no reasonable prospect of success. The matter should not have been struck out and should be determined at a trial.

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