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2001/0302 Neutral Citation Number: [2001] EWCA Civ 937 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE IN THE COURT OF APPEAL

(CIVIL DIVISION) ON APPEAL FROM THE WORCESTER COUNTY COURT (HIS HONOUR JUDGE GEDDES) Royal Courts of Justice Strand London WC2 Thursday 24 May 2001 B e f o r e: LORD JUSTICE PILL -----T A MATTHEWS Respondent -vEDMUND PAUL CARLISLE Applicant -----(Computer Aided Transcript of the Palantype Notes of Smith Bernal Reporting Limited, 190 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2AG Tel: 0207 421 4040 Fax: 0207 831 8838 Official Shorthand Writers to the Court) -----The Applicant appeared in person. The Respondent did not attend and was not represented. -----J U D G M E N T1. LORD JUSTICE PILL: This is an application for permission to appeal. Mr Edmund Paul Carlisle seeks to reverse a judgment of His Honour Judge Geddes given at the Worcester County Court on 4 January 2001. 2. Judge Geddes allowed an appeal from District Judge Singh given on 23 November 2000. He ordered that a charging order made by the court on 6 September 2000 be enforced by the sale of the land charged, Caynham Court, Caynham, Ludlow. He further provided that the sale be postponed until 4 May

2001 to enable the defendant to pay the judgment debt on the basis of which the charging order had been made. The sum stated by the judge in his judgment in relation to the costs and interest was 9,888,64 plus interest of 1.71 per day from 4 January 2000. That was in addition to the judgment debt which amounted to just under 1,000. 3. The events underlying the present order date back to 1995 when the applicant brought civil proceedings against a car dealer, Mr Colin Lane and Barclays Leasing Company, in relation to an alleged misrepresentation as to the age of a Range Rover. The proposed respondents, T A Matthews (A Firm), were instructed by Mr Carlisle to act for him as solicitors in that matter. He is aggrieved by the manner in which they conducted his business. He refers to the fact that Lane was subsequently prosecuted for dishonesty, but, in the event acquitted. There have been a number of court orders. Mr Carlisle complains about the manner in which his cases have been dealt with, including the fact that they have been transferred as between courts in Worcestershire and the Welsh Marches. He submits that the sum of costs which forms the bulk of the order upon which the charging order was based is extortionate. Mr Carlisle contends that a sum referred to in document 13 in the bundle which he has calculated for this hearing is fraudulently prepared or is erroneous. The rate at which the costs were charged he describes as monstrous. In 1999 court bailiffs attended at a separate property of the applicant at Hay-onWye. On 5 April 2000 District Judge Singh ordered the applicant to pay the judgment debt by the 31 May 2000. On 23 August the charging order nisi was made and the order was made absolute on 6 September. The respondent applied for the enforcement of the charging order by sale. That claim was rejected by District Judge Singh on the basis that it was premature because there was livestock of substantial value against which the money order could be enforced. Judge Geddes took the view that the respondents were entitled to the order for sale in the terms I have indicated. Mr Carlisle complains of improprieties which he says have occurred in the course of the litigation. He claims that the costs were disproportionate, that he was illserved by the solicitors in the first place, and that not only is the billing fraudulent but the taxation which was permitted by the court was permitted out of time. I agree with Judge Geddes that it is not open to the court to go through the whole background and to consider the earlier orders which had been made. Remedies in that respect, if any, are by way of application for permission to appeal and by appeal. Courts cannot operate on the basis that when an order which bites is made it is then open to the person at the wrong end of it to ask the court to go back over the history of the matter and the earlier orders which have led to the charging order and the order for sale being made.

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Mr Carlisle makes the point that the document at page 13 has only recently come to his attention. He submits that the court should see what he claims is, and feels to be, an injustice is not permitted to be perpetrated. I regret that I feel quite unable to go back over the ground and the events of several years which I have briefly and not comprehensively summarised. In that event, I turn to the order against which Mr Carlisle seeks permission to appeal. He submits that Judge Geddes should not have heard the matter because he was the judge hearing the criminal trial of Mr Colin Lane. I cannot see any reason why Judge Geddes should have recused himself on that ground. I see no conflict of interest and no possibility that the learned judge would have failed to approach the issues before him with an open mind because he was the judge in a criminal proceeding involving someone who was sued by Mr Carlisle years ago. Secondly, Mr Carlisle submits that Judge Geddes would not disclose whether or not he was a Freemason. He believes that a senior person in the respondent firm is an active Freemason, as are members of the judiciary who have been in involved in his case. He says that the fact that Judge Geddes has declined to disclose whether or not he is a Freemason means there is a risk to which this court should have regard. He claims that Judge Geddes is not able to try the case fairly or that it would not be perceived by a reasonable ordinary member of the public that the judge was able to approach the matter with an open mind and to administer justice truly and fairly as he, along with all judges, is required to do. I can see no reason why Judge Geddes' unwillingness to disclose whether or not he was a Freemason should have led him to recuse himself in the present circumstances. I entirely reject the suggestion that the judge was wrong to conduct this trial himself. Those are the grounds of appeal and, subject to the one with which I have just dealt, they do not, for the reasons I have given, form any basis for appealing the order for sale. There is no arguable ground in the documents or in the courteously expressed oral submissions of Mr Carlisle. He says this is a matter of principle. This enormous sum has accrued. He says that he has not had the service to which he is entitled and the sums are extortionate. I can see no grounds upon which it is arguable that Judge Geddes should not have made the order he did. I invited Mr Carlisle to make any further submissions he wished, by reference to documents if appropriate, as to why Judge Geddes did not have jurisdiction to make the order or that in some way he exercised his powers contrary to law or unfairly. No material whatever has been placed before me. There is provision in Sc 50.9A for enforcing a charging order by sale. The Rules of the Supreme Court, scheduled to the Civil Procedure Rules, SC 88.5 regulates the manner in which the claim is to be made. That specifies the documents which must be available to the court before such an order can been made. I invited Mr Carlisle to make submissions as to what documents were served upon him and to as to their contents. I have allowed a short adjournment since mid-

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morning to permit him to make further submissions or produce further documents. No further information is available. 16. The rules require that information is before the court as set out in the rules of procedure. The former requirement for a six-month interval has been revoked and not replaced. I have no reason to doubt that the proper material was filed in the office of the appropriate court together with the information which is required. I am not prepared to grant permission to appeal on any speculative view that the necessary formalities have not been complied with. There is no material before me to suggest that the order was arguably in any way defective. In those circumstances, I must refuse this application for permission to appeal.

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Order: Permission to appeal refused. Order not to be sealed until 12 June with liberty to the respondents to apply subject to 24 hours' notice to the applicant.