On 22 November 2023, in the case of Cheryl Plummer v Mr Joshua Jacob Friedlander, Dale Timson (before Mr Justice Miles) succeeded in obtaining a General Civil Restraint Order for the maximum permitted duration of three years.
The application for a General Civil Restraint Order arose from six claims and applications within five sets of proceedings brought by Miss Plummer. Orders had been previously made which dismissed three of the claims and applications and recorded that they were totally without merit. The remaining three claims and applications had also been previously dismissed, but had not been recorded as being totally without merit. Following the guidance of the Court of Appeal in Sartipy v Tigris Industries Inc  EWCA Civ 225, Mr Justice Miles concluded that the three claims and applications which had not been recorded as being totally without merit were in fact totally without merit notwithstanding that they were not recorded to be at the time. Mr Justice Miles also considered one other application and one other claim brought by Miss Plummer against other parties. Both had been dealt with by Master Kaye who dismissed the application, not recording it as totally without merit, and struck out the claim, recording it as totally without merit. Mr Justice Miles considered the application was also totally without merit notwithstanding that Master Kaye had not recorded it to be.
Mr Justice Miles noted concerning features of the claims and applications brought by Miss Plummer. He found that Miss Plummer had been acting in some way together with Mr Leslie Gayle-Childs. Mr Gayle-Childs has been subject to multiple General Civil Restraint Orders as can be seen in Gayle-Childs v HM Treasury  EWHC 2747 (Ch)). More recently in Attorney General v Leslie Gayle-Childs  EWHC 3811 (QB)), Mr Gayle-Childs had a Civil Proceedings Order made against him pursuant to s.42 Senior Courts Act 1981. There were multiple connections and links between Miss Plummer and Mr Gayle-Childs which were set out in what Mr Justice Miles described as “painstaking detail” by HHJ Paul Matthews in Smith v Marston Holdings Ltd & Another  EW Misc. 23 (CC). In that case, Mr Gayle-Childs was found to be behind multiple proceedings issued in the name of David Smith.
Of particular note, and of wider importance, Mr Justice Miles took into account the conduct of Miss Plummer in the proceedings she had issued, including her failure to serve documents, failure to meet deadlines, and where documents had been produced and bundles had been served, that they were “disorganised and confusing and the cases were presented in a hopelessly muddled way”. Mr Justice Miles also took into account Miss Plummer’s failure to satisfy costs orders which had been made against her in the proceedings. The decision provides important clarification on matters which can be relevant for the court to consider in deciding whether to make a Civil Restraint Order. Mr Justice Miles ordered that a copy of the transcript of his judgment be obtained at public expense in order for it to be published and made available to assist other litigants identify proceedings brought against them by Mr Gayle-Childs or others connected to him. Mr Friedlander, an innocent party, who had been subject to the five sets of proceedings by Miss Plummer was awarded his costs on the indemnity basis.