An 'incorrigible' vexatious litigant who bombarded lawyers and judges with allegations of conspiracy and fraud in a campaign to 'threaten and intimidate' has been barred from bringing proceedings in any civil or criminal court in England and Wales. Granting an all-proceedings order sought by the attorney general under Section 42 of the Senior Courts Act, Lady Justice Andrew and Mr Justice Swift warned businessman Paul Millinder that he could face action for attempting to pervert the course of justice as well as contempt of court. 

The indefinite s42 order bars Millinder from bringing or continuing any civil proceedings or initiating any criminal proceedings without leave of the High Court. It also restricts the number of emails and other communications that Millinder may send in the course of any attempt to vary the order.

The decision follows years of court applications arising from an unsuccessful business venture involving Middlesbrough football club and two now liquidated companies controlled by Millinder. Last year the club was granted a permanent injunction against the presentation of a petition by Millinder. 

Millinder has already been the subject of an extended civil restraint order which expired in 2020 and a general civil restraint order, which runs to November 2022, granted on the ground that he had persistently made applications that were totally without merit.

Royal Courts of Justice

RCJ: An indefinite 'all proceedings order' was made under s42 of the Senior Courts Act

Source: Darren Filkins

The application for the s42 order followed attempts by Millinder to seek warrants of arrest for and criminal prosecutions of people involved in the civil proceedings, including a liquidator of his companies and solicitors acting for Middlesbrough. These were dismissed by a district judge as 'wholly without merit, malicious and vexatious'. 

In judgment, Mr Justice Swift commented: 'Mr Millinder's email barrages are not simply in the category of misguided communications of a litigant in person, but rather they are a specific tactic which he deploys either to harass or in the hope that he may browbeat the recipients.' 

While an order under s42 is a serious step, the case for an all-proceedings order is 'overwhelmingly clear', he said. 'Mr Millinder's pursuit of both of the matters litigated between his companies and [Middlesbrough], and of various lawyers, judges and others who have played parts in those proceedings is incorrigible.'

Agreeing with the decision, Lady Justice Andrews said that s42 orders are 'very much a last resort'. However Millinder's behaviour gave the court no choice. 'I am fortified in my independently formed view that Mr Millinder is set on a campaign of vindicitive harassment which will not stop unless he is constrained to stop by court order.' 

She noted that in May, following the hearing, Millinder had sent her an 'unsolicited email which appeared to be a diatribe of invective aimed at the attorney general and the lord chancellor.' She said that further emails were disposed of unopened. 'It may not have occurred to Mr Millinder that on the face of it this behaviour appears to be an attempt to pervert the course of justice as well as a contempt of court. It is not too late for Mr Millinder to start thinking more carefully about the consequences of his actions. I hope that he does.'