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Plymouth City Council secures over £9000 in costs due to vexatious Education Act appeal.

10th July 2017

Michael Brown represented Plymouth City Council (the Local Education Authority) in an Education Act appeal lodged by a Litigant in Person.

 

The case centred around the son of the Appellant and his poor attendance rate at a local school. The Council argued that the Appellant had failed in her duty to ensure an ‘efficient full-time education’ commensurate to his age, ability and aptitude. Court proceedings were issued pursuant to section 444(1) when the Council’s attempts to facilitate his attendance failed. The Appellant was convicted but lodged an appeal, despite the offence being one of strict liability and one to which none of the statutory defences applied. Amongst other things she argued that her son had been suffering from Toxic Mould Syndrome. Michael relied upon the authorities of Jenkins and Howells [1949] 2 KB 218 and West Sussex County Council v C [2013] EWHC 1757 (Admin) in successfully arguing that the appeal had no merit. Furthermore the litigation (and indeed the Appellant’s conduct throughout) was fundamentally vexatious, spurious and clearly designed to frustrate the process, which led the Learned Judge to award costs in full.  

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