A MAN whose “fatuous” legal actions against the New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times were thrown out by a court has been banned from mounting another action without a judge’s permission.
Ashley man John Caine (60) has been blocked from suing the Advertiser and Times (A&T) over anything related to the original case after a string of applications were branded “totally without merit”.
He can now only do so by securing special permission from a judge in the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The ruling follows his three applications to the Court of Appeal being thrown out this week.
Mr Caine currently owes the A&T over £60,000 in legal costs after the failure of his efforts to sue brother and sister newspaper owners Eddie Curry and Caroline Woodford.
He was upset by the A&T’s reporting of a court case in May 2016 in which he was convicted of a public order offence, and Mr Curry and Mrs Woodford later ‘liking’ a Facebook page critical of him.
During the more-than-three-year legal process Mr Caine was slapped with nine Totally Without Merit rulings – which define a case that is bound to fail as there is “no rational basis on which the claim could succeed”.
This is in addition to at least five he accrued from other court proceedings.
According to HM Courts & Tribunals Service, he is currently the only person in England and Wales with as many as three Extended Civil Restraint Orders, stopping him for two years from making legal applications related to the initial case without a judge’s permission.
The latest orders backed by Lord Justice Males followed previous rulings against Mr Caine, who has mounted a personal campaign against Mr Curry and Mrs Woodford on Facebook where he has made untrue allegations about their treatment of their late father, Charles Curry.
The orders explained: “The position, therefore, was that the applicant had made multiple applications which had been certified as totally without merit and showed every intention of continuing to do so.”
It noted that at a previous stage, High Court judge Sir Alistair MacDuff had described Mr Caine’s submissions as “bordering on the fatuous”.
It went on: “This border has now been crossed and the defendants and the court are entitled to be protected against further unmeritorious applications.”
The next step is for Mr Caine to explain in court how he will pay the A&T the initial £60,000 in legal costs that are overdue.
Mr Curry said: “I’m relieved that these Extended Civil Restraint Orders against John Caine will put a stop to his fatuous and costly attempts to continue to drag us through the courts.
“I hope he finds something better to do with his time than waste the resources of a well-respected and hard-working local business.
“We can now get back to concentrating fully on our main job of producing an independent, dedicated local community newspaper reporting without fear or favour on behalf of our thousands of loyal readers across the New Forest and Christchurch.”