Thursday, May 24, 2012

WHEN DEFENDANTS START TRIFLING WITH DUE PROCESS


They run the risk of the whole issue backfiring on them.   Messrs Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little may well regret their childish attempts to prevent defamation papers being served upon them.     The Southland Times sums up the matter pretty well.   You can read it here at  http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/opinion/6955461/Editorial-Not-so-artful-dodgers

Defamation action is never taken lightly. The person issuing proceedings needs to be very sure of his/her grounds. Word has it that Collins has received high level quality advice that her action will succeed. It is important to note that at this stage all she is seeking from the Court is a Declaratory Judgement and (perhaps) costs. One expects that at some stage both Mallard and Little will back off and seek to retract their comments because unless they can prove their comments were true then that is the only course of action open to them. That might be seen as too little too late.

Clearly Collins values her reputation and will act to protect it .... Mallard probably doesn’t need to worry about losing something he doesn’t have while Little might well regret playing Russian roulette with all six chambers loaded.

Disclosure Statement ... I (and every Vietnam Veteran) owe a debt of gratitude to Judith Collins. In 2004, as a newbie MP, Judith Collins worked assiduously with the late Lieutenant Colonel John Masters to correct the lie that New Zealand Vietnam veterans were not exposed to Agent Orange. She forced Parliament’s Health Select Committee to investigate the matter against the wishes of the then Minister of Veterans’ Affairs (George Hawkins) who derided the Master’s Map as ‘a piece of worthless junk downloaded from the internet’. Without her championing the cause of Vietnam veterans there would have been no Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government and the Ex-Vietnam Services Association and RNZRSA which at least goes part way to addressing our concerns.

35 comments:

Psycho Milt said...

The expectation that someone should actively co-operate with a vexatious litigant trying to serve papers on them is just bizarre. In fact, there's no obligation to co-operate even if the litigant isn't a pompous ass who needs to wake up to the idea that the sun doesn't shine out of her behind.

The Veteran said...

PM ... I would have expected better from you. Clearly you have no understanding of what constitutes a 'vexatious litigant'.

Question ... how many times has JC attempted this. Answer ... this is the first. Hardly vexatious.

Sad that some MPs don't seem to value their reputations ... but then, if they don't have one, nothing lost.

Mallard, the gift that keeps on coming. Little, name sez it all.

Paulus said...

Little Mallard have to actually prove their claim.
Collins does not have to anything actually.

The Veteran said...

Paulus. Correct.

Psycho Milt said...

Sorry - I meant frivolous litigant, not vexatious.

The Veteran said...

PM ... defamation is hardly a 'frivolous' matter.

My information has it that Collins has received top legal advice that her claim will succeed.

First Mallard/Little had it that she would not issue proceedings.

Wrong, Strike 1.

Then they tried to obstruct the serving of Court papers.

Wrong (and the Court will take notice of that), Strike 2.

Now Mallard and Little have to prove their comments were correct.

If they can't then Strike 3, out for the count.

Psycho Milt said...

She was defamed? According to the govt of which she's a minister, it's fine for cabinet ministers to release personal information about people who've gone to the media regarding a dispute. Hardly defamatory to suggest she might have done something her govt considers ordinary ministerial behavior, is it?

But then - apparently it is defamatory, if the litigation isn't frivolous. So, is it the govt's position now that Paula Bennett did something shameful and damaging to her reputation in releasing private information about clients of her department, or is that just Judith Collins' position?

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Milt, you're pushing shit uphill.

The Veteran said...

PM ... you are batting zero.

Judith Collins has issued proceedings as Judith Collins, private person. The Government is NOT funding it so your comment about Paula Bennett is nothing but a red herring attempt to divert attention from the defamation.

The canard being hawked around by Mallard and Little that Collins should 'harden up; and accept what they said as part of the hurly burly of political life hardly constitutes a robust defence.

Defamation is defamation ... as Mallard and Little will find out to their cost.

Judge Holden said...

The justice system is already overloaded. Surely the courts have more important things to do than be the political play thing of an unpleasant egomaniac looking to score cheap points. It's almost impossible to damage her reputation. Why is she wasting the courts time?

Quintin Hogg said...

Paulus,
In short Ms Collins needs to proove;

Mr Little and Mr Mallard made the statements complained of,

That they were defamatory of her.

If that is done then Mr Little and Mr Mallard have to prove that their statements were true or were reasonable comment.

So both sides need to proove elements of their cases.

Since he was served Mr Little has gone quiet. Perhaps he has been advised that he should consider the maxim, "when in a hole don't keep digging..." an shut up.

Psycho Milt said...

...your comment about Paula Bennett is nothing but a red herring attempt to divert attention from the defamation.

Not so. In Bennett's case, Ms Collins and her cabinet colleagues felt that a cabinet minister releasing personal information about a client of their department was entirely reasonable and appropriate behaviour. In this case, Little and Mallard have suggested Collins has engaged in this apparently reasonable and appropriate behaviour herself.

Which means: either Collins wasn't defamed, or Paula Bennett engaged in shameful behaviour that should damage her reputation. I'm just curious as to which it is.

The Veteran said...

JH ... because clearly Collins values her reputation. That is why there is the law of defamation.

Why Mallard and Little think they are above the law beats me ... perhaps that comes with being a socialist.

PM ... means nothing of the sort.

The Collins defamation stands on its own and will be judged on its own.

What part of that don't you understand?

Psycho Milt said...

The part where her reputation's been damaged. She has to demonstrate that the defendants have alleged she carried out an action that was shameful and wrong, sufficiently so for the allegation to be damaging to her reputation. It could be a very difficult thing to demonstrate, if the same action was considered praiseworthy when carried out by one of her colleagues. Can your reputation be damaged by people alleging you carried out a praiseworthy action?

Judge Holden said...

You probably can if you're Judith Collins, Milt.

The Veteran said...

PM ... again, you fail to understand what this is all about.

Mallard/Little said Collins leaked the information.

If she didn't then she has been defamed. Her reputation has suffered accordingly.

Pretty simple, so simple I would have thought even socialists might have grasped the concept.

I repeat, this action is by Judith Collins, private citizen. She (like you) is entitled to seek the remedies available to her under the law should she consider Mallard/Little defamed her.

Or is it just that she really gets up your nose as a former Labourite that has seen the light?

Or is perhaps that she is better than your whole mob put together?

Judith Collins has more integrity in her 'little' finger than Mallard/Little put together ... oooops, doing her an injustice. They have none.

Psycho Milt said...

I'll try and spell this out as simply as I can:

If I say you did something and you didn't do it, it's not defamatory unless the thing I say you did is a Bad Thing. For example, if I say you went grocery shopping on Wednesday but you didn't, it's not defamatory. You'd be a very frivolous litigant to sue me for saying it.

In this case, Mallard and Little apparently said Collins leaked information about a client of her department to the media; according to her, she didn't.

However, they've only defamed her if leaking the information would be a Bad Thing.

So: is leaking personal information of your department's clients a Bad Thing, or is it more in the "did the grocery shopping" category? According to Collins and her colleagues on a previous occasion, leaking personal information of your department's clients to the media was not a Bad Thing at all.

That's a problem for Collins. If it was a good thing to do back then, it doesn't suddenly become a Bad Thing simply because she sees an opportunity to use the legal system against a couple of opponents. Doing that makes her a frivolous litigant.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Milt, now you're REALLY pushing shit uphill.

The Veteran said...

Milt ... I suspect that Collins will be praying that Mallard/Little engage you to defend them because, in a legal sense, your argument lacks substance.

It's all about reputation and 'leakers' are up against it.

Judge Holden said...

Searing and insightful analysis from Adolt and Veteran as always.

Collins has no reputation possible of defamation. This is a waste of the court's time. You'd think a Minister of the Crown would get on with her job (however incompetently) instead of wasting public resources on game-playing. The woman's impossible to underestimate (is it the snarl that does it for you, boys?).

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Smearing and spiteful drivel from Sludge as always.

Bluster from a feather duster.

Judge Holden said...

Great comeback, Adolt. Even your abuse is lame these days old guy, and let's face it that's all you've ever had. Time for you to retire I think.

The Veteran said...

Judge ... I suspect you would defend Robert Mulgabe to the death if you thought he was a Labour voter.

Equally you would argue that Mother Teresa was akin to Myra Hindley if you thought she voted National.

But if you get your rocks off by slagging Judith Collins then who am I to argue ... you're in good company with Mallard/Little.

Judge Holden said...

"I suspect you would defend Robert Mulgabe to the death if you thought he was a Labour voter."

Right back at you chief. You're only defending the indefensible in this case because cwusher is one of yours. If it was the other way round you'd be howlling (rightly) about a Minister of the Crown disgracefully using the courts resources and time to try and shut down political debate.

The Veteran said...

Judge ... OK, I get it (sort of). Politicians arn't allowed, in your mind at least, to defend themselves against defamatory statements.

I will remember that and throw it right back at you next time someone on the 'Right' f**ks up and defames one of yours.

BTW ... ever heard of Lange vs the Australian Broadcasting Corporation?

Judge Holden said...

Was the ABC a member of the opposition?

She can defend herself, it's not as if she lacks a platform. She's wasting the court's time and resources to try and shut down debate and bully people into silence. You'd think she'd have better things to engage herself with. Key should look very carefully at her workload. She must have something to hide.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

In Sludge's delusional world, members of the opposition can defame at will.

It's time someone fed the troll a grenade.

The Veteran said...

Judge ... Ok, I see it even better now.

It's ok for an MP to defend him/herself against defamation from the media but not members of an opposing Party.

Certainly a new take on the law of defamation.

The world of socialist doublespeak is sure riddled with contridictions.

Judge Holden said...

Christ alive! Some defamation suits are probably reasonable. this one's just shameless political bullshit. You know this, but have to pretend it's all about the fair lady's honour coz you're a hack.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Goodness gracious! Are a professing Christian now, Sludge?

Or just a fuckwit with no facts to argue?

Judge Holden said...

It's impossible to engage with a guy like Adolt. He simply resorts to crass abuse at the first hint that he's lost the argument (ie the first hurdle). Poor old guy needs to take a break from all the humiliation.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

And the serial abuser has a little weep about copping some 'gentle criticism? On someone else's blog?

Judge Holden said...

Wrong again dolt. I'm merely pointing out that your response to being pwned is to either howl "fuckwit" or lunge for the delete button. You can dish it out (poorly), but you sure as hell can't take it. Given your age and the practice you've had at being shown to be wrong, this is somewhat surprising, but there you go.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Sludge, you wore out your welcome a long time ago.

'Engaging' with you, as you put it, makes pissing into the wind look profitable.

Judge Holden said...

Yeah, no see that was the criticism I leveled at you. Simply parroting it back at me is juvenile and reveals a lack of the ability to read, think and argue. Pretty much like everything you post.