Contempt Of Court In Bankruptcy Case.

Author:Hudson, Katherine
 
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Summary

A bankrupt was found to be in contempt of court following years of failing to comply with the terms of multiple court orders compelling him to disclose information about his financial affairs with a view to entering into an IPOA.

The Facts

The respondent (R) was made bankrupt on 4 October 2004. He was never discharged due to steadfastly failing to cooperate with his obligations to disclose financial information. R was made bankrupt a second time in 2013, but was automatically discharged from this on the year anniversary of the making of that bankruptcy order.

The present case concerned the application of the exasperated trustee in bankruptcy for the committal of R following various breaches of multiple orders of the court. In total, the court had, over the years, issued five orders demanding the provision of financial information with increasingly robust sanctions in an attempt to glean a clear view of R's financial position. Any information elicited appeared only to confuse the position and beg more questions.

The application was heard in the absence of R who had left the country for health issues.

Decision

Warren J considered it appropriate that the present application be heard in the absence of R by reference to the checklist set out in JSC BTA Bank v Solodchenk [2011] EWHC 1613 (Ch) which required the Judge to consider (amongst other things) whether:

The absent party had been served with notice of the hearing (with sufficient time to prepare for the hearing) and all other necessary documentation;

Any reason had been given for the absence;

An adjournment...

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