This week, Oliver Fisher’s trainee solicitor Olivia Doherty achieved an excellent result under severe time constraints in a noise nuisance dispute.
Details of the noise nuisance dispute
The client, who is considered disabled and suffers with extreme anxiety, depression, and PTSD, faces an anti-social behaviour injunction from his landlord for noise nuisance.
Typically, a client is represented from the beginning of their dispute. But in this instance, Oliver Fisher received instruction with just a week to obtain legal aid and prepare for the hearing.
Ms Doherty successfully obtained legal aid for the civil case. But at the last minute Doherty was notified that the nature of the hearing had changed. The hearing had become a decision as to whether to pursue an injunction or a committal hearing.
As a committal is a criminal not civil proceeding, Ms Doherty had just a day to obtain separate legal aid. And should the judge choose to pursue a committal hearing, the client would face time in prison.
Excellent result for vulnerable tenant
Ms Doherty’s last-minute aid application succeeded based on two key case merits.
- The client had a potential defence under the 2010 Equality Act, which protects disabled people from unfair treatment.
- The client was at risk of loss of liberty.
With legal aid obtained, the barrister working with Doherty, Mr Richard Granby, successfully negotiated with the claimant’s barrister to dismiss the committal case. This freed the client from the risk of loss of liberty.
At the hearing, the Judge directed Oliver Fisher to obtain medical evidence to prove the client’s disability. With this evidence, the Equality Act defence can be put forward at the injunction hearing in six weeks’ time.
“Getting the committal dismissed was an excellent success for the client, as he could have lost his liberty” says Olivia Doherty.
“We now have the chance to fully prepare for the Injunction trial and with permission to obtain medical evidence, I’m confident that the client will be fairly represented. Given the time constraints we were under, I’m pleased the hearing had an extremely positive outcome.”