DD v Durham County Council [2012] EWHC 1053 (QB), [2012] MHLO 51

The claimant was gate sectioned at Durham prison and detained under s2, then s3, in a Middlesborough hospital. He had complaints of false imprisonment and breaches of Article 3 and 8 relating to matters such as his being kept in seclusion, the lighting in his room, the number of people supervising his activities and a general lack of privacy. (1) He needed leave under s139 to bring civil proceedings against Durham County Council and Middlesborough City Council. This was refused: there was no realistic prospect of establishing illegality against the AMHPs who made the recommendations for s2 and s3 as AMHPs are (a) not required to choose or investigate the quality of the place of detention, (b) not required to research medical views earlier than those in the statutory recommendations, (c) not responsible for the medical or other regimes to which a detained person is subjected. (2) The AMHP who applied for s3 detention was employed by Middlesborough, so Durham claimed that Middlesborough would be vicariously liable. This was incorrect: Durham would have been liable for any wrongdoing, because vicarious liability arises not as a result of employment law but through the statutory relationship in s13.

Related judgments

DD v Durham County Council [2013] EWCA Civ 96, [2013] MHLO 31


Judgment: 24/4/12

Hearing: 27/3/12

Before: Eady J

Christopher Buttler (instructed by Scott-Moncrieff & Associates LLP) for the Claimant

John Norman (instructed by DWF LLP) for the First Defendant

Patrick Limb QC (instructed by Berrymans Lace Mawer LLP) for the Second Defendant

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