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OldDog/NewTricks

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:D :D The UK got them now if the US Courts will do the same :D :D
[Posted by V¬ - didn't know my Dad name word come up!]

24 October 2005

In the UK, a significant High Court ruling was made public Friday that already has animal rights extremists offering this financial advice in e-mail: “If you're an activist inBritain, better keep your money under the mattress!!! Once the U.S. government sees that this works in the UK, they'll incorporate it here!”

Two articles from Saturday follow, from The Times http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1837349,00.html and The Financial Times http://news.ft.com/cms/s/1430849e-4298-11da-94c2-00000e2511c8.html Text follows.

Jacquie/AMP

Financial Times http://news.ft.com/cms/s/1430849e-4298-11da-94c2-00000e2511c8.html

Main page content:

HLS wins right to pursue activists' accounts
By Bob Sherwood,Legal Correspondent
Published: October 22 2005 03:00 | Last updated: October 22 2005 03:00

Huntingdon Life Sciences has won a landmark court order that will allow the drug-testing company to pursue funds in the general bank accounts of animal rights activists' groups.

A High Court judge upheld a costs order against London Animal Action, a campaign group, allowing HLS lawyers to seize £6,721.23 it held in a Co-operative Bank account.

It is the first time such an order has been granted against an "unincorporated association" with no official list of members. Traditionally, such bodies cannot be sued because it is generally impossible to be sure the owners of the funds are the same people targeted in the legal action.

LAA said it was impossible in law to make the costs order against its account, insisting costs could only be sought from its members if they could be "named and identified".

However, HLS said the activists attacked "from the shadows", hiding the identities of supporters and subscribers. As a result, its lawyers said, the law should counter the use made of such unincorporated associations to protect funds.

Mr Justice Mackay agreed, saying: "The novelty of the form of order in this case is plain and the need for it is obvious."

In his judgment, he said the funds in this account must be assumed to be those of LAA members even though the body appeared to have no formal constitution or membership structure.

The judge said: "I am assuming despite the absence of its formality that it is an unincorporated association, that it has members, that its members must know of these proceedings by virtue of the regular meetings which are held, that they have variously contributed to the funds of the association in the bank, and that none of them has come forward to protest that he or she ought not to be liable to have his or her contribution put at risk by this order."

HLS and its suppliers have long used anti-harassment laws to win injunctions, setting up protest exclusion zones around premises and employees' homes. The actions have led to costs orders against activists.

Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden, for HLS, said the company could now go after the funds of other activist groups, such as Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty.

The Times, October 22, 2005 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1837349,00.html

High Court strips animal rights activists of assets
By Nicola Woolcock

COMPANIES under pressure from animal rights protesters won a landmark High Court victory yesterday which paves the way for the seizure of activists’ funds.

The unprecedented ruling gave Huntingdon Life Sciences permission to empty the bank account of London Animal Action, heralding the enforcement of a new tactic against the assets owned by protesters.

It is thought to be the first time that the finances of an animal rights organisation have been appropriated by one of its targets.

Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), Britain’s largest research laboratory, has suffered relentless intimidation.

It has run up a bill of nearly £300,000 in bringing injunctions against protesters, after staff and directors endured hate mail, harassment, assault and noisy demonstrations outside their homes.

The court orders have created exclusion zones around its Cambridgeshire premises and the homes of staff, contractors and their families.

But the company is trying to retrieve its costs by seizing the funds of the groups which campaign to have it closed.

Yesterday, London Animal Action failed in its High Court appeal against a wider order that allowed HLS to seek costs from a number of individuals and animal rights groups. HLS has now gained possession of the contents of its bank account, nearly £7,000, and was also awarded a further costs order of £9,000.

The action group argued that the earlier order was unlawful, because the group has no formal membership or elected officers and is an unincorporated association, which does not normally exist in law.

In dismissing the appeal, Mr Justice Mackay said: “The novelty of the form of order in this case is plain and the need for it is obvious.” He added that none of the group’s individual members had come forward to protest that he or she should not be liable.

The group was given leave to appeal against the £9,000 costs order, which gives HLS the right to pursue the finances of individual members.

Tim Lawson-Cruttenden, the lawyer who represents HLS, said after the judgment: “This is a breakthrough. It is the first time that a claimant has been able to attack the general funds of a group like this.

“Hopefully this will open the door to industry taking funds from animal rights groups who are unlawfully harassing them.” The judgment names Claire Persey as having instructed a representative to act on behalf of the group in court.

The judge said: “Miss Persey says that it does not have any formal membership or elected officers and is not incorporated, but does have a website and bank account and has monthly meetings at which lawful protest activity is discussed . . . She does not state where the money has come from.”

The group was formed in 1994 with the intention of “closing every fur shop in London”. In 2001 the High Court banned Miss Persey from approaching one fur shop or the homes of its employees. The court was told that she and other activists had chanted obscenities, abused customers and directors and smashed windows.

Yesterday’s ruling comes two months after HLS forced the leaders of another high-profile animal rights campaign into bankruptcy.

It won a county court judgment against Greg Avery, his wife Natasha and his former wife Heather James, who founded Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, after demands for payment of costs were ignored.

Mr Avery said at the time: “They’re definitely not going to get a penny of it. I always tell people getting into animal rights to make themselves asset-free. We don’t own anything.”

Going to National AALAS?

Please visit AMP in the exhibit hall at Booth 1742.

See you in St. Louis!

(AMP is a PETA Group)


Americans for Medical Progress
908 King Street, Suite 301 w Alexandria, VA 22314 w 703.836.9595
[email protected] w www.amprogress.org
:D
 

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