A woman whose car dealer husband has been pursued for 10 years in efforts to recover a €4.97m tax judgment has been restrained by the High Court from interfering with a Revenue appointed receiver’s efforts to sell lands owned by him.
Lucy Pinfold, whose husband John Alex Kane is later this month facing a bid to jail him over alleged contempt of orders not to enter on lands in Counties Longford and Cavan, had said she would consent to two orders lifting a legal claim registered by her over the lands.
She opposed a third order restraining any interference by her in receiver Myles Kirby’s efforts to sell the lands at issue.
The president of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, noted solicitor Michael Finucane, for Ms Pinfold, had said on Tuesday she was consenting to the first two orders as she could not “defend the indefensible”.
He rejected arguments by Mr Finucane there was no admissible evidence put forward by the receiver to support the third order.
He made that order and refused to stay it but granted Ms Pinfold had liberty to apply, on the basis of evidence and at 72 hours notice, to vary or discharge that order.
The orders were sought by Mr Kirby via a motion in proceedings issued last April by Ms Pinfold against her husband in which she claimed an interest in the lands.
The receiver claims that case was not brought bona fide and is rather an attempt to frustrate the sale of the lands.
On Tuesday, Gary McCarthy SC, for Mr Kirby, said Ms Pinfold had brought earlier unsuccessful proceedings and the April proceedings bore a “marked similarity” to those. There was no basis in law where she can make claims to the lands, he argued.
In this application, the receiver wanted the third order because of “many acts of interference” by Ms Pinfold and other parties concerning the efforts to sell the lands. His side wanted to “bring an end to all of that”.
Mr Finucane said Ms Pinfold was consenting to the first two orders but he argued the third order was “disproportionate”, there was no evidential basis for it and the earlier proceedings were not relevant to the receiver’s application.
There was no evidence for the receiver’s “extraordinary” belief Ms Pinfold lacked the knowledge and experience necessary to issue these proceedings or might have got assistance from another man as part of the latter’s “vendetta” against the Revenue, he argued.
Having heard the sides, Mr Justice Kelly noted Ms Pinfold began her case against her husband last April and this application by the receiver was brought on the basis he is being adversely affected by those proceedings.
Mr Finucane had said, concerning the consents to the two orders vacating the lis pendens or legal claim over the lands, Ms Pinfold was not seeking to defend the indefensible, the judge noted.
That appeared to be an acceptance her claim giving rise to registration of the lis pendens was not brought in a bona fide manner so there could be no basis for opposing discharge of the lis pendens and the court would make those orders.
In relation to the third order, Ms Pinfold has filed no replying affidavit with the effect the affidavits of fact and belief by Mr Kirby and his solicitor are not controverted, the judge said.
The receiver’s belief of a lack of bona fides on the part of Ms Pinfold was fortified by her consent to the lifting of the lis pendens and a serious issue had been raised concerning her bona fides, he also said.
He did not accept the issues in the other proceedings were irrelevant and was satisfied the receiver and his solicitor had made out a reasonable belief to justify granting the third order.
He was also satisfied damages would be an inadequate remedy for the receiver if the third order was refused and the balance of convenience favoured granting it.