Lay litigant attempts citizen’s arrest of High Court judge, solicitor and barrister
A lay litigant yesterday attempted to arrest a High Court judge, a solicitor and a barrister at the Four Courts.
Stephen Manning, a candidate in the 2016 general election, asked Mr Justice Michael MacGrath, as well as a solicitor for the DPP and a barrister, to accompany him to a Garda station where he could effect a citizen’s arrest.
Mr Manning was before the court regarding judicial review proceedings he had brought.
Earlier this year, the court had granted Mr Manning permission to bring a challenge regarding what he claims was his unlawful conviction and subsequent incarceration in May 2017 at an appeal before the Circuit Court.
The appeal was in respect of an earlier finding by the District Court.
While permission to bring the challenge was granted on several of the grounds raised by Mr Manning, Mr Justice MacGrath dismissed Mr Manning’s application for the judge to recuse himself from hearing the substantive case.
When the case returned before the judge yesterday, Mr Manning asked the court to call out the full title of the proceedings.
When the title of the proceedings, named “Stephen Manning and a judge of the Circuit Court”, was read out, Mr Manning raised an objection and disputed the title of his action.
Mr Justice MacGrath told Mr Manning that the case was listed to deal with one issue, whether the decision not to grant permission on certain grounds was to be appealed to the Court of Appeal.
Following a brief exchange, Mr Manning said he was wanted to make the citizen’s arrests on grounds including perverting the course of justice.
The judge told Mr Manning that the case was listed for one issue and that the applicant wanted to “bring the case down a road to suit your own purposes”.
Unperturbed by Mr Manning’s request to accompany him to a Garda station, the judge then rose from the bench to allow the parties in an ongoing case before the court take their places and resume their submissions.
The solicitor did not respond to Mr Manning’s request, while the barrister in question was not present in court.
Gardaí who were present in court at the time informed Mr Manning that they would not be taking any of the parties into custody.
Mr Manning said he would follow up on the matter, and left the courtroom.