No penalty for early withdrawal

JOSH FAGAN
Last updated 05:00 08/06/2014

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A man who hired a private investigator to pursue a prostitute he claimed owed him a refund has been left unfulfilled following a series of failed lawsuits.

The man, identified in court papers only as Mr N, sued the sex worker, Ms M, for compensation and damages, claiming she breached a contractual agreement by ending their sex session one hour early.

He told the court their encounter in February 2012 had ended in a verbal disagreement and he was entitled to recoup the money he had paid for the remaining hour, and a mobile phone he had given her to arrange their weekly meetings.

Mr N's lengthy litigation spanned two years through the courts and extended to claims of breach of contract, breach of privacy, harassment and defamation.

In his latest appeal in the High Court in Auckland, each of Mr N's claims was struck out for a second time, with Justice Pamela Andrews ruling his arguments were untenable and his position was frivolous and vexatious.

The claims were dismissed on the grounds that Ms M had not breached any contract agreement and that after the dispute she had attempted to return the money and the mobile phone, which Mr N refused to accept.

After their last session, referred to in court documents as "the incident", Mr N visited the brothel multiple times to see her and, on two occasions, waited in his car outside in an attempt to talk to her.

He left two hand-written notes for her and sent multilpe emails to the brothel in March 2012, the judgment shows.

In May he contacted a private investigation agency to track down Ms M's real name and contact details before calling her and sending her text messages. She filed for a restraining order against Mr N.

Mr N then accused her of breaching the Consumer Guarantees Act, by exhibiting "unreasonably excessive emotions" and failing to provide services paid for.

He claimed the breach of contract was made worse because "the very object of the service being provided was to provide pleasure".

The judgment stated that the claim of $120 in damages was too small an amount to pursue through the courts. Mr N later filed for an additional $750 - the cost of the mobile phone, as well as $1400 in damages for mental distress and humiliation.

He also attempted to sue for $10,000 in damages over breach of privacy, where he alleged Ms M revealed to her boss his real name and the fact that he has a wife and child.

The claims were eventually dismissed. The judgment added that the respondent had no obligation to continue to supply sexual services, and that she had a right under the Prostitution Reform Act to refuse to do so.

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An earlier ruling in the High Court by Justice Peter Woodhouse struck out each claim and described Mr N's persistent legal proceedings as a "sinister use of the court's processes".

Mr N was ordered to pay all costs for Ms M and her solicitors.

- Sunday Star Times

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