The judgment of Mr Justice Henry Carr in Ghassemian v Chatsworth Court Freehold Company Ltd & Ors [2016] EWHC 872 (Ch) illustrates the lengths to which some litigants will go. The judge found that the applicant had forged documents, backdated applications and attempted to hide court orders behind the curtains in the Royal Courts of Justice.


The respondents had obtained an order for possession and sale of a property. The applicant attempted to set aside those orders. The matter had some considerable history.


The judge reviewed the history of the matter in detail and stated:-

    1. Turning now to the current application, I find that there is that there is extensive evidence that Mr Ghassemian has attempted to mislead the Court and has fabricated documents in order to do so. In particular, a fundamental part of Mr Ghassemian’s current application is that he claims to have issued an application notice dated 1st June 2015, which included the allegation that he was a regulated tenant, and exhibited his purported tenancy agreement. He alleges that District Judge Silverman, who heard the case on 10th June 2015, refused to hear his application of 1st June 2015. The truth is that that application was not issued or filed on 1st June 2015. It did not exist at that date.

    2. I find that Mr Ghassemian backdated an application issued in October 2015 and falsely claimed in his witness statement that it had been issued and filed on 1st June 2015. The evidence in support of this is set out in a witness statement from Susan Fritsche, solicitor for the Claimants, dated 17thFebruary 2016. In particular, at [18], Ms Fritsche responded to Mr Ghassemian’s evidence that he lodged an application notice on 1st June 2015. She explained that:

(a) That application notice was never seen by the Claimants until a copy was enclosed by Mr Ghassemian with an application dated 10th October 2015. It was certainly never served or referred to in any way prior to the hearing on 10th June 2015.

(b) The copy of the application notice received by the Claimants was unsealed.

(c) The court staff have informed her that no such application was issued on 1st June 2015. Emails between Ms Fritsche and Stephanie Solomon of the County Court at Central London are exhibited, which confirm this.

(d) Mr Ghassemian’s Counsel made no reference to an application notice of 1st June 2015 at the hearing on 10th June 2015, despite referring to other outstanding applications. Mr Ghassemian was represented by experienced counsel at that hearing who made reference to numerous applications. Had an application of 1st June existed, he would undoubtedly have referred to it.

(e) Mr Ghassemian’s Counsel made no reference to the crucial allegation said to have been made in that application, i.e. Mr Ghassemian’s alleged regulated tenancy.

(f) Mr Ghassemian made no reference to that application notice or regulated tenancy in his appellant’s notice dated 29th June 2015 seeking to appeal the order of 10th June 2015. That, again, is an inexplicable omission, given that that appellant’s notice set out in considerable detail all of the relevant applications that Mr Ghassemian had made by that date.

(g) Mr Ghassemian made no reference to an application notice of 1st June 2015 at the hearing before Judge Mitchell on 17th August 2015. Mr Ghassemian made some passing reference to his alleged regulated tenancy on that date. If he had made an application seeking to establish this regulated tenancy some months earlier, which District Judge Silverman had refused to hear, he would undoubtedly have told Judge Mitchell about it.

    1. Ms Fritsche then states at [19]-[20]:

“19. Furthermore, earlier today I attended a Central London County Court Users Group meeting. I raised the issue of Mr Ghassemian’s alleged application of 1 June 2015 and I also referred to the email that he has exhibited to his statement from Alex Scott dated 4 June 2015 (page 23 of his exhibit). Mr Ghassemian relies on this email as evidence that he did issue the application (and pay the fee) on or around 1 June 2015. See paragraph 47 of his statement.

20. Mr Ghassemian states, quite clearly, that the email from Alex Scott acknowledged receipt of the £50 court fee in respect of the 1 June application. The documents which I have been given are exhibited herewith marked “SF12″ and they prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Mr Ghassemian is misleading the court once again”.

This evidence requires further explanation.

    1. Mr Ghassemian said at [47] of his witness statement dated 12th February 2016:

“CLCC confirmed by letter on 28.1.2016 that they received £50 and £140 on 30.06.2015. The latter amount was for the appellant’s notice I lodged – as from the order for sale of 10.6.2015 and the former amount of £50 was in respect of the all important 1.6.2015 application notice that the then Manager of CLCC had emailed to me on 4.6.2015 acknowledging receipt of the same and confirming that it will be before the hearing on 10.6.2015 that as I stated earlier was unfortunately not to be so…”.

    1. So, Mr Ghassemian was quite clearly saying in his witness statement that he had paid £50 in respect of his 1st June 2015 application and that this had been confirmed by email. In support of this, he exhibited an email from Mr Scott recording receipt of £50. Comparing this document to Ms Fritsche’s exhibit SF12, it is clear that Mr Ghassemian has removed from this email chain his own email which reveals what the £50 fee was paid in respect of. The email to Mr Scott makes clear that the £50 payment was in respect of a quite different application dated 15th May 2015. The fact that Mr Ghassemian, on this application, has deliberately deleted his own email from this email chain and has falsely claimed in his witness statement that the fee was paid in respect of the 1st June 2015 application is extremely serious. It amounts to lying to the court and falsification of documents.

    2. Unfortunately, that is not the only allegation of dishonesty which I have to deal with. Mr Ghassemian, for purposes connected with his allegation that the Writ was wrongly issued, has sought to allege that the Writ was obtained pursuant to a form known as a N293A form which he has included at tab 3 of his bundle. This form is only suitable for a writ of possession against trespassers. Mr Ghassemian has put forward a case that the wrong document was used, and that the Claimants misled the court because he is not and never has been a trespasser.

    3. There is overwhelming evidence before me that this document, far from being filed by the Claimants, was created by Mr Ghassemian for the purposes of his application. As is made quite clear in evidence to which I refer below, the Claimants allege that the document is a forgery. At the request of Mr Ghassemian, on 25th February 2106, I granted an adjournment to enable him to put in evidence to meet this very serious allegation. He has not done so. He has produced a couple of emails which, as I will explain, say absolutely nothing.

    4. I now turn to the evidence which has been served by the Claimants which explains that the N293A form was not filed by them. First, there is a witness statement of Susan Fritsche dated 23rd February 2016 which sets the background from her perspective as the solicitor acting for the Claimants. In particular at [9] she says:

“In paragraph 18 of Mr Ghassemian’s skeleton argument he makes reference to false information being given to the High Court on the application for the writ of possession and transfer of the enforcement of the order for possession from the County Court to the High Court. In support of that allegation, he makes reference in paragraph 19 to a form N293A which he exhibited in Tab 3 of his bundle. I have shown both Ben Pinner and Cheryl Thomas a copy of the N293A document exhibited by Mr Ghassemian and they have informed me that it was not a document which was filed by them and it is a document that would only have been used to evict trespassers and persons unknown. Cheryl Thomas has also highlighted various discrepancies in the document produced by Mr Ghassemian such as (a) the failure to include the defendant’s address in part one of the form, which is impossible for the High Court Enforcement Officer not to do as the form is generated on their computer system (b) the amount claimed in the form is incorrect and (c) the figure for interest is also incorrect.”

    1. I then turn to the statement of Ben Pinner, a paralegal High Court Enforcement Officer and agent for High Court Solutions. At [5]-[8] of his statement he says:

“5. I received instructions from High Court Solutions to apply for the transfer of the enforcement of the order for sale from the County Court to the High Court and to obtain a sealed writ of possession for the property known as 56 Chatsworth Court, Pembroke Road… [he gives the address].

6. With my instructions, I received the completed form PF86A Writ of Possession dated 21 September 2015 which had been signed by the claimants’ solicitors… together with a copy of the order for sale…

7. On 28 September 2015, I issued an application notice N244… in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court which sought leave for the transfer of the enforcement of the Order for Sale to the High Court pursuant to section 41 of the County Courts Act 1984. There was no requirement for the application to be dealt with on notice and I attended before Deputy Master Partridge on the same day who ordered the claim to be transferred to the High Court…

8. I then presented the sealed PF86A form and sealed Order of Deputy Master Partridge to the High Court for the Writ of Possession to be sealed. The sealed Writ of Possession was then sent by me to High Court Solutions on 28 September 2015 to be enforced”.

    1. He confirms that the document produced by Mr Ghassemian, namely the N293A Combined Certificate of Judgment, had never been seen by him and it is not a document that he had filed with the court. Mr Pinner exhibits the documents that he filed including the relevant form PF86A. Ms Cheryl Thomas, also employed by High Court Solutions, has confirmed this in further evidence. She says at [5] that she has sent a completed PF86A form to Susan Fritsche to be signed and returned to her: “The signed form was returned and I then sent it to Mr Pinner with instructions to deal with the transfer of the Order for Possession to the High Court by a High Court Enforcement Officer”. She then says that there are many discrepancies in the form N293A which has been produced by Mr Ghassemian. I shall refer to certain examples. She says:

“9.2 Had we raised the N293A form, then we would most definitely have included the defendant’s address in part one of the form. It is impossible for us not to do this as the form is generated on our system at a click of the button. Furthermore, a case cannot be generated on our system without the defendant’s address…

9.4 Our system would generate the amount due as £50381.80 and not as shown with the comma. The figure is also incorrect. Whoever has completed the spoof form has requested an additional £111.75 which cannot and is never added to the N293A form but is added to the subsequent Writ of Possession only”.

  1. There are many other examples that she gives. Her evidence is that this document is a relatively amateur forgery which her system could never have produced. Mr Ghassemian adduced no evidence in reply to this but merely produced an email that he had sent to someone in the Queen’s Bench Division asking for confirmation that a form N293A was on the relevant file. He did not receive that confirmation. Finally, and conclusively in my view, Mr Cripps, another witness on behalf of the Claimants, has served a statement which explains that he has checked the relevant file and there is no N293A form on it. In my view, the only possible explanation is that Mr Ghassemian has forged this document for the purposes of these proceedings and has been caught doing so.

  2. I should also add that it appears that Mr Ghassemian attempted to hide documents from the Court File which showed that the correct forms had been issued. In particular, documents obtained from the Court File on the afternoon of 18th February 2016, when this matter was heard by Master McCloud, show that the Claimants’ agent had issued the correct form of request, namely PF86A, had applied for transfer of enforcement under section 41 of the County Courts Act 1984 on a form N244 and that Deputy Master Partridge had ordered the transfer as requested. However, according to the evidence of Mr Cripps, Mr Ghassemian tried to remove form PF86A, N244, and the order of Deputy Master Partridge from the Court File. He took the relevant documents, which Master McCloud had allowed to be copied at the court office, and hid them behind curtains in the Royal Courts of Justice. They were then found by Mr Cripps who had followed Mr Ghassemian when he left the court office before reappearing.

  3. Furthermore, there have been a number of minutes of order which have made their way into the Court File, prepared by Mr Ghassemian, which have not been the orders made by the relevant masters on those occasions. I refer in particular to the bundle prepared by Mr Ghassemian for the hearing on 18th February 2016 which includes what purports to be an order made by Master McCloud on 9th December 2015. It is in fact completely different to the minute of order which was approved by the Master. Ms Fritsche’s evidence makes clear that is not the only occasion where Mr Ghassemian has produced a minute of order which is very different to the version which a judge or master has approved. The same thing happened in relation to an order of District Judge Silverman. Judge Silverman confirmed that Mr Ghassemian’s minute was not the correct version, which had been received by the Claimant’s solicitors from the court.

  4. It follows that, on the evidence before me, I conclude that Mr Ghassemian has repeatedly attempted to mislead the court on this application and on previous applications in these proceedings, has lied in his witness statement and has fabricated documents to support his case.