Kerry Underwood

TRIAL MUST BE STOPPED IF FEE NOT PAID: DOES IT GET ANY MADDER?

with 3 comments


The matters dealt with in this piece are examined in great detail in my three volume, 1,300 page book Personal Injury Small Claims, Portals and Fixed Costs – price £50 and available from Underwoods Solicitors here.

Kerry Underwood offers consultancy services in relation to this and other matters and details are here.

In

Hyslop v 38/41 CHG Residents Company Limited [2018] EWHC 3893 (QB)

a High Court Judge held, on appeal, that where a claimant had not paid the trial fee, striking out was automatic, even if the fact only came to light at the trial, and the solicitor then paid the fee.

The claimant should have applied for relief from sanctions and it was not for the defendant to take the point, or apply for an unless order.

At trial the judge accepted an undertaking from the claimant’s solicitor to pay the fee the following day and allowed the trial to proceed.

Here the High Court, on appeal, sent the matter back for retrial by a different judge, with the claimant required to make a formal application for relief from sanction.

Comment

What a ridiculous decision, wasting everyone’s time and money.

How can this possibly comply with the overriding objective?

The trial judge said:

“I am tempted to say, it is almost absurd for the parties to get ready for a trial, turn up for a trial, two days of court hearing time being allocated to the trial and then the judge sending everybody away because a fee has not been paid which now will be paid.”

No, it is not “almost absurd”, it is absurd.

Any system of automatic strike-out makes the Star Chamber look liberal. It should be specifically banned by primary legislation and shows what a crock of the proverbial the Human Rights Act is.

Do we never learn about automatic strike-out?

While I am at it, how about HMCTS joining the modern world and setting up an account system so that issue fees, application fees and trial fees etc. are automatically deducted from the solicitors’ account whenever a fee-bearing activity takes place where that firm is on the record?

It is the High Court of Justice, and judges are Mrs or Mr Justice …, not the High Court of enforcing petty rules for the sake of it, like a teacher who has lost control of his or her class.

This is not justice; it is madness.

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Written by kerryunderwood

March 5, 2019 at 6:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    “It is the High Court of Justice, and judges are Mrs or Mr Justice …, not the High Court of enforcing petty rules for the sake of it, like a teacher who has lost control of his or her class.”

    truthaholics

    March 5, 2019 at 11:25 am

  2. Kerry, your idea about automatic deduction of fees is far too sensible to be ever taken up!

    Simon Dewsbury

    March 5, 2019 at 7:33 pm


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