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Court case sets precedent for issuing proceedings

Posted on Tuesday, 4th March 2014 by
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Page and another v Hewetts Solicitors and another [2013] EWHC 2845 (Ch)

In this case the Court held a case could be statute barred if the wrong Court fee was attached to the claim form.  This is a real blow for Claimants who mistakenly send in the incorrect fees with their Court paperwork.

The Court was very clear in its findings and should serve as a warning to us all.  A party should not wait until the last possible moment to issue proceedings, irrespective of their cause of action.  It was held a party must also ensure it has done all it can before a Court will find in their favour if proceedings are issued out of time due to an unforeseen error.

It seems there were three main issues in this case.  The first was the solicitors could not persuade the Court they had done everything they could to ensure the Court papers arrived at the Court office in time to ensure the limitation date was not missed.  Here they could not prove their initial correspondence was sent as they did not have a formal record of this and the Court had no record of receiving it.

The second issue was when the solicitors realised they had not heard from the Court office for some time after initially sending in the paperwork to issue the proceedings, and then resubmitted the documentation to the Court, they did not take into account the date the Court office would receive the paperwork. Here, this was the date 6 years to the day of the cause of action, thus meaning they missed limitation as this is not included when calculating when limitation expires.

The final issue in this case was the solicitors failed to include a second fee which related to the part of the action which was an additional non-money claim and therefore the whole Court fee submitted was less than required and resulted in the claim being issued late.

If you have a question on limitation or a litigation case, get in touch with our litigation team for a no obligation discussion on 0800 999 8880.

Alison Jacobs is one of our Solicitors in Leicester, who are all experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Leicester please contact us.

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Paul Stubbs - Litigation
Paul Stubbs - Litigation
paul.s@ehlsolicitors.co.uk 01332 862 113
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