Statutory Instruments 1998 No. 3132 (L. 17)
The Civil Procedure Rules 1998
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PART 26

CASE MANAGEMENT - PRELIMINARY STAGE




Contents of this Part
Scope of this Part Rule 26.1
Automatic transfer Rule 26.2
Allocation questionnaire Rule 26.3
Stay to allow for settlement of the case Rule 26.4
Allocation Rule 26.5
Scope of each track Rule 26.6
General rule for allocation Rule 26.7
Matters relevant to allocation to a track Rule 26.8
Notice of allocation Rule 26.9
Re-allocation Rule 26.10

Scope of this Part
     26.1  - (1) This Part provides for - 

    (a) the automatic transfer of some defended cases between courts; and

    (b) the allocation of defended cases to case management tracks.

    (2) There are three tracks - 

    (a) the small claims track;

    (b) the fast track; and

    (c) the multi-track.

(Rule 26.6 sets out the normal scope of each track. Part 27 makes provision for the small claims track. Part 28 makes provision for the fast track. Part 29 makes provision for the multi-track)

Automatic transfer
    
26.2  - (1) This rule applies to proceedings where - 

    (2) This rule does not apply where the claim was commenced in a specialist list(GL).

    (3) Where this rule applies, the court will transfer the proceedings to the defendant's home court when a defence is filed, unless paragraph (4) applies.

(Rule 2.3 defines "defendant's home court")

    (4) Where the claimant notifies the court under rule 15.10 or rule 14.5 that he wishes the proceedings to continue, the court will transfer the proceedings to the defendant's home court when it receives that notification from the claimant.

(Rule 15.10 deals with a claimant's notice where the defence is that money claimed has been paid)

(Rule 14.5 sets out the procedure where the defendant admits part of a claim for a specified amount of money)

    (5) Where - 

proceedings are to be transferred under this rule to the home court of that defendant.

    (6) The time when a claim is automatically transferred under this rule may be varied by a practice direction in respect of claims issued by the Production Centre.

(Rule 7.10 makes provision for the Production Centre)

Allocation questionnaire
    
26.3  - (1) When a defendant files a defence the court will serve an allocation questionnaire on each party unless - 

    (2) Where there are two or more defendants and at least one of them files a defence, the court will serve the allocation questionnaire under paragraph (1) - 

whichever is the sooner.

(Rule 15.4 specifies the period for filing a defence)

    (3) Where proceedings are automatically transferred to the defendant's home court under rule 26.2, the court in which the proceedings have been commenced will serve an allocation questionnaire before the proceedings are transferred.

    (4) Where - 

the court will serve an allocation questionnaire on each party when the claimant files a notice indicating that he wishes the proceedings to continue.

    (5) The court may, on the application of the claimant, serve an allocation questionnaire earlier than it would otherwise serve it under this rule.

    (6) Each party must file the completed allocation questionnaire no later than the date specified in it, which shall be at least 14 days after the date when it is deemed to be served on the party in question.

    (7) The time when the court serves an allocation questionnaire under this rule may be varied by a practice direction in respect of claims issued by the Production Centre.

(Rule 7.10 makes provision for the Production Centre)

(Rule 6.7 specifies when a document is deemed to be served)

Stay to allow for settlement of the case
    
26.4  - (1) A party may, when filing the completed allocation questionnaire, make a written request for the proceedings to be stayed(GL) while the parties try to settle the case by alternative dispute resolution(GL) or other means.

    (2) Where - 

the court will direct that the proceedings be stayed for one month.

    (3) The court may extend the stay(GL) until such date or for such specified period as it considers appropriate.

    (4) Where the court stays(GL) the proceedings under this rule, the claimant must tell the court if a settlement is reached.

    (5) If the claimant does not tell the court by the end of the period of the stay(GL) that a settlement has been reached, the court will give such directions as to the management of the case as it considers appropriate.

Allocation
    
26.5  - (1) The court will allocate the claim to a track - 

whichever is the sooner, unless it has - 

(Rules 12.7 and 14.8 provide for the court to allocate a claim to a track where the claimant obtains default judgment on request or judgment on admission for an amount to be decided by the court)

    (2) If the court has stayed(GL) the proceedings under rule 26.4, it will allocate the claim to a track at the end of the period of the stay.

    (3) Before deciding the track to which to allocate proceedings or deciding whether to give directions for an allocation hearing to be fixed, the court may order a party to provide further information about his case.

    (4) The court may hold an allocation hearing if it thinks it is necessary.

    (5) If a party fails to file an allocation questionnaire, the court may give any direction it considers appropriate.

Scope of each track
    
26.6  - (1) The small claims track is the normal track for - 

(Rule 2.3 defines "claim for personal injuries" as proceedings in which there is a claim for damages in respect of personal injuries to the claimant or any other person or in respect of a person's death)

    (2) For the purposes of paragraph (1) "damages for personal injuries" means damages claimed as compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity and does not include any other damages which are claimed.

    (3) Subject to paragraph (1), the small claims track is the normal track for any claim which has a financial value of not more than 5,000.

(Rule 26.7(4) provides that the court will not allocate to the small claims track certain claims in respect of harassment or unlawful eviction)

    (4) Subject to paragraph (5), the fast track is the normal track for any claim - 

    (5) The fast track is the normal track for the claims referred to in paragraph (4) only if the court considers that - 

    (6) The multi-track is the normal track for any claim for which the small claims track or the fast track is not the normal track.

General rule for allocation
    
26.7  - (1) In considering whether to allocate a claim to the normal track for that claim under rule 26.6, the court will have regard to the matters mentioned in rule 26.8(1).

    (2) The court will allocate a claim which has no financial value to the track which it considers most suitable having regard to the matters mentioned in rule 26.8(1).

    (3) The court will not allocate proceedings to a track if the financial value of any claim in those proceedings, assessed by the court under rule 26.8, exceeds the limit for that track unless all the parties consent to the allocation of the claim to that track.

    (4) The court will not allocate a claim to the small claims track, if it includes a claim by a tenant of residential premises against his landlord for a remedy in respect of harassment or unlawful eviction.

Matters relevant to allocation to a track
    
26.8  - (1) When deciding the track for a claim, the matters to which the court shall have regard include - 

    (2) It is for the court to assess the financial value of a claim and in doing so it will disregard - 

    (3) Where - 

the court will consider the claim of each claimant separately when it assesses financial value under paragraph (1).

Notice of allocation
    
26.9  - (1) When it has allocated a claim to a track, the court will serve notice of allocation on every party.

    (2) When the court serves notice of allocation on a party, it will also serve - 

(Rule 26.5 provides that the court may, before allocating proceedings, order a party to provide further information about his case)

Re-allocation
    
26.10 The court may subsequently re-allocate a claim to a different track.



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Prepared 9 February 1999