Statutory Instruments 1998 No. 3132 (L. 17)
The Civil Procedure Rules 1998
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PART 27

THE SMALL CLAIMS TRACK




Contents of this Part
Scope of this Part Rule 27.1
Extent to which other Parts apply Rule 27.2
Court's power to grant a final remedy Rule 27.3
Preparation for the hearing Rule 27.4
Experts Rule 27.5
Preliminary hearing Rule 27.6
Power of court to add to, vary or revoke directions Rule 27.7
Conduct of the hearing Rule 27.8
Non-attendance of parties at a final hearing Rule 27.9
Disposal without a hearing Rule 27.10
Setting judgment aside and re-hearing Rule 27.11
Right of appeal under Part 27 Rule 27.12
Procedure for making an appeal Rule 27.13
Costs on the small claims track Rule 27.14
Claim re-allocated from the small claims track to another track Rule 27.15

Scope of this Part
     27.1  - (1) This Part - 

    (a) sets out the special procedure for dealing with claims which have been allocated to the small claims track under Part 26; and

    (b) limits the amount of costs that can be recovered in respect of a claim which has been allocated to the small claims track.

(Rule 27.14 deals with costs on the small claims track)

    (2) A claim being dealt with under this Part is called a small claim.

(Rule 26.6 provides for the scope of the small claims track. A claim for a remedy for harassment or unlawful eviction relating, in either case, to residential premises shall not be allocated to the small claims track whatever the financial value of the claim.

Otherwise, the small claims track will be the normal track for - 

  • any claim which has a financial value of not more than 5,000 subject to the special provisions about claims for personal injuries and housing disrepair claims;

  • any claim for personal injuries which has a financial value of not more than 5,000 where the claim for damages for personal injuries is not more than 1,000; and

  • any claim which includes a claim by a tenant of residential premises against his landlord for repairs or other work to the premises where the estimated cost of the repairs or other work is not more than 1,000 and the financial value of any claim for damages in respect of those repairs or other work is not more than 1,000)

Extent to which other Parts apply
    
27.2  - (1) The following Parts of these Rules do not apply to small claims - 

    (2) The other Parts of these Rules apply to small claims except to the extent that a rule limits such application.

Court's power to grant a final remedy
    
27.3 The court may grant any final remedy in relation to a small claim which it could grant if the proceedings were on the fast track or the multi-track.

Preparation for the hearing
    
27.4  - (1) After allocation the court will - 

    (2) The court will - 

    (3) In this rule

Experts
    
27.5 No expert may give evidence, whether written or oral, at a hearing without the permission of the court.

(Rule 27.14(3)(d) provides for the payment of an expert's fees)

Preliminary hearing
    
27.6  - (1) The court may hold a preliminary hearing for the consideration of the claim, but only - 

    (2) When considering whether or not to hold a preliminary hearing, the court must have regard to the desirability of limiting the expense to the parties of attending court.

    (3) Where the court decides to hold a preliminary hearing, it will give the parties at least 14 days' notice of the date of the hearing.

    (4) The court may treat the preliminary hearing as the final hearing of the claim if all the parties agree.

    (5) At or after the preliminary hearing the court will - 

Power of court to add to, vary or revoke directions
    
27.7 The court may add to, vary or revoke directions.

Conduct of the hearing
    
27.8  - (1) The court may adopt any method of proceeding at a hearing that it considers to be fair.

    (2) Hearings will be informal.

    (3) The strict rules of evidence do not apply.

    (4) The court need not take evidence on oath.

    (5) The court may limit cross-examination(GL).

    (6) The court must give reasons for its decision.

Non-attendance of parties at a final hearing
    
27.9  - (1) If a party who does not attend a final hearing - 

the court will take into account that party's statement of case and any other documents he has filed when it decides the claim.

    (2) If a claimant does not - 

the court may strike out(GL) the claim.

    (3) If - 

    (4) If neither party attends or gives the notice referred to in paragraph (1), the court may strike out(GL) the claim and any defence and counterclaim.

Disposal without a hearing
    
27.10 The court may, if all parties agree, deal with the claim without a hearing.

Setting judgment aside and re-hearing
    
27.11  - (1) A party - 

may apply for an order that a judgment under this Part shall be set aside(GL) and the claim re-heard.

    (2) A party who applies for an order setting aside a judgment under this rule must make the application not more than 14 days after the day on which notice of the judgment was served on him.

    (3) The court may grant an application under paragraph (2) only if the applicant - 

    (4) If a judgment is set aside(GL) - 

    (5) A party may not apply to set aside(GL) a judgment under this rule if the court dealt with the claim without a hearing under rule 27.10.

Right of appeal under Part 27
    
27.12  - (1) A party may appeal against an order under this Part only on the grounds that - 

    (2) On an appeal the court may make any order it considers appropriate.

    (3) The court may dismiss an appeal without a hearing.

    (4) This rule does not limit any right of appeal arising under any Act.

Procedure for making an appeal
    
27.13  - (1) A party who wishes to appeal must file a notice of appeal not more than 14 days after the day on which notice of the order was served on him.

    (2) Notice of appeal - 

Costs on the small claims track
    
27.14  - (1) This rule applies to any case which has been allocated to the small claims track unless paragraph (5) applies.

(Rules 44.9 and 44.11 make provision in relation to orders for costs made before a claim has been allocated to the small claims track)

    (2) The court may not order a party to pay a sum to another party in respect of that other party's costs except - 

    (3) The court may also order a party to pay all or part of - 

    (4) The limits on costs imposed by this rule also apply to any fee or reward for acting on behalf of a party to the proceedings charged by a person exercising a right of audience by virtue of an order under section 11 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990[35] (a lay representative).

    (5) Where - 

    (a) the financial value of a claim exceeds the limit for the small claims track; but

    (b) the claim has been allocated to the small claims track in accordance with rule 26.7(3),

the claim shall be treated, for the purposes of costs, as if it were proceeding on the fast track except that trial costs shall be in the discretion of the court and shall not exceed the amount set out for the value of the claim in rule 46.2 (amount of fast track trial costs).

(Rule 26.7(3) allows the parties to consent to a claim being allocated to a track where the financial value of the claim exceeds the limit for that track)

Claim re-allocated from the small claims track to another track
     27.15 Where a claim is allocated to the small claims track and subsequently re-allocated to another track, rule 27.14 (costs on the small claims track) will cease to apply after the claim has been re-allocated and the fast track or multi-track costs rules will apply from the date of re-allocation.



PART 28

THE FAST TRACK




Contents of this Part
Scope of this Part Rule 28.1
General provisions Rule 28.2
Directions Rule 28.3
Variation of case management timetable Rule 28.4
Listing questionnaire Rule 28.5
Fixing or confirming the trial date and giving directions Rule 28.6
Conduct of trial Rule 28.7

Scope of this Part
    
28.1 This Part contains general provisions about management of cases allocated to the fast track and applies only to cases allocated to that track.

    (Part 27 sets out the procedure for claims allocated to the small claims track)

    (Part 29 sets out the procedure for claims allocated to the multi-track)

General provisions
    
28.2  - (1) When it allocates a case to the fast track, the court will give directions for the management of the case and set a timetable for the steps to be taken between the giving of the directions and the trial.

    (2) When it gives directions, the court will - 

    (3) The trial date or trial period will be specified in the notice of allocation.

    (4) The standard period between the giving of directions and the trial will be not more than 30 weeks.

    (5) The court's power to award trial costs is limited in accordance with Part 46.

Directions
    
28.3  - (1) The matters to be dealt with by directions under rule 28.2(1) include - 

    (2) If the court decides not to direct standard disclosure, it may - 

(Rule 31.6 explains what is meant by standard disclosure)

(Rule 26.6(5) deals with limitations in relation to expert evidence and the likely length of trial in fast track cases)

Variation of case management timetable
    
28.4  - (1) A party must apply to the court if he wishes to vary the date which the court has fixed for - 

    (2) Any date set by the court or these Rules for doing any act may not be varied by the parties if the variation would make it necessary to vary any of the dates mentioned in paragraph (1).

(Rule 2.11 allows the parties to vary a date by written agreement except where the rules provide otherwise or the court orders otherwise)

Listing questionnaire
    
28.5  - (1) The court will send the parties a listing questionnaire for completion and return by the date specified in the notice of allocation unless it considers that the claim can be listed for trial without the need for a listing questionnaire.

    (2) The date specified for filing a listing questionnaire will not be more than 8 weeks before the trial date or the beginning of the trial period.

    (3) If - 

the court may fix a listing hearing or give such other directions as it thinks appropriate.

Fixing or confirming the trial date and giving directions
    
28.6  - (1) As soon as practicable after the date specified for filing a completed listing questionnaire the court will - 

    (2) The court will give the parties at least 3 weeks' notice of the date of the trial unless, in exceptional circumstances, the court directs that shorter notice will be given.

Conduct of trial
    
28.7 Unless the trial judge otherwise directs, the trial will be conducted in accordance with any order previously made.



PART 29

THE MULTI-TRACK




Contents of this Part
Scope of this Part Rule 29.1
Case management Rule 29.2
Case management conference and pre-trial review Rule 29.3
Steps taken by the parties Rule 29.4
Variation of case management timetable Rule 29.5
Listing questionnaire Rule 29.6
Pre-trial review Rule 29.7
Setting a trial timetable and fixing or confirming the trial date or week Rule 29.8
Conduct of the trial Rule 29.9

Scope of this Part
    
29.1 This Part contains general provisions about management of cases allocated to the multi-track and applies only to cases allocated to that track.

    (Part 27 sets out the procedure for claims allocated to the small claims track)

    (Part 28 sets out the procedure for claims allocated to the fast track)

Case management
    
29.2  - (1) When it allocates a case to the multi-track, the court will - 

    (2) The court will fix the trial date or the period in which the trial is to take place as soon as practicable.

    (3) When the court fixes the trial date or the trial period under paragraph (2), it will - 

Case management conference and pre-trial review
    
29.3  - (1) The court may fix - 

at any time after the claim has been allocated.

    (2) If a party has a legal representative, a representative - 

(Rule 3.1(2)(c) provides that the court may require a party to attend the court)

Steps taken by the parties
    
29.4 If - 

it may approve them without a hearing and give directions in the terms proposed.

Variation of case management timetable
    
29.5  - (1) A party must apply to the court if he wishes to vary the date which the court has fixed for - 

    (2) Any date set by the court or these Rules for doing any act may not be varied by the parties if the variation would make it necessary to vary any of the dates mentioned in paragraph (1).

(Rule 2.11 allows the parties to vary a date by written agreement except where the rules provide otherwise or the court orders otherwise)

Listing questionnaire
    
29.6  - (1) The court will send the parties a listing questionnaire for completion and return by the date specified in directions given under rule 29.2(3) unless it considers that the claim can be listed for trial without the need for a listing questionnaire.

    (2) Each party must file the completed listing questionnaire by the date specified by the court.

    (3) If - 

the court may fix a date for a listing hearing or give such other directions as it thinks appropriate.

Pre-trial review
    
29.7 If, on receipt of the parties' listing questionnaires, the court decides - 

it will serve notice of its decision at least 7 days before the date fixed for the hearing or, as the case may be, the cancelled hearing.

Setting a trial timetable and fixing or confirming the trial date or week
    
29.8 As soon as practicable after - 

the court will - 

Conduct of trial
    
29.9 Unless the trial judge otherwise directs, the trial will be conducted in accordance with any order previously made.



PART 30

TRANSFER




Contents of this Part
Scope of this Part Rule 30.1
Transfer between county courts and within the High Court Rule 30.2
Criteria for a transfer order Rule 30.3
Procedure Rule 30.4
Transfer between Divisions and to and from a specialist list Rule 30.5
Power to specify place where hearings are to be held Rule 30.6
Transfer of control of money in court Rule 30.7
Certiorari or prohibition Rule 30.8

Scope of this Part
    
30.1 This Part deals with the transfer of proceedings between county courts, between the High Court and the county courts and within the High Court.

(Rule 26.2 provides for automatic transfer in certain cases)

Transfer between county courts and within the High Court
    
30.2  - (1) A county court may order proceedings before that court, or any part of them (such as a counterclaim or an application made in the proceedings), to be transferred to another county court if it is satisfied that - 

    (a) an order should be made having regard to the criteria in rule 30.3; or

    (b) proceedings for

      (i) the detailed assessment of costs; or

      (ii) the enforcement of a judgment or order,

    could be more conveniently or fairly taken in that other county court.

    (2) If proceedings have been started in the wrong county court, a judge of the county court may order that the proceedings - 

    (a) be transferred to the county court in which they ought to have been started;

    (b) continue in the county court in which they have been started; or

    (c) be struck out.

    (3) An application for an order under paragraph (1) or (2) must be made to the county court where the claim is proceeding.

    (4) The High Court may, having regard to the criteria in rule 30.3, order proceedings in the Royal Courts of Justice or a district registry, or any part of such proceedings (such as a counterclaim or an application made in the proceedings), to be transferred - 

    (a) from the Royal Courts of Justice to a district registry; or

    (b) from a district registry to the Royal Courts of Justice or to another district registry.

    (5) A district registry may order proceedings before it for the detailed assessment of costs to be transferred to another district registry if it is satisfied that the proceedings could be more conveniently or fairly taken in that other district registry.

    (6) An application for an order under paragraph (4) or (5) must, if the claim is proceeding in a district registry, be made to that registry.

    (7) Where some enactment, other than these Rules, requires proceedings to be started in a particular county court, neither paragraphs (1) nor (2) give the court power to order proceedings to be transferred to a county court which is not the court in which they should have been started or to order them to continue in the wrong court.

    (8) Probate proceedings may only be transferred under paragraph (4) to the Chancery Division at the Royal Courts of Justice or to one of the Chancery district registries.

Criteria for a transfer order
    
30.3  - (1) Paragraph (2) sets out the matters to which the court must have regard when considering whether to make an order under - 

    (2) The matters to which the court must have regard include - 

    (a) the financial value of the claim and the amount in dispute, if different;

    (b) whether it would be more convenient or fair for hearings (including the trial) to be held in some other court;

    (c) the availability of a judge specialising in the type of claim in question;

    (d) whether the facts, legal issues, remedies or procedures involved are simple or complex;

    (e) the importance of the outcome of the claim to the public in general;

    (f) the facilities available at the court where the claim is being dealt with and whether they may be inadequate because of any disabilities of a party or potential witness.

Procedure
     30.4  - (1) Where the court orders proceedings to be transferred, the court from which they are to be transferred must give notice of the transfer to all the parties.

    (2) An order made before the transfer of the proceedings shall not be affected by the order to transfer.

Transfer between Divisions and to and from a specialist list
    
30.5  - (1) The High Court may order proceedings in any Division of the High Court to be transferred to another Division.

    (2) The court may order proceedings to be transferred to or from a specialist list.

    (3) An application for the transfer of proceedings to or from a specialist list must be made to a judge dealing with claims in that list.

Power to specify place where hearings are to be held
    
30.6 The court may specify the place (for instance, a particular county court) where the trial or some other hearing in any proceedings is to be held and may do so without ordering the proceedings to be transferred.

Transfer of control of money in court
    
30.7 The court may order that control of any money held by it under rule 21.11 (control of money recovered by or on behalf of a child or patient) be transferred to another court if that court would be more convenient.

Certiorari or prohibition
    
30.8 A party obtaining from the High Court, on an application made without notice, an order giving permission to make an application for - 

must immediately serve a copy of the order on the other parties and on the court officer of the county court.



PART 31

DISCLOSURE AND INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS




Contents of this Part
Scope of this Part Rule 31.1
Meaning of disclosure Rule 31.2
Right of inspection of a disclosed document Rule 31.3
Meaning of document Rule 31.4
Disclosure limited to standard disclosure Rule 31.5
Standard disclosure - what documents are to be disclosed Rule 31.6
Duty of search Rule 31.7
Duty of disclosure limited to documents which are or have been in a party's control Rule 31.8
Disclosure of copies Rule 31.9
Procedure for standard disclosure Rule 31.10
Duty of disclosure continues during proceedings Rule 31.11
Specific disclosure or inspection Rule 31.12
Disclosure in stages Rule 31.13
Documents referred to in statements of case etc. Rule 31.14
Inspection and copying of documents Rule 31.15
Disclosure before proceedings start Rule 31.16
Orders for disclosure against a person not a party Rule 31.17
Rules not to limit other powers of the court to order disclosure Rule 31.18
Claim to withhold inspection or disclosure of a document Rule 31.19
Restriction on use of a privileged document inspection of which has been inadvertently allowed Rule 31.20
Consequence of failure to disclose documents or permit inspection Rule 31.21
Subsequent use of disclosed documents Rule 31.22

Scope of this Part
    
31.1  - (1) This Part sets out rules about the disclosure and inspection of documents.

    (2) This Part applies to all claims except a claim on the small claims track.

Meaning of disclosure
    
31.2 A party discloses a document by stating that the document exists or has existed.

Right of inspection of a disclosed document
    
31.3  - (1) A party to whom a document has been disclosed has a right to inspect that document except where - 

    (a) the document is no longer in the control of the party who disclosed it;

    (b) the party disclosing the document has a right or a duty to withhold inspection of it; or

    (c) paragraph (2) applies.

(Rule 31.8 sets out when a document is in the control of a party)

(Rule 31.19 sets out the procedure for claiming a right or duty to withhold inspection)

    (2) Where a party considers that it would be disproportionate to the issues in the case to permit inspection of documents within a category or class of document disclosed under rule 31.6(b) - 

    (a) he is not required to permit inspection of documents within that category or class; but

    (b) he must state in his disclosure statement that inspection of those documents will not be permitted on the grounds that to do so would be disproportionate.

(Rule 31.6 provides for standard disclosure)

(Rule 31.10 makes provision for a disclosure statement)

(Rule 31.12 provides for a party to apply for an order for specific inspection of documents)




Notes


[35] 1990 c.41.back

[36] 1984 c.28. Section 40 was substituted by section 2(1) of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c.41). Section 41 was amended by the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (c.42), Schedule 1, paragraph 31 and by section 2(2) of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. Section 42 was substituted by section 2(3) of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990.back



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