Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Very Latest Civil Procedural Rules

Two more updates to the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (applying to England and Wales) have been issued. This will save you having to read them. Switch on your yawnometer if you do. It could peak at 12 million before sending you completely into deep sleep. 

Update 110 amends Practice Direction 51O which is about the electronic working pilot scheme allowing for online commencement of proceedings and lodging documents. The scheme was extended  to the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court on 01 January 2019 and  to out of London Business and Property Court centres on 25 February 2019. As from 07 October 2019 it will apply to proceedings in the Senior Courts Costs Office started on or after that date including requests for detailed assessment and applications issued on or after that date. Lawyers and litigants in person can take advantage. As from 20 January 2020 lawyers must use the scheme. 

Update 111 which came into force last Monday o9 September 2019 (at 11am) will be of interest to litigants in person. Honest. that's because it only relates to you. It concerns a pilot scheme for online civil claims by litigants in person for specified claims for money which do not exceed £10,00 and which, if contested, will almost always be dealt with as 'small claims'. New features have been introduced to the scheme for testing. These include parties being able to complete online the directions questionnaire - this is for contested cases and solicits information to assist the court in deciding when and where to list the final hearing and what procedural directions to give for it. And more cases which are suitable will be referred for mediation under the free small claims mediation scheme. Up until now , they have only been referred where the parties agreed. In future they will be referred where the parties say nothing about wanting mediation: they will be presumed to agree to it. But mediation is still not made compulsory. Silly not to take advantage of it. The scheme is extended to 30 November 2021.

There is another pilot scheme running for lawyers only. It is the swingingly called online civil money claims pilot and it offers a digital service for specified and unspecified claims on an invitation-only basis. The scheme is also extended to  30 November 2021.

Told you!