Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Civil Procedure Rules: Latest Updates


Have you got the strength for this? Three new updates of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 applying to England and Wales have just been issued.  Update 114 came rapidly into force on last Monday 24 February 2020 - at 11.00 am!- and deals with the civil money claims pilot scheme under CPR Practice Direction 51R. Update 115 deals with the  CPR Practice Direction 51 on the video hearing pilot and comes into force on 02 March 2020. Boring. And the more extensive update 113 principally gets going on 06 April 2019. Here are the sexiest of the changes.

The statement of truth which has to be included in claims forms, particulars of claim, defences, application notices and similar documents is extended with the following words having to be included-

‘I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.’

As from 06 April 2020, claim forms, particulars of claim and defences which lack the new wording can be struck out by the court and other documents which need to be verified by a statement of truth but are not verified by the extended wording can be ordered to be so verified.  This will also apply to online possession claims. Because of the already effective update 114, the extended wording must already be used for civil money claims pilot cases in relation to the claim form, response form and paper response form. Money claims on line - litigants in person will normally use this online scheme - are not to be affected but this may well change as from October 2020.

There is an important change to the rules on witness statements which will catch statements made on or after 06 April 2020. Each statement is to disclose the process by which it has been prepared: for example, face-to-face, over the telephone and/or through an interpreter. 

Good luck.