Birmingham City Council v Richard Lloyd (2012) CA Civ 23 May 2012
(On Lawtel but not on BAILLI)
A short note on this hearing as it is a situation which is likely to become far more common.
Birmingham Claimant had lost a claim for possession against L. They appealed. At the hearing of their appeal L attended without representation. He asked that the appeal be adjourned as his Public Funding had been withdrawn on the grounds that he had means. He was asking the LSC to reconsider that decision and they had asserted to him in a telephone call that they would reconsider their decision. The Council disputed the adjournment on the basis that if their appeal was successful the adjournment would keep them out of the property for an unreasonable period.
The Court of Appeal acknowledged that the reconsideration of the LSC was speculative and that they might in fact decide not to continue funding and so L may well appear before the court again without representation. However, there was no reason to disbelieve the content of the telephone call reported. Any prejudice to the Council would be slight due to an adjournment and the Council might well seek to rely on the decision made in the appeal as a case authority in future matters. This authority would be immeasurably better if L was represented and the arguments were fully canvassed before the Court so the delay could be seen as a benefit to the Council.
However, the Court was not prepared to allow a long delay. It adjourned the matter to July and made clear to L that the hearing of the appeal would proceed at the next attendance irrespective of whether he was represented.
Matter adjourned, costs reserved.
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