Civil Procedure Rules – 50th update?

The next amendment to the civil procedure rules has been passed in the form of the the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2009. The change has not (yet) been noted on the Ministry of Justice’s CPR website  but I am anticipating that they will form part of the 50th update.

There’s not a great deal of excitement for housing lawyers, the most significant change being that in mortgage possession proceedings CPR 55.10 will require two changes to the notification required by the claimant within 5 days of receiving notification of the date of the hearing by the court.

CPR fans will recall that the 49th update changed the date of notification so that it is relative to the date on which the claimant receives notification of the date of hearing, rather than to the date of the hearing. In most cases this will mean much earlier notification of the occupiers.

The first change is that the letter must be addressed to “the tenant or the occupier”. It is common knowledge that many tenants are reluctant to open letters addressed to “the occupier” and I imagine that this change is aimed at alerting more tenants to the fact that their landlord’s property is being taken by a mortgage lender.

The second change is that the housing department of the local authority must also be notified. Although what arrangements councils will make for dealing with this information I do not know. I would be interested in any information reader’s may have on that point.

One change I do like is that the rules will use more inclusive language (its official – not all expert witnesses are male). The changes have been made in a style already adopted for transposition of Welsh statutory instruments and (in my view) the inclusive form is generally briefer and less cluttered than the existing style with “he” scattered everywhere. Needless to say there will be those who don’t like it (I work in a profession the majority of which likes wearing horsehair wigs to work – nothing can surprise me). Full marks to the rules committee for making this work.

There’s nothing much else to see here. References to the “Supreme Court” and “House of Lords” are being replaced with reference to the “Senior Courts”. There are some subtle changes to rules on experts in CPR 35 (so read them if they are relevant to you). Drinking banning orders are now catered for in CPR 65 and there are some changes to the anti-terror provisions.

Posted in Housing law - All and tagged .

5 Comments

  1. There’s only one lender that religiously notifies local authorities (well done to the Derbyshire Building Society) and when we receive one of their letters we always undertake a home visit – we assume the mortgagor will ignore another ‘brown envelope’ from the local authority. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how many ‘notifications’ we receive before taking a view on changing the approach.

    • Hopefully the word will get out to District Judges who (as a general rule) do take the requirement for a letter addressed to “occupier” seriously. I’m hoping they’ll be throwing out quite a few claims on the basis of non-compliance.

      Full marks to you (and the building society concerned) for working on this already.

  2. No sign of that promised amendment to Part 56 to confirm that s214 Claims are to be made under Part 8 then. Shame, I could have used that before Wednesday…

    • Thanks, but I’d rather be making submissions about a real rule which actually PRESCRIBES that Part 8 applies. Especially when that HMCS guidance promises that Part 56 will be changed ‘shortly’ to ‘avoid any confusion’. That’ll be not this year then. I am not sure that that guidance has any status at all; it’s not even a practice direction is it? Without a rule, it looks like I’m saying its Part 8 because I think there’s no substantial dispute as to fact, rather than because a rule or PD requires it (none does until they make that amendment!) No matter, my Part 36 was accepted today so I can recover costs including success fee and insurance premium. If it had been allocated to the SCT, I would have been in all sorts of trouble. I suppose the complications will justify a reasonable success fee for a while.

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