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Kamania v Metro Line

15 September 2000
The issues

Costs – Small Claims – whether full costs should be allowed where no allocation to the small claims track is made.

The facts

Claimant sued Defendant after road traffic accident. Liability admitted. £2144 offered in settlement. Neither party filed an Allocation Questionnaire. Summary Judgment was obtained and an Order made that “the Defendant must pay the Claimant an amount which the Court will decide, and costs”; no further directions given – matter never referred to the Small Claims Track. Claimant accepted the offer but indicated that he would be seeking full costs. Defendant relied on Civil Procedure Rules 1998 Part 26 Practice Direction 26 paragraph 12.8 (this relates to Disposal Hearings – see 12.8.3 “if the Court does not give directions and does not allocate the Claim to the Small Claims Track, it may nonetheless order that the amount payable is to be decided there and then without allocating the Claim to another Track”). Defendant argued that it was unreasonable to allow costs merely because the Defendant had entered a Defence admitting liability – this was against the spirits of the Woolf reforms and principles of keeping costs to a minimum.

The decision

Application for Scale 1 Costs dismissed “in the particular circumstances fixed costs only were appropriate”.

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