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Stock v Stock, Court of Appeal, 17 October 2000

18 October 2000
The issues

Setting Aside Judgment in Default of Appearance – New Evidence On Appeal

The facts

The Defendant was sued for repayment of a loan. He denied liabilty. He failed to attend at what appears to have been a Case Management Conference. The District Judge entered judgment for the Claimant. The Defendant sought to have the judgment set aside on the ground that he had not received the notice to attend. The District Judge did not consider the Defendant credible and refused the application. His appeal to the Circuit Judge was similarly dismissed. He then appealed to the Court of Appeal adducing new evidence in the form of an Affidavit from his estranged wife who deposed that she had taken the document from the letter box but had torn it up, believing it related to anticipated divorce proceedings.

The decision

It was right to receive into evidence the wife’s Affidavit which provided an explanation for the non-attendance. The Defence could not be said to be shadowy.

In the circumstances and pursuant to the overriding objective it could not be proper to deprive the Defendant of a hearing.

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