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St Helens v Barns, Court Of Appeal, 25 October 2006

8 November 2006
The issues

When Claim Form issued for the purposes of limitation.

The facts

The Claimant’s solicitor delivered the Claim Form to the County Court one day before the limitation period expired. The Claim Form was not in fact issued by the Court until 4 days later. The Claimant argued that proceedings were commenced on the date on which the Claim Form was delivered to the Court. The Local Authority argued that proceedings were started when the Claim Form was issued by the Court.

The Judge sided with the Claimant. The Defendant appealed to the Court Of Appeal.

The decision

The end of the limitation period was fixed by reference by some step the Claimant had to take. It was the Claimant’s duty, and within his power, to bring his claim to the Court with the request that it be issued. The time at which the Court complied with that request was not within his control. The claim was brought for the purposes of the CPR when the Claimant’s request for the issue of a Claim Form was delivered to the correct Court office during its opening hours.

Appeal dismissed.

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