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Further to our recent look at the new Ministry of Justice claims process for road traffic accidents, I have another puzzler for you. Again, I am grateful to Keith Hayward at Victory Legal Costs Solicitors for this one. The next time the Civil Procedure Rules Committee decides to put together a new set of costs rules they might like to consult with Keith first.
Claimant requests an interim payment in the interim settlement pack of, say, £5,000, but Defendant only pays £1,000. So Claimant commences Part 7 proceedings but forgets to give notice that the claim will no longer continue under the Protocol or doesn’t give notice within 10 days, as required by Protocol 7.23.
Having issued the Part 7 proceedings the Claimant issues an application for an interim payment, and after a fully fought hearing the Court orders an interim payment of £5,000. What happens now? Protocol 7.23 makes it clear that unless the Claimant gives notice within 10 days the claim will stay in the Protocol. So:
a. What costs can be ordered at the end of this contested interim payment hearing if the case is still in the Protocol?
b. What happens to the Part 7 proceedings? Are they stayed until the Claimant is ready to serve the settlement pack?
c. If agreement is not reached at the end of Stage 2 what next? Does the Claimant now continue with the Part 7 proceedings outside of the scheme, or must the Claimant issue Part 8 proceedings? Surely we can’t have duplication of proceedings, so how do we continue with Stage 3?
I’ll leave you all to have a good think about that; although afterwards you may want to have a quiet lie down in a dark room.
Remember the kind of people who are generally going to be handling this type of claim.