Interesting view from the New Law Journal’s team of circuit and district judges:
Q When judgment is entered in an unspecified claim why is it in terms that it is for an amount to be decided by the court and costs. What happens if say the claimant is awarded damages of less than the defendant’s pre-action Pt 36 offer? What of the status of the judgment for costs?
A The origin of the practice would appear to be the wording in Forms N205B and N255 which must be used when judgment is requested (see CPR PD 12 para 3.1) and that is what the form provides for although there is good case for it to be brought to an end. It is our view that costs in this context is an entitlement that could be lost by no award of damages on an assessment, an effective CPR Pt 36 offer or the exercise of the trial judge’s general discretion on assessment to deny the claimant his costs.