This is an extract of our Striking Out document, which we sell as part of our BPTC Civil Ligitation Notes collection written by the top tier of City Law School students.
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Striking Out a Claim
CPR Part 3 (Court's Case & Costs Management Powers)
3.3, Court's power to make order of its own initiative
-(1) Except where a rule/some other enactment provides otherwise, the court may exercise its powers on an application or of its own initiative.
o (Part 23 ? procedure for making an application)
-(2) Where the court proposes to make an order of its own initiative :
o (a) it may give any person likely to be affected by the order an opportunity to make representations; and
(b) where it does to is must specify the time by and the manner in which the representations must be made.
-(3) Where the court proposes: (a) to make an order of its own initiative AND (b) to hold a hearing to decide whether to make the order
? it must give each party likely to be affected by the order at least 3 days'
notice of the hearing.
-(4) the court may make an order of its own initiative WITHOUT hearing the parties or giving them an opportunity to make representations.
-(5) Where the court has made an order under (4) [without hearing the parties]:
o (a) a party affected by the order may apply to have it set aside, varied or stayed; and
(b) the order must contain a statement of the right to make such an application.
-(6) an application to set aside/vary/stay under (5)(a) must be made:
o (a) within such period as may be specified by the court; OR
o (b) if course does not specify, not more than 7 days after the date on which the order was served on the party making the application.
-(7) if the court of its own initiative strikes out a statement of case OR dismisses an application (including for permission to appeal or apply for JR), AND it considers that the claim or application is totally without merit:
o (a) the court's order must record that fact; and
(b) the court must at the same time consider whether it is appropriate to make a civil restraint order.
3.4, Power to strike out a statement of case
-(1) in this rule and r3.5 [[judgment without trial are striking out]] ? reference to a
"statement of case" includes reference to part of a statement of case.
-(2) the court may strike out a SoC if it appears to court:
o (a) that the SoC discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending the claim;
o (b) that the SoC is an abuse of the court's process OR is otherwise likely to obstruct the just disposal of the proceedings; OR
o (c) that there has been a failure to comply with a rule/PD/court order.
-(3) where the court strikes out a SoC it may make any consequential order it considers appropriate ??
o (a) the court has struck out a Claimant's SoC;
o (b) the C has been ordered to pay costs to D; and
(c) before C pays those costs, C starts another claim against the same D,
arising out of facts which are the same or substantially the same as those relating to the claim in which the SoC was struck out
? The court may, on the application of the D, stay that other claim until the costs of the first claim have been paid
(5) Para (2) does not limit any OTHER power of the court to strike out a statement of case.
(6) If the court strikes out a C's SoC and it considers that the claim is totally without merit:
o (a) the court's order must record that fact; and
(b) the court must at same time consider whether appropriate to make a civil restraint order.
Commentary, 3.4.1, Effect of rule
-The rule enables the court to strike out Statements of Case, in whole or part, and then make consequential orders
-"Statement of case" means: a claim form, PoC (where not included in claim form),
defence, Pt 20 claim, a reply to a defence.
o And includes any further information given in relation to them, voluntarily or by court under r18.1 ['further information']
-"Strike out" = defined in glossary: 'means the court ordering written material to be deleted so that it may no longer be relied upon'.
o Generally, an application for an order striking out a SoC will be made during the pre-trial stages (often together with an application for summary judgment).
o However, the court may exercise the power immediately before trial or even during course of trial (whether or not an application was made before the trial and adjourned to be dealt with at trial).
o And, under r3.3, court may act of its own volition, i.e. not on an application.
o However, will be very rare to exercise the jurisdiction after start of trial
No power to strike out a claim once judgment has been given, whether judgment was given at trial or in default.
-Grounds for striking out (a) [no reasonable grounds] and (b) [abuse of process/obstruct just disposal]
o These grounds cover:
o SoCs which are unreasonably vague, incoherent, vexatious, scurrilous, or obviously ill-founded;
o And other cases which do not amount to a legally recognisable claim or defence.
o This power can be exercised by a judge acting on their own initiative at the stage of issuing a claim (perhaps under r3.2, court officer's power to refer to a judge); AND thus Ds against whom an ill-founded action is sought to be
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