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Litigants in Person - Barton v Wright Hassall

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This may be of interest to those reading this forum.

 

The Supreme Court handed down Judgment last week in the case of Barton v Wright Hassall LLP.

 

Barton was a Litigant in Person bringing a professional negligence claim against Wright Hassall, who themselves were represented by BLM. Barton had been in contact with BLM pre-issue by email. As limitation was approaching he issued, and then just at the end of the 4 month time limit, served his proceedings by email on BLM (having opted to do this himself rather than letting the Court serve).

 

BLM a couple of weeks later, advised that they had not permitted him to serve by email, and that the proceedings were therefore not served. This meant he was out of time to re-serve the same proceedings. Unfortunately he was also then statute barred from issuing another claim.

 

Barton argued that as BLM were corresponding with him by email, this was an indication that they would accept service by this method. BLM contented that the Civil Procedure Rules were clear, and that they had not given permission to serve by email.

 

The Supreme Court ruled in Wright Hassall's favour.

 

A bit of a warning that the CPR will not be applied differently to unrepresented parties, and furthermore, that a represented opponent has no obligation to raise such issues and notify the unrepresented party of any breaches - see paragraph 22 of the Judgment (available on the Supreme Court's website):

 

"Even on the assumption that they realised that service was invalid in time to warn him to re-serve properly or begin a fresh claim within the limitation period, they were under no duty to give him advice of this kind. Nor could they properly have done so without taking their client’s instructions and advising them that the result might be to deprive them of a limitation defence. It is hardly conceivable that in those circumstances the client would have authorised it."

 

There are a good bunch of people here to help on this forum, to avoid situations like that Mr Barton found himself in.

  • Haha 1

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Why would anyone want to serve separate particulars by email ?

 

Was this a manual claim or MCOL ?

 

https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part07/pd_part07e#6.1

 

6.1 Particulars of claim and certificate of service ?

 

 

Andy


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Sounds like it was manual via the CCMCC, and I think it was the claim form and particulars that he tried to serve by email.

 

Paragraph 4 of the Judgment - "In the ordinary course, the claim form would have been served on the defendant by the Court: CPR rule 6.4(1). But Mr Barton elected to serve it himself pursuant to the exception at (b). He had four months in which to do so, expiring on 25 June 2013: CPR rule 7.5."

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I will copy your post to Statutes and Legal SV for future reference.

 

Andy


We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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I think all service should be by email... it's quicker and safer...especially where they are time sensitive, as most service is. I've had posted documents go missing en route at least 6 times! Dookist.

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Yeah... that's what I thought... (CPR 6.4(1);

I sent two copies of the claim form to the court, and 4 weeks later, having heard nothing, I asked for default judgment. The Court asked me for my Certificate of service. This is the High Court (Queens' Bench), too! At no time did I elect to serve the claim form myself... So what are the rules? Dookist

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