COURT FEES AND STRIKING OUT: CROSS -v- BLACK BULL: PERMISSION TO APPEAL REFUSED
In January this year I reported the judgment in Cross-v- Black Bull (Doncaster) Limited* (Sheffield County Court 21st December 2017) 072 – Cross v Black Bull – Judgment.Where HH Judge Robinson allowed an appeal where the District Judge had struck out a case on the grounds that failure to pay the correct fee was an abuse of process. Permission to appeal that decision has been refused.
THE DEFENDANT’S APPEAL
The defendant in that case attempted to appeal. Permission to appeal was refused by Lord Justice Floyd. Permission was refused:
- The Circuit Judge interpreted a letter written before issue correctly. Once this was done “there was nothing positive to suggest that there had been a deliberate decision to pay a lower fee in the knowledge that the claim was worth more.” “An appeal against the judge’s finding would not have a real prospect of success”.
- It was “for the applicant to establish the case of abuse of process, not for the claimant to disprove it.”
- “An allegation of abuse of process against any firm of solicitors is a serious matter which requires to be established on more than mere speculation”.
- “None of the grounds of appeal has a real prospect of success.”
ARGUMENTS IN RELATION TO ABUSE AND UNDER-PAYMENT OF COURT FEES
There are not, to my knowledge, any reported cases at appeal where the courts have struck out an action for underpayment of court fees, or upheld a striking out. It is important to remember that in the original decision on this point Richard Lewis & Others -v- Ward Hadaway  EWHC 3503 (Ch) the judge did not strike out the action for being an abuse of process (although he held that the deliberate and repeated conduct in that case was an abuse of process). Rather the action failed because of limitation issues. Proceedings issued as an abuse of process were not issued within the limitation period.
- Paying the incorrect court fee: another important development
- Paying the correct court fee and limitation
- The dangers of not paying the correct court fee.
- For two dollars more: the dangers of not sending the correct court fee
- More about service of the claim form: good reason and a failure to pay the proper court fees.
- Paying the correct court fee and amendment: an important case reviewing the principles.
- Failure to pay the correct court fee does not lead to striking out of an action.
- Paying the correct court fee: action stayed: sanity is breaking out.
- Paying the correct court fee, amendment and striking out: another decision