STAGE 3 ISSUE FEES: COURT REPAYS OVERPAID FEES: GOOD NEWS FROM LIVERPOOL
In January this year I blogged about correspondence I had received from Jon Heath, a solicitor at Levins, in Liverpool about the courts overcharging on Stage 3 issue fees. Yesterday I received an email from Jon telling me that the court had backed down and that a repayment system is to be put in place.
JON’S INITIAL LETTER
“We anticipate that we will be bringing a claim for judicial review within the next few days in relation to overcharging for Stage 3 claims.
My view has always been that Stage 3 claims (with the exception of those brought for approval of a child settlement) are “proceedings to recover a sum of money” and should therefore attract the same issue fee as a Part 7 claim of the same value. My impression is that there was some variation in practice across the country when Stage 3 was first introduced – some courts were charging an issue fee commensurate with the pleaded value whereas others were charging the “proceedings for any other remedy” fee (currently £308). The MoJ has recently confirmed to us that the national fees policy is now to charge £308 for all Stage 3 claims.
If the MoJ has it wrong, and assuming that local courts have been following the national policy, litigants are systematically being charged the wrong fees. In claims with a value of not more than £5,000, they are being overcharged (£308 vs a maximum of £205), whereas in claims with a value of more than £5,000 they are being undercharged (£308 vs a minimum of £455).
I would be interested to hear from any of your readers who have been affected by this.”
Jon’s latest email states: