Summary of Recent Cases – Civil Procedure

Court Disapplys Section 11 Limitation Period in Sexual Abuse Claim

EB v John Haughton, QBD, 17/02/11

The court exercised its discretion to disapply the Section 11 limitation period pursuant to Section 33 of the Limitation Act 1980. The assessment of the claimant’s recollection as against the defendant would not be central to whether she established her claims. It was not suggested that any documents had been lost or that there were witnesses unavailable due to the passage of time. The challenges by the defendant to the claimant’s evidence were likely to have been the same if made at a hearing of proceedings issued within the primary limitation period as they were at the hearing. The defendant’s ability to defend the allegations against him had not been affected or not materially affected by the passage of time.

It was not a good reason for extending time for service that a claimant did not have funding in place before proceedings were issued

(1) Ehsanollah Bayat (2) Telephone Systems International Inc (A company incorporated in New Jersey USA) (3) Afghan Wireless Communications Co (A company incorporated in Afghanistan) (4) Mark Warner v (1) Michael Cecil (2) Stuart Bentham (3) Alexander Grinling (4) Joakim Lehmkuhl, CA 18/02/11

It was not for the claimant to unilaterally decide to postpone service and he should have served the Claim Form within the initial period of validity. If this was not possible due to their financial position they should have applied for a stay or an extension of time for procedural steps to be taken. The judge should have addressed the limitation consequences of his order including if an extension of time was granted, whether this might deprive the defendant from a limitation defence. The stronger the claim, the more important the defendant’s limitation defence, and this should not be circumvented by an extension of time for serving the claim form save in exceptional circumstances.

March 25, 2011 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases