Civil Procedure Rules, Practice Directions - Extracts

AuthorDavid Giles/Maurice Rifat

Appendix 2

Civil Procedure Rules, Practice Directions – Extracts


Claims which appear to fall within rule 3.4(2)(a) or (b)
If a court officer is asked to issue a claim form which he believes may fall within rule 3.4(2)(a) or (b) he should issue it, but may then consult a judge (under rule 3.2) before returning the claim form to the claimant or taking any other step to serve the defendant. The judge may on his own initiative make an immediate order designed to ensure that the claim is disposed of or (as the case may be) proceeds in a way that accords with the rules.

2.4 Orders the judge may make include:

(1) an order that the claim be stayed until further order,

(2) an order that the claim form be retained by the court and not served until the stay is lifted,

(3) an order that no application by the claimant to lift the stay be heard unless he files such further documents (for example a witness statement or an amended claim form or particulars of claim) as may be specified in the order.

2.5 Where the judge makes any such order or, subsequently, an order lifting the stay he may give directions about the service on the defendant of the order and any other documents on the court file.

180 Vexatious Litigants and Civil Restraint Orders

2.6 The fact that a judge allows a claim referred to him by a court officer to proceed does not prejudice the right of any party to apply for any order against the claimant.

Vexatious litigants
This Practice Direction applies where a ‘civil proceedings order’ or an ‘all proceedings order’ (as respectively defined under section 42(1A) of the Senior Courts Act 1981) is in force against a person (‘the litigant’).

7.2 An application by the litigant for permission to begin or continue, or to make any application in, any civil proceedings shall be made by application notice issued in the High Court and signed by the litigant.

7.3 The application notice must state:

(1) the title and reference number of the proceedings in which the civil proceedings order or the all proceedings order, as the case may be, was made,

(2) the full name of the litigant and his address,

(3) the order the applicant is seeking, and

(4) briefly, why the applicant is seeking the order.

7.4 The application notice must be filed together with any written evidence on which the litigant relies in support of his application.

7.5 Either in the application notice or in written evidence filed in support of the application, the previous occasions on which the litigant made an application for permission under section 42(1A) of the said Act must be listed.

7.6 The application notice, together with any written evidence, will be placed before a High Court judge who may:

(1) without the attendance of the applicant make an order giving the permission sought;

(2) give directions for further written evidence to be supplied by the litigant before an order is made on the application;

(3) make an order dismissing the application without a hearing; or

(4) give directions for the hearing of the application.


This practice direction applies where the court is considering whether to make –

(a) a limited civil restraint order;

(b) an extended civil restraint order; or

(c) a general civil restraint order,

against a party who has issued claims or made applications which are totally without merit.

Rules 3.3(7), 3.4(6) and 23.12 provide that where a statement of case or application is struck out or dismissed and is totally without merit, the court order must specify that fact and the court must consider whether to make a civil restraint order. Rule 52.10(6) makes similar provision where the appeal court refuses an application for permission to appeal, strikes out an appellant's notice or dismisses an appeal.

Limited civil restraint orders
A limited civil restraint order may be made by a judge of any court where a party has made 2 or more applications which are totally without merit.

2.2 Where the court makes a limited civil restraint order, the party...

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