The legal standing in regards to obtaining court fee remissions from the defendant has finally taken a stance. Previous inconsistencies by the courts have made it difficult to establish whether the claimant can recover court fees from the losing defendant if the claimant failed to obtain the fees via the remission form.
Previously the answer to this query varied depending on where the case was heard. In the case Cook v Malcolm Nicholls Limited, Coventry County Court held that the answer was yes, as “court fee is the court fee. That has got to be paid. “On the contrary, in Stoney v Allianz Insurance Plc, Liverpool County Court concluded that the claimant was entitled to a full remission of the court fees by completing the remission form only. It would otherwise be unreasonable and irrecoverable from the defendant. Neither of these decisions were binding which meant there remained a level of uncertainty in the matter.
In the recent case of Ivanoy v Lubble 2020, the HHJ Lethem ruled on whether the claimant can recover court fees from the defendant having failed to apply for a fee remission. The case confirmed that the claimant can appeal and recover the fees from the defendant regardless of whether the claimant completed the form.
The judge discussed who the burden of proof lies with. The Defence argued that the burden of proof lies with the Respondent in proving that the claimant failed to mitigate their loss. The Claimant argued that the burden lies on the appellant to show that the cost recovering is not unreasonable but “reasonable and proportionate.” The judge resided with the Claimants approach. The Judge discussed issuing a part 23 application which seeks an order for costs and an assessment of those costs. The authority for which is provided in the civil procedure rules, expressly in CPR Rule 44.3.
To avoid this matter in its entirety, it is in the best interest for the solicitors to check whether the client qualifies for the court fee remission beforehand and apply for the remission in a timely manner to avoid the need to appeal to the court in first instance.
Alison Law Solicitors