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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    Please help ask the government not to increase the fee for a general application in civil proceedings to £255



    Proposals for further reforms to court fees Overview In Part 1 of the Government response to the consultation ‘Court fees: proposals for reform’, we set out our decision to consider alternatives to the proposed fee increase for divorce. However, whilst we have decided not to proceed with the divorce proposal, this has not changed the […]
    Read More -> Citizen Space – Proposals for further reforms to court fees

    This is the consultation for

    Subject to these exemptions, the Government proposes to raise the fee for a general application in civil proceedings:

    by £50 for an application without notice or by consent. The fee would therefore increase from £50 to £100; and
    by £100 for an application on notice which is contested. The fee would therefore increase from £155 to £255.




    SO please READ and respond if you have strong feelings about this issue.
    Last edited by Amethyst; 29th July 2015 at 09:45:AM.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    Would it or could it mean that consumers have the Courts attention on their rights to consider "fairness" in the future or just pure cost savings............

    At what point can you put a "price" on the correct or right decision & is that what it is all about now.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post
    Would it or could it mean that consumers have the Courts attention on their rights to consider "fairness" in the future or just pure cost savings............

    At what point can you put a "price" on the correct or right decision & is that what it is all about now.
    I have responded pointing out that the rise last year to £155 has stopped many people making applications to set aside default judgments and if it goes to £255 that will increase the unfairness on defendants in moneyclaims.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    I filled in an N244 in Jan (with fee £155) del by hand only to find two weeks later a "Notice of Eviction" land on my doorstep which required another N244 to set aside for the very same legal case.

    Not so much the cost & inconvenience but moreover the ease at which the opposition can have you over..............without your knowledge even !

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    Civil Justice Council (CJC) RESPONSE


    Question 2 – Do you agree with the proposal to increase the fee for a general application in civil proceedings from:
    £50 to £100 for an application without notice or by consent; and
    £155 to £255 for an application on notice, which is contested, subject to exemptions for injunctions for protection from harassment or violence; applications for a payment to be made from funds held in court and applications made in proceedings brought under the Insolvency Act 1986?


    No. The CJC believes that the scale of these increases, coming so swiftly after the April 2014 changes, is excessive. The fee in the first category has risen 100%, and the second category by 61%.

    It should be borne in mind that in a number of cases these applications arise from the behaviour of the other party (the respondent) or circumstances beyond a claimant’s own control – for example time extensions due to ill health or an expert witness failing to meet a court deadline.
    We fear that these measures may discourage co-operative behaviour by the parties – for example being required to pay a fee for an application for a consent order may discourage settlements.

    We would also recommend exempting small claims (those below £10,000) from these increases.
    The CJC strongly supports the proposal to exempt the three suggested areas (injunctions to protect against harassment and violence, applications on behalf of a child or vulnerable adult for payments out of court funds and specified insolvency proceedings) from these fee increases.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    LAW SOCIETY RESPONSE


    Question 2: Do you agree with the proposal to increase the fee for a general application in civil proceedings from:
     £50 to £100 for an application without notice or by consent; and
     £155 to £255 for an application on notice which is contested.
    subject to an exemption for:
     applications to vary or extend an injunction for protection from harassment or violence;
     applications for a payment to be made from funds held in court; and
     applications made in proceedings brought under the Insolvency Act 1986.


    As stated above, the Society opposes the concept of "enhanced fees".

    The consultation paper sets out no rationale whatsoever to justify a 100 per cent increase in the cost of issuing an application without notice or consent, and a 66 per cent increase in the cost of an application on notice which is contested (the latter is in addition to an almost 100 per cent increase in the fee for such claims from £80 to £155 on 22 April 2014). The proposed increases seem disproportionate to the work and costs involved for the court service in issuing a claim.

    The fee increases also bear no relation to the amount of work involved in processing the claims on behalf of the court compared to the work of legal representatives involved in the case. A solicitor's fixed cost for a fast-track personal injury application is now £125. The proposed fee increase will be more than double this - that is, double the fee of the representative who must prepare the application and witness statement, serve it and attend the hearing.

    Many of the applications to which this question relates are made during proceedings that are already in progress. The consultation paper states that two thirds of general applications are made during applications for money claims. Increased fees for general applications in civil proceedings will therefore push up the costs of litigation even further, as they will come on top of higher issuing fees for money claims and other costs.

    Moreover, the MOJ’s four arguments do not work for these claims either. In addition to the points raised in respect of question 1, we would point out that general application fees are not recoverable. This means that there will be much more scope for parties to bear their own costs, thereby increasing the outlay of the ‘innocent party’, whether claimant or defendant. Again, those on lower incomes will be hit hardest, making access to justice a privilege for those with deeper pockets.

    Claims can be brought under conditional fee arrangements

    Conditional fee arrangements may be available to some claimants in some circumstances. However, conditional fee arrangements apply to solicitors' fees. They do not cover court fees, which need to be paid regardless of whether the claim is successful or not. The Government assumes here that either solicitors themselves will finance the initial costs or that ATE will be available to cover the costs. For the reasons we have given, both assumptions seem flawed.

    Fee remissions are available for those who qualify

    As stated above, it is no argument to say that fee remissions will be available for those on lower incomes, especially as the impact assessments assume that eligibility for fee remissions will be unchanged. The income level at which fee remissions is available is far too low to be of any assistance to the majority of individuals – it is below the threshold for eligibility for civil legal aid. The process of applying for the remission of court fees is also highly complicated, designed seemingly to deter ordinary people from applying and in urgent need of simplification.

    If, despite this, the Government were minded to proceed with this increase, the Society would support the exemptions set out in the consultation paper.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
    I have responded pointing out that the rise last year to £155 has stopped many people making applications to set aside default judgments and if it goes to £255 that will increase the unfairness on defendants in moneyclaims.
    OUTRAGEOUS!

    Even more so when you consider how many get surprise CCJs for small amounts of just a few hundred, yet having a CCJ on file can affect more than just credit, however, if you have to pay £255 to set aside a £400 CCJ it seems rather pointless, but then you have to live with a CCJ on the public record for 6 years.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    Well, the increases have been rubber stamped and come into force on Monday.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    Money Advice Trust Response

    Question 2: Do you agree with the proposal to increase the fee for a general application in civil proceedings from:
    • £50 to £100 for an application without notice or by consent; and
    • £155 to £255 for an application on notice which is contested.
    subject to an exemption for:
    • applications to vary or extend an injunction for protection from harassment or violence;
    • applications for a payment to be made from funds held in court; and
    • applications made in proceedings brought under the Insolvency Act 1986.


    In general, we do not agree with these proposals. The listed exemptions make sense but serve only as a small mitigation. We feel strongly that this proposal should be dropped, but if it is decided to proceed, we would like to see a separate consultation on a wider list of groups that would be exempt.

    The vast majority of National Debtline clients will come across the requirement to pay a court fee when either looking to apply to vary a judgment, suspend enforcement or to prevent the repossession of their home and possible eviction. Occasionally our clients may enquire about the possibility of having a judgment set aside.

    In each of these cases, our clients are almost certainly going to be suffering from significant financial hardship.

    Our greatest concern is in relation to the increase in the fee for a general application on notice. The increase from £155 to £255 reflects a 64.5% rise. This, in our view, is highly disproportionate. Such an increase is likely to cause notable ramifications for a large number of individuals and families alike.

    It appears that the proposed increased fee levels will not apply to applications to suspend a warrant of possession as this falls under section 2.7 of the Civil Proceedings Fees Order.1 We would seek confirmation that fees under section 2.7 are not affected by these proposals as many National Debtline clients will come across the need to pay this fee when applying to suspend a possession order or eviction warrant. A significant number of homes could be at risk of being repossessed simply on the basis that the fee to suspend such action is unaffordable.
    A temporary change in circumstances such as loss of job, separation, or ill health could jeopardise an existing court order that had suspended or postponed possession. Having affordable access to the courts is a must – not only for our clients but the general public as a whole.

    1 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...0140874_en.pdf

    2.7 On an application to vary a judgment or suspend enforcement including an application to suspend a warrant of possession. £50


    Question 3: Are there other types of case in which a general application may be made which you believe should be exempted from the proposed fee increases? Please provide details.

    As we have said, we do not support the proposed fee increases. However, if they are to go ahead, then we believe that there are other types of case which should be exempted from the proposed fee increases. As planned, the fees will cause detriment to those members of society who are the most vulnerable when attempting to deal with their debts.

    The paper states that two thirds of these applications are made in money claims. We would suggest that where these applications are made by defendants in a money claim, that they are not able to recover these costs from their opponent as suggested in section 110 of the paper.

    In our experience of providing debt advice for many years, people in debt will typically make the following applications which are mainly related to enforcement of judgments made against them in the county court for money claims. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list.

    Applications are generally made ex-parte in the following situations.

    • to suspend a possession order to pay back mortgage or rent arrears in instalments;
    • to suspend a warrant of possession for rent or mortgage arrears;
    • to pay a county court judgment in instalments;
    • to vary the terms of an instalment order on a county court judgment;
    • to suspend a warrant of control to stop enforcement agent action;
    • to pay the warrant in instalments as part of the suspension of a warrant of control;
    • to ask for a stay of execution in the High Court to suspend a writ of control
    • to ask for a transfer to your local court for a hearing;
    • to vary the terms of a charging order or to pay by instalments on a charging order;
    • to apply for a time order in the course of proceedings for eligible agreements under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (secured loans, hire purchase and conditional sale agreements and unsecured loan agreements);
    • to set aside a judgment made in error or where there is a defence to the claim;
    • to vary the terms of an attachment of earnings order or to apply for a consolidated attachment of earnings order.

    We seek confirmation that applications to suspend warrants of possession and applications to suspend enforcement will be exempt from the fee increases because they come under section 2.7 of the fees order rather than section 2.5.

    In addition, if that is the case, we propose that exemptions from the increase in fees also apply to the money claim enforcement cases listed above where section 2.7 does not apply.
    We would also dispute the contention in the paper in section 110 that the fee:
    “remains low, compared to the overall costs of litigation.”

    For our clients who are in debt and attempting to deal with their creditors, they will have no available income to pay for court applications. Many of our clients may have an income that
    exceeds the level that means they will qualify for fee remission, but because of their level of debts, their income will be used to pay back priority debt arrears such as rent and mortgage, fuel and council tax, and to pay back their creditors. As you will be aware, if people in debt are already making payments on their court judgments, they risk getting further into difficulties if they have to miss payments in order to find a court fee.

    Court fees for people in debt of £100 for an application without notice (N245) and £255 for an application on notice (N244) are completely unsustainable.

    We would suggest that access for justice for the most vulnerable people who are in debt could be seriously compromised if these proposals go ahead with no exemptions for this group.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    Find Solicitors and Legal Services Providers offering fixed fees on our sister site - LBcompare.co.uk

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    City of London Law Society

    Question 2: Do you agree with the proposal to increase the fee for a general
    application in civil proceedings from:
     £50 to £100 for an application without notice or by consent; and
     £155 to £255 for an application on notice which is contested?


    No.
    These increases will only serve to exacerbate the effect of the increase in issue fees
    in rendering access to justice less affordable, or even unaffordable, for many small
    businesses and individuals.

    Even if there were no reasons of principle to object to this proposal, it is inappropriate
    for the fee for applications by consent to be the same as the fee for applications
    without notice. Applications by consent generally require little or no judicial time,
    unlike without notice applications, and should attract a lower fee.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    Find Solicitors and Legal Services Providers offering fixed fees on our sister site - LBcompare.co.uk

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    BAR COUNCIL RESPONSE TO PART 2 COURT FEES CONSULTATION

    People lacking mental capacity and their families should not be forced to pay enhanced court fees in the Court of Protection, the Bar Council has warned the Government in response to its Part 2 consultation on ‘enhanced’ court fees.

    The Government is proposing lifting general application fees from £50 to £100 and from £155 to £255.



    Alistair MacDonald QC, Chairman of the Bar said: “The Court of Protection makes decisions involving vulnerable people lacking mental capacity. Families and carers of those who lack mental capacity, as well as the sufferers themselves, often struggle financially. They should not be additionally or disproportionately burdened.”

    The Bar Council also warned that raising fees will impact those on modest incomes and lead to poor management of court proceedings.
    Alistair MacDonald QC said: “Raising the fees for general applications by 65% and 100% means people will have to pay considerably greater sums just to keep their cases going. Alternatively, they will avoid issuing applications which can lead to poor management of proceedings and an increased likelihood of satellite litigation, all of which wastes court time.
    “We are not talking about multinational firms in multi-million pound law suits. General applications relate to things like chasing a cowboy builder, or challenging an application for possession of your home.
    “Studies show that there is price elasticity around the use of courts, so the Government knows this will stop some people from using the law to seek the redress they need.
    “Litigants in person are also appearing in increasing numbers. The days when it can be expected that both parties will be represented by lawyers are over. These fees will make it that bit harder for people to navigate the system.
    “It is right that court users make a contribution, but wrong in principle that court fees should be used to generate more money than the courts cost to operate. Everyone benefits from having an effective, accessible system of legal redress, even those who do not actually end up using it.”
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    Missed this today... PT pointed it out - > http://www.parliament.uk/business/co.../inquiry-name/

    Not happy reading.


    Will be responding.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2015-07-22 22_36_19-enhancedfeesresponseconsultationonfurtherfees.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.png   2015-07-22 22_38_21-enhancedfeesresponseconsultationonfurtherfees(1).pdf - Adobe Acrobat Reader .png  
    Attached Files Attached Files
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    Find Solicitors and Legal Services Providers offering fixed fees on our sister site - LBcompare.co.uk

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    From the Law Society

    22 July 2015
    The government today published its response to a consultation on enhanced fees for divorce proceedings, possession claims, and general applications in civil proceedings. In addition, the government announced a new consultation on further fee increases.

    Law Society president Jonathan Smithers said: “The government introduced dramatic hikes to court fees just months ago. These latest proposals will increase fees by up to 1,320 per cent for some cases. They will deny individuals and small businesses access to justice, crippling them when trying to recover monies owed to them.

    “All civil cases, from those filing for divorce to landlords needing their property back are affected by these latest punitive increases which are tantamount to selling justice like a commodity, leaving it out of reach for many ordinary people. This will only serve to widen the access to justice gap in our two tier justice system.”

    Background: We will issue a more detailed response shortly. Until March 2015, a claim for £200,000 would have cost £1,515. From March, that increased to £10,000. These latest government proposals would take the fee to £20,000, an increase of 1,320 per cent compared with pre-March 2015.

    ENDS
    Any opinions I give are my own. Any advice I give is without liability. If you are unsure, please seek qualified legal advice.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    I could have my say and post what I think about these increases along with most of the policies of this lovely Tory government, Camoron, IDS, etc., however, I don't think swearing, profanity and abuse are allowed on this forum.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up £100 to £255 - HAVE YOUR SAY

    Only 4% of 168 respondents agree with £100 rise in court application fee...So the government decides to do it anyway.



    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2015-07-23 08_28_54-enhancedfeesresponseconsultationonfurtherfees(1).pdf - Adobe Acrobat Reader .png   2015-07-23 08_29_56-enhancedfeesresponseconsultationonfurtherfees(1).pdf - Adobe Acrobat Reader .png  
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    Find Solicitors and Legal Services Providers offering fixed fees on our sister site - LBcompare.co.uk

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    I've made a petition on the gov petition site - they are waiting to approve it at the moment - soon as they do i'll post a link here. People who have signed already are 'sponsors' of the petition.


    My petition:
    Not increase the fee for a general application in civil proceedings to £255

    The government consulted on proposals to increase court fees in civil claims including a rise in the fees for general applications. The fee is to rise from £155 to £255 for an application on notice. 96% of respondents to that consultation disagreed with the increase yet the government continue.
    Last edited by Amethyst; 24th July 2015 at 07:18:AM.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    An older article from the first consultation ( you know the one where 96% of respondents said NO ) http://www.litigationfutures.com/new...plication-fees
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    It is disgrace. I thought the whole point of small claims was to make justice accessible

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    It's being slowly chipped away.... as is access to justice across the board - criminal, civil....

    We have seen a massive reduction in consumers applying to the court to ask to set aside default judgements (where court papers have never been received) or ask for an order to comply with a CPR 31.14 request ( which wouldn't be necessary if the debt pre-action protocols come in ever! - only the basic documents to evidence the debt are being asked for )... since the rise from £80 to £155 a couple years back.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    Find Solicitors and Legal Services Providers offering fixed fees on our sister site - LBcompare.co.uk

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
    Hi,
    I’ve made a petition – will you sign it?
    Click this link to sign the petition:
    [link removed awaiting approval]
    My petition:
    Not increase the fee for a general application in civil proceedings to £255
    The government consulted on proposals to increase court fees in civil claims including a rise in the fees for general applications. The fee is to rise from £155 to £255 for an application on notice. 96% of respondents to that consultation disagreed with the increase yet the government continue.

    signed
    Last edited by Amethyst; 24th July 2015 at 07:18:AM.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    Find Solicitors and Legal Services Providers offering fixed fees on our sister site - LBcompare.co.uk

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    Signed.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

    Increases in court fees will impact access to justice
    Significant and wide ranging increases in court fees announced by the government yesterday amount to a further assault on access to justice for individuals and small businesses.

    The government is proposing further increases in court fees, before there has been any opportunity to assess the impact of the fee increases announced in March.

    Law Society president Jonathan Smithers said:

    “The government introduced dramatic hikes to court fees just months ago. These latest proposals will increase fees by more than 1,000 per cent for claims of £200,000 or more. They will deny individuals and small businesses access to justice, crippling anyone trying to recover monies owed to them.

    “All civil cases, from divorce to landlords trying to get their property back, are affected by these punitive increases which are tantamount to treating justice like a commodity. Justice will be out of reach for many ordinary people. This will only serve to widen the access to justice gap in our two tier justice system.

    "The civil courts are the backbone of a fair society and a prosperous economy. I urge the government to look at the wider impact of the Ministry of Justice’s increased fees."

    The maximum court fee payable by a claimant was increased to £10,000 in March this year - an increase of nearly 600 per cent for claims of £200,000. The government is now proposing that this fee be doubled, to 'at least' £20,000, which would represent an increase of over 1,000 per cent in under six months. The government will profit from those who can afford to go to court for these cases as the fees charged will far outstrip the cost to the justice system.

    Law Society Jonathan Smithers commented on the latest proposal:

    "In such a short space of time it is impossible to assess the impact of the first fee increases on access to justice, let alone predict what impact a further increase might have."

    The fee changes include (1):

    ·Blanket increase in cost of civil court cases, from divorce to debt recovery or will disputes

    ·Cost of claiming compensation

    ·The cost of divorce

    ·The cost of reclaiming your property

    Government ignores consultation respondents

    When the Law Society canvassed solicitors earlier this year they said higher court fees will:

    oPut people off going to court when they have genuine claims. Those out of work due to injury caused by negligence would not risk losing what little money they had left on court fees, even if they had a strong claim.
    oProvide an incentive for large companies to deny liability, knowing that the injured parties would not be in a position to fund expensive court fees. Under the current fees, large companies and insurers often settle out of court when they are clearly liable.
    oLead to small business insolvency. Unpaid invoices of tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds mean cash flow and overdrafts are already stretched. For some companies, insolvency will be the only option.


    Law Society president Jonathan Smithers further commented: "The court fee increases were opposed by 90 per cent of respondents to the government consultation that preceded yesterday's announcement, making a mockery of the consultation process.

    "Solicitors, who support people through court cases that have profound effects on their lives, are absolutely clear that court fee increases spell disaster for access to justice, pricing the public out of the courts and leaving small businesses saddled with debts they are due but unable to afford to recover.

    "The government said it would review the impact of the fee increases introduced in March, but in the short time that has passed the effect cannot be adequately assessed. The Law Society will be consulting its members in order to assess the impact of these fees on ordinary people and small businesses."


    Ends

    Notes to editors

    (1)Details of changes to civil court fees

    Blanket increase in cost of civil court cases, from divorce to debt recovery or will disputes

    Anyone who finds themselves involved in civil proceedings for any reason could be liable for thousands of pounds in new charges as the cost of a general application doubles to £100. The fee for a contested application will increase by over 60 per cent, from £155 per application to £255. In the course of a case, each party may have to make many general applications and so these fee increases will hit some people very hard.

    The government also announced a 'general uplift of ten per cent' to a wide range of fees in civil proceedings, further adding to the cost of seeking justice through the courts. These fees amount to a tax on justice.

    Punitive cost of claiming compensation

    Despite widespread concerns over how fee threshold increases will affect people who have been injured or harmed by clinical negligence and need to seek compensation to fund their care, the £10,000 threshold will apply in these cases. There are undoubtedly some who may no longer be able to afford to seek compensation to fund their care following an injury suffered through no fault of their own.

    The cost of divorce

    The cost of filing for divorce - something four out of every ten married couples will do - is increasing by £140, from £410 to £550 - an increase of over 34 per cent.
    The cost of reclaiming your property
    The cost of moving a tenant out of a property through the courts is increasing by over 25 per cent from £280 to £375. This will impact local authorities, whose budgets are already suffering huge cuts, as well as social landlords who provide vital housing.

    Changes in fee thresholds for money claims in UK civil courts from March 2015

    Claim range
    Pre-March 2015 fee March 2015 fee New proposed fee
    £10,001
    £15,000
    £455
    5% (£500 -£750)
    No change
    £15,001
    £50,000
    £610
    5% (£750 - £2,500)
    No change
    £50,001
    £100,000
    £910
    5% (£2,500 - £5,000)
    No change
    £100,001
    £150,000
    £1,115
    5% (£5,000 - £7,500)
    No change
    £150,001
    £200,000
    £1,315
    5% (£7,500 - £10,000)
    No change
    £200,001
    £250,000
    £1,515
    £10,000
    £20,000
    £250,001
    £300,000
    £1,720
    £10,000
    £20,000
    £300,001+
    £1,920
    £10,000
    £20,000


    About the Law Society

    The Law Society is the independent professional body, established for solicitors in 1825, that works globally to support and represent its members, promoting the highest professional standards and the rule of law.

    For further information or to arrange interviews contact:
    Harriet Beaumont
    +44 (0)20 7320 5830
    Harriet.beaumont@lawsociety.org.uk
    ****
    Any opinions I give are my own. Any advice I give is without liability. If you are unsure, please seek qualified legal advice.

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    Default Re: Consultation on COURT FEES - N244 up to £255 in APRIL - HAVE YOUR SAY

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