Due to ‘corona-disruption’, some important CPR Practice Direction updates, which came into force on 6th April 2020, may have slipped under the radar. To ensure we are all up to speed, Joanna Lewis has synthesised the updates into the handy summary below.
PRACTICE DIRECTION 16 – STATEMENTS OF CASE
There are two new subparagraphs setting out what ‘must’ be pleaded in Particulars of Claim involving credit hire:
6.3 Where the claim includes the cost of hire of a replacement motor vehicle following a road traffic accident, the claimant must state in the particulars of claim—
(1) the need for the replacement vehicle at the relevant time;
(2) the period of hire claimed (providing the start and end of the period);
(3) the rate of hire claimed;
(4) the reasonableness of the period and rate of hire; and
(5) impecuniosity (if the claim relates to credit hire).
6.4 In paragraph 6.3—
(1) “relevant time” means at the start of the hire and throughout the period of hire;
(2) the obligation to state the matters there set out includes an obligation to state relevant facts.”.
Particulars of Claim involving credit hire now need to cover all these specific issues – need for a hire vehicle throughout the hire period, the dates of the period of hire, the hire rate, impecuniosity and the reasonableness of the period and rate.
Proper instructions, particularly in respect of impecuniosity will need to be obtained before issue.
Whilst the Practice Direction uses the word ‘must’ there is still no automatic sanction for failing to comply. Furthermore there is no clear guidance as to what ‘relevant facts’ may or may not be and there is no requirement for documentation in support of credit hire claims from the outset.
PRACTICE DIRECTION 22 – STATEMENTS OF TRUTH
This has been updated to include a contempt warning at the end of statements of case and witness statements:
“I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.”
Statements of truth must be in the witness’s own language and dated with the date when it is signed The repercussions for making a false statement are now clearly spelt out and should act as a reminder to obtain full and clear instructions from clients before statements are signed. (Note the fundamental dishonesty finding in Mansur Haider v DSM Demolition Ltd 2019)
PRACTICE DIRECTION 32 – EVIDENCE
The witness statement must now contain:
- Details as to how it has been prepared 32PD.18.1(5);
- Be in the witness’s own language 32PD18.1(1);
- The (updated) statement of truth must be in the witness’s own language 32PD18.1(5);
- Where the witness statement is in a foreign language it must be translated and a copy of the translation and foreign language statement must be filed with the court 32PD23.2(a);
- The translator must sign the translation to certify it is accurate and date it 32PD23.2(b)
The 113th Update to the Civil Procedure Rules can be found here:
If you have any queries on the above, or relating to Credit Hire in general, please contact the clerks via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0117 921 1966 and we will ensure one of our expert Counsel responds.
Our Counsel are adept at working digitally and continuing to provide exemplary advocacy and legal advice to ensure your clients cases can progress even through these difficult times.