Importance of complying with Court Orders

Does it matter if you breach a Court Order (e.g. miss a deadline or requirement as ordered by the Court?) In short- yes, it really does because the Court has the power to ‘strike out’ a Claim/Defence if it appears to the Court that there has been a failure to comply with a Court Order.

Sometimes before striking out a Claim/Defence, the Court will give one ‘last chance’ to rectify the non-compliance by sending what is known as an ‘Unless Order’. This is an Order with a conditional sanction requiring performance of a specified act by a particular date or within a particular period (Marcan Shipping v Kefalas).

If you then also fail to comply with the Unless Order, some examples of the consequences are set out below;

  • The sanction prescribed in the order (e.g. strike out) taking effect automatically.
  • If a Claim is ‘struck out’, it will no longer exist (you cannot re-issue proceedings for the same claim.)
  • If a Defence is ‘struck out’, this means that the Claimant can enter Judgment against the Defendant.
  • There will ordinarily be costs consequences for the party in default of the Unless Order.

However, subject to certain requirements and the permission of the Court, there is a chance that you may be able to make an Application to the Court for ‘relief from sanctions’ provided there are justifiable reasons as to why the Orders were not complied with and that action is taken immediately.

If you find yourself in this situation and require further advice, please contact us on 01922 700 730

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