Out of date court form – N510

Update: Amended Form N510 was made available by the MOJ on 19 June 2015 - see our post here.

The introduction of Brussels I (recast) involved changes to the CPR but the MOJ appears to have forgotten that work was also required to Form N510.  This is an important omission as the claimant is required to complete Form N510 when serving a claim form out of the jurisdiction without the permission of the court and such service can be effected under Brussels I (recast) and the new provisions in CPR 6.33.  Failure to complete Form N510 correctly can result in in the defendant arguing that service of the claim form was void and this may well lead to headaches for the claimant if there are limitation issues.

 What should practitioners do until an updated Form N510 is available?

Although the current Form N510 does not make any provision for a claimant to tick the grounds it is relying on under Brussels I (recast), no guidance has been issued by the MOJ on how practitioners should approach this issue although it is apparently working to update the form.   Until an updated Form N510 is available what should practitioners do?  A way forward is to make manuscript amends to the most appropriate box in the form and ticking it.  As well as that write a comment at the top of the form to explain what you have done eg

"This form only reflects provisions in the previous Judgments Regulation. In this matter, reliance is placed on provisions within the Judgments Regulation and so the form has been amended in manuscript to reflect the new provision relied on. For the avoidance of doubt this is [Insert the provision you want to rely on]."

Note: if you are seeking to serve a claim form issued prior to 10 January 2015 the old CPR provisions will apply as will the previous Judgments Regulation and so the current form would be correct.

One would hope that, as the MOJ has failed to provide an updated Form N510, the court would, if the defendant took issue, exercise its discretion to allow the service to be valid.  The court has such a discretion under CPR 6.34(2)(b).

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