Q&As

Where a claimant dies during small claims litigation, how should the court be alerted to the death of the claimant whose executor wishes to continue the proceedings? Is there an automatic stay until Grant of Probate or can a hearing proceed without?

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Produced in partnership with Daniel Laking of 39 Essex Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 04/06/2021

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A produced in partnership with Daniel Laking of 39 Essex Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where a claimant dies during small claims litigation, how should the court be alerted to the death of the claimant whose executor wishes to continue the proceedings? Is there an automatic stay until Grant of Probate or can a hearing proceed without?

Where a claimant dies during small claims litigation, how should the court be alerted to the death of the claimant whose executor wishes to continue the proceedings? Is there an automatic stay until Grant of Probate or can a hearing proceed without?

Section 1 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 keeps alive any cause of action (apart from defamation) by or against a person (or their estate) once they have died. If a claimant dies before the issue of proceedings, the potential cause of action vests in their administrators and can be brought for the benefit of the claimant’s estate. Where proceedings have not been brought, the law requires the personal representatives of the claimant to have either been granted probate or administration'>letters of administration and should be brought by the personal representatives of the estate of the deceased (Ingall v Moran; Millburn-Snell v Evans).

But what is the position if a claimant dies during litigation? In these scenarios, the procedure is governed by CPR 19. Where a claimant has died, their executor or administrator may apply for an order to be added or substituted as the claimant to continue proceedings as the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. If limitation has not expired, the application would be made pursuant to CPR 19.2. Where there is a sole claimant this is most likely to

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