- Appeals caught by practice direction CPR PD 51Z staying possession claims under CPR 55 (Hackney London Borough Council v Okoro)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Property Disputes analysis: The court held that the words of CPR PD 51Z, para 2 are broad enough that the stay imposed on ‘all proceedings brought under CPR Part 55’ includes appeals. As a matter of ordinary language, proceedings brought under CPR 55 are still ‘brought’ under it even when they are under appeal. Although the procedure governing appeals is contained in CPR 52 the proceedings remain proceedings under CPR 55. The court recognised that the objective of CPR PD 51Z was to protect and manage County Court capacity and the administration of justice without endangering public health during the coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic, and possession proceedings form a large part of County Court workload (see Arkin v Marshall  EWCA Civ 620 [para 42]). The court noted there are around 138,000 possession claims brought each year in the County Court, and appeals and set asides are not uncommon and often defendants are vulnerable and unrepresented and only realise action is required by them late in the day. Written by Tim Baldwin, barrister, Garden Court Chambers.
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