High Court enforcement of possession orders: notice requirements under CPR 83.13

Monday 4 September 2017

Partridge v Gupta [2017] EWHC 2110 (QB), 15 August 2017

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Partridge v Gupta [2017] EWHC 2110 (QB), 15 August 2017

Section 42 County Courts Act 1984 allows for the transfer of various matters, including the enforcement of possession orders, from the county court to the High Court. The procedure for the enforcement of such orders is set out in CPR 83.13 which provides as follows:

(1) A judgment or order for the giving of possession of land may be enforced in the High Court by one or more of the following means—

(a) writ of possession;

(2) Subject to paragraphs (3), (5) and (6), a writ of possession to enforce a judgment or order for the giving of possession of any land will not be issued without the permission of the court.

(8) Permission referred to in paragraph (2) will not be granted unless it is shown—

(a) that every person in actual possession of the whole or any part of the land ('the occupant') has received such notice of the proceedings as appears to the court sufficient to enable the occupant to apply to the court for any relief to which the occupant may be entitled;…

In this case, a possession order was made against the Appellant, Mr Partridge, in the county court. His landlord, Mr Gupta, applied for permission to enforce the order in the High Court. Prior to the application being made made, letters were sent to Mr Partridge and to ‘the occupiers’ at the property in question, informing them that leave was to be sought to enforce the order in the High Court. However, the application itself was made without notice. Permission to issue a writ of possession was granted and Mr Partridge and his family were subsequently evicted. They had received no notice of the arrival of the enforcement officers.

Mr Partridge subsequently sought to set-aside the order granting permission to issue the writ of possession on the basis that he had not received adequate notice within the meaning of CPR 83.13(8). This application was dismissed by a Master. Foskett J dismissed Mr Partridge’s appeal. The test for deciding whether permission to issue a writ of possession should be granted following an order for possession, is whether ‘every person in actual possession of the whole or any part of the land … has received such notice of the proceedings as appears to the court sufficient to enable the occupant to apply to the court for any relief to which the occupant may be entitled.’ The ‘notice of the proceedings’ referred to does not necessarily require either the service of the formal notice of application for permission or even a more informal intimation by letter or other communication that the application will be heard on a particular day or at a particular time. Either would be sufficient, but neither is required by the rule provided that the notice is sufficient to enable the occupant(s) to apply for relief.

The judgment is available here: Partridge v Gupta [2017] EWHC 2110 (QB)

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