The Ministry of Justice is introducing new rules that will automatically strike out claims where a trial fee is not paid.
We previously reported on the forthcoming changes to the Civil Proceedings Fees Order 2008, which will remove the ability to claim a refund of the trial fee if the matter settles or is discontinued after it has been paid.
Changes to the CPR required to bring about changes to the strike out rules have now been made and come into force on 6 April 2017. Under the new CPR 3.7A1(7), a court will automatically strike out a claim where the trial fee has not been paid on or before the trial fee payment date.
Automatic strike out for non-payment will also apply to cases where the claimant has received notice to pay the trial fee and an application for remission has been refused or granted in part (CPR 3.7A1(7).
Furthermore, where the trial fee is not paid and the claim is struck out but there is a counterclaim, the counterclaim will still stand. However, it is important to note the same principle of automatically striking out a claim for non-payment will apply to a counterclaim where the trial fee has not been paid on time.
The defaulting party retains a right to apply to reinstate the claim; however this must be made within 7 days of service of the order and will be conditional on payment of the fee. Satellite litigation on the circumstances when relief will be granted is expected.