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County Courts Act 1984

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Commencement Orders

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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:

Part IX E+W+S+N.I. Miscellaneous and General

Financial ProvisionsE+W

128 Fees.E+W

F1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

129 Enforcement of fines. E+W

Payment of any fine imposed by any court under this Act may be enforced upon the order of the judge in like manner—

(a)as payment of a debt adjudged by the court to be paid may be enforced under this Act; or

(b)as payment of a sum adjudged to be paid by a conviction of a magistrates’ court may be enforced under the M1Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 (disregarding section 81(1) of that Act).

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

130 Payment and application of fees, fines, etc. E+W

(1)Subject to subsection (2), all fees, forfeitures and fines payable under this Act and any penalty payable to an officer of a county court under any other Act shall be paid to officers designated by the Lord Chancellor and dealt with by them in such manner as the Lord Chancellor, after consultation with the Treasury, may direct.

(2)Subsection (1) does not apply to fines imposed on summary conviction or to so much of a fine as is applicable under section 55(4) to indemnify a party injured.

(3)The Lord Chancellor, with the concurrence of the Treasury, shall from time to time make such rules as he thinks fit for securing the balances and other sums of money in the hands of any officers of a county court, and for the due accounting for and application of those balances and sums.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

131 Appointment of auditors and other officers.E+W

The Lord Chancellor may, subject to the consent of the Treasury as to numbers and salaries, appoint as officers in his department such auditors and other officers as he may consider necessary for the purpose of controlling the accounts of county courts.

132 Payment of salaries and expenses.E+W

There shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament—

(a)all salaries, remuneration and other sums payable under Part I of this Act or under section 131.

(b)the expenses of supplying the courts and officers with law and office books and stationery and postage stamps;

(c)expenses incurred in conveying to prison persons committed by the courts; and

(d)all other expenses arising out of any jurisdiction for the time being conferred on the courts or any officer of the courts.

Summonses and other documentsE+W

133 Proof of service of summonses etc.E+W

(1)Where any summons or other process issued from a county court is served by an officer of a court, the service may be proved by a certificate in a prescribed form F2. . . showing the fact and mode of the service.

(2)Any officer of a court wilfully and corruptly giving a false certificate under subsection (1) in respect of the service of a summons or other process shall be guilty of an offence and, on conviction thereof, shall be removed from office and shall be liable—

(a)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding 2 years; or

(b)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both such imprisonment and fine.

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Amendments (Textual)

F2Words in s. 133(1) omitted (26.4.1999) by S.I. 1998/2940, arts. 1, 6(e); S.I. 1998/3132

F3134. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

135 Penalty for falsely pretending to act under authority of court.E+W

Any person who—

(a)delivers or causes to be delivered to any other person any paper falsely purporting to be a copy of any summons or other process of a county court, knowing it to be false; or

(b)acts or professes to act under any false colour or pretence of the process or authority of a county court;

shall be guilty of an offence and shall for each offence be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years.

136 Penalty for falsely representing document to have been issued from county court.E+W

(1)It shall not be lawful to deliver or cause to be delivered to any person any document which was not issued under the authority of a county court but which, by reason of its form or contents or both, has the appearance of having been issued under such authority.

(2)If any person contravenes this section, he shall for each offence be liable on summary conviction to a fine of an amount not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(3)Nothing in this section shall be taken to prejudice section 135.

137 Lessee to give notice of summons for recovery of land.E+W

(1)Every lessee to whom there is delivered any summons issued from a county court for the recovery of land demised to or held by him, or to whose knowledge any such summons comes, shall forthwith give notice of the summons to his lessor or his bailiff or receiver.

(2)If a lessee fails to give notice as required by subsection (1), he shall be liable to forfeit to the person of whom he holds the land an amount equal to the value of 3 years’ improved or rack rent of the land to be recovered by action in any county court or other court having jurisdiction in respect of claims for such an amount.

Forfeiture for non-payment of rentE+W

138 Provisions as to forfeiture for non-payment of rent.E+W

(1)This section has effect where a lessor is proceeding by action in a county court (being an action in which the county court has jurisdiction) to enforce against a lessee a right of re-entry or forfeiture in respect of any land for non-payment of rent.

(2)If the lessee pays into court [F4or to the lessor]not less than 5 clear days before the return day all the rent in arrear and the costs of the action, the action shall cease, and the lessee shall hold the land according to the lease without any new lease.

(3)If—

(a)the action does not cease under subsection (2); and

(b)the court at the trial is satisfied that the lessor is entitled to enforce the right of re-entry or forfeiture,

the court shall order possession of the land to be given to the lessor at the expiration of such period, not being less than 4 weeks from the date of the order, as the court thinks fit, unless within that period the lessee pays into court [F4or to the lessor]all the rent in arrear and the costs of the action.

(4)The court may extend the period specified under subsection (3) at any time before possession of the land is recovered in pursuance of the order under that subsection.

(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F4

(6)Subsection (2) shall not apply where the lessor is proceeding in the same action to enforce a right of re-entry or forfeiture on any other ground as well as for non-payment of rent, or to enforce any other claim as well as the right of re-entry or forfeiture and the claim for arrears of rent.

(7)If the lessee does not—

(a)within the period specified in the order; or

(b)within that period as extended under subsection (4),

pay into court [F4or to the lessor]

(i)all the rent in arrear; and

(ii)the costs of the action,

the order shall be [F5enforceable]in the prescribed manner and so long as the order remains unreversed the lessee shall [F6, subject to subsection (8) and (9A),]be barred from all relief.

(8)The extension under subsection (4) of a period fixed by a court shall not be treated as relief from which the lessee is barred by subsection (7) if he fails to pay into court [F4or to the lessor]all the rent in arrear and the costs of the action within that period.

(9)Where the court extends a period under subsection (4) at a time when—

(a)that period has expired; and

(b)a warrant has been issued for the possession of the land,

the court shall suspend the warrant for the extended period; and, if, before the expiration of the extended period, the lessee pays into court [F4or to the lessor]all the rent in arrear and all the costs of the action, the court shall cancel the warrant.

[F7(9A)Where the lessor recovers possession of the land at any time after the making of the order under subsection (3) (whether as a result of the enforcement of the order or otherwise) the lessee may, at any time within six months from the date on which the lessor recovers possession, apply to the court for relief; and on any such application the court may, if it thinks fit, grant to the lessee such relief, subject to such terms and conditions, as it thinks fit.

(9B)Where the lessee is granted relief on an application under subsection (9A) he shall hold the land according to the lease without any new lease.

(9C)An application under subsection (9A) may be made by a person with an interest under a lease of the land derived (whether immediately or otherwise) from the lessee’s interest therein in like manner as if he were the lessee; and on any such application the court may make an order which (subject to such terms and conditions as the court thinks fit) vests the land in such a person, as lessee of the lessor, for the remainder of the term of the lease under which he has any such interest as aforesaid, or for any lesser term.

In this subsection any reference to the land includes a reference to a part of the land.]

(10)Nothing in this section or section 139 shall be taken to affect—

(a)the power of the court to make any order which it would otherwise have power to make as respects a right of re-entry of forfeiture on any ground other than non-payment of rent; or

(b)section 146(4) of the M2Law of Property Act 1925 (relief against forfeiture).

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Amendments (Textual)

Marginal Citations

139 Service of summons and re-entry.E+W

(1)In a case where section 138 has effect, if—

(a)one-half-year’s rent is in arrear at the time of the commencement of the action; and

(b)the lessor has a right to re-enter for non-payment of that rent; and

(c)no sufficient distress is to be found on the premises countervailing the arrears then due,

the service of the summons in the action in the prescribed manner shall stand in lieu of a demand and re-entry.

(2)Where a lessor has enforced against a lessee, by re-entry without action, a right of re-entry or forfeiture as respects any land for non-payment of rent, the lessee may F8 . . .at any time within six months from the date on which the lessor re-entered apply to the county court for relief, and on any such application the court may, if it thinks fit, grant to the lessee such relief as the High Court could have granted.

[F9(3)Subsections (9B) and (9C) of section 138 shall have effect in relation to an application under subsection (2) of this section as they have effect in relation to an application under subsection (9A) of that section.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F8Words in s. 139(2) repealed by S.I. 1991/724, art. 2(8), Schedule PartI

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

140 Interpretation of sections 138 and 139.E+W

For the purposes of sections 138 and 139—

  • lease” includes—

(a)an original or derivative under-lease;

(b)an agreement for a lease where the lessee has become entitled to have his lease granted; and

(c)a grant at a fee farm rent, or under a grant securing a rent by condition;

  • lessee” includes—

(a)an original or derivative under-lessee;

(b)the persons deriving title under a lessee;

(c)a grantee under a grant at a fee farm rent, or under a grant securing a rent by condition; and

(d)the persons deriving title under such a grantee;

  • lessor” includes—

(a)an original or derivative under-lessor;

(b)the persons deriving title under a lessor;

(c)a person making a grant at a fee farm rent, or a grant securing a rent by condition; and

(d)the persons deriving title under such a grantor;

  • under-lease” includes an agreement for an under-lease where the under-lessee has become entitled to have his under-lease granted; and

  • under-lessee” includes any person deriving title under an under-lesse.

SolicitorsE+W

141. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F10E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

142 Power to enforce undertakings of solicitors.E+W

A county court shall have the same power to enforce an undertaking given by a solicitor in relation to any proceedings in that court as the High Court has to enforce an undertaking so given in relation to any proceedings in the High Court.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C4S. 142 applied (22.5.2000) by S.I. 2000/1119, regs. 1(1), 37, Sch. 4 para. 13

143 Prohibition on persons other than solicitors receiving remuneration for business done in county courts.E+W

[F11(1)No person other than —

(a)a legal representative; or

(b)a person exercising a right of audience or a right to conduct litigation by virtue of an order made under section 11 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (representation in county courts),

shall be entitled to have or recover any fee or reward for acting on behalf of a party in proceedings in a county court.]

F12(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

ReplevinE+W

144 Replevin.E+W

Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect.

Power to raise monetary limitsE+W

145 Power to raise monetary limits.E+W

(1)If it appears to Her Majesty in Council—

(a)that the county court limit for the purposes of any enactment referring to that limit, or

(b)that the higher limit or the lower limit referred to in section 20 of this Act,

should be increased, Her Majesty may by Order in Council direct that the limit in question shall be such amount as may be specified in the Order.

(2)An Order under subsection (1) may contain such incidental or transitional provisions as Her Majesty considers appropriate.

[F13(2A)It is for the Lord Chancellor to recommend to Her Majesty the making of an Order under subsection (1).]

F13(3)No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty in Council to make an Order under this section unless a draft of the Order has been laid before Parliament and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

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Amendments (Textual)

GeneralE+W+S+N.I.

146 Lords Commissioners to representLord Chancellorwhen Great Seal in commission.E+W

When the Great Seal is in commission, the Lords Commissioners shall represent the Lord Chancellor for the purposes of this Act; but the powers vested in him by this Act in relation to the Appointment of officers may be exercised by the senior Lord Commissioner for the time being.

147 Interpretation.E+W

(1)In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

  • action” means any proceedings in a county court which may be commenced as prescribed by plaint;

  • Admiralty county court” means a county court appointed to have Admiralty jurisdiction by order under this Act;

  • Admiralty proceedings” means proceedings in which the claim would not be within the jurisdiction of a county court but for sections 26 and 27;

  • bailiff” includes a registrar;

  • the county court limit” means—

    (a)

    in relation to any enactment contained in this Act for which a limit is for the time being specified by an Order under section 145, that limit,

    (b)

    F14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    (c)

    in relation to any enactment contained in this Act and not within paragraph (a) F14 . . ., the county court limit for the time being specified by any other Order In Council or order defining the limit of county court jurisdiction for the purposes of that enactment;

  • F15. . .

  • court” and “county court” mean a court held for a district under this Act;

  • [F16deposit-taking institution” means a person who may, in the course of his business, lawfully accept deposits in the United Kingdom;]

  • district” and “county court district” mean a district for which a court is to be held under section 2;

  • F17. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • hearing” includes trial, and “Hear” and “Heard” shall be construed accordingly;

  • hereditament” includes both a corporeal and an incorporeal hereditament;

  • judge”, in relation to a county court, means a judge assigned to the district of that court under subsection (1) of section 5 and any person sitting as a judge for that district under subsection (3) or (4) of that section;

  • judgment summons” means a summons issued on the application of a person entitled to enforce a judgment or order under section 5 of the M3Debtors Act 1869 requiring a person, or where two or more persons are liable under the judgment or order, requiring any one or more of them, [F18to attend court]F18;

  • landlord”, in relation to any land, means the person entitled to the immediate reversion or, if the property therein is held in joint tenancy, any of the persons entitled to the immediate reversion;

  • [F19legal representative”means [F20a person who, for the purposes of the Legal Services Act 2007, is an authorised person in relation to an activity which constitutes the exercise of a right of audience or the conduct of litigation (within the meaning of that Act);F20]]

  • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F21

  • matter” means every proceeding in a county court which may be commenced as prescribed otherwise than by plaint;

  • officer”, in relation to a court means [F22any district judge or deputy district judge assigned to that court]F22 and any clerk, bailiff, usher or messenger in the service of that court;

  • part-time registrar” and “part-time assistant registrar” have the meaning assigned to them by section 10(3);

  • party” includes every person served with notice of, or attending, any proceeding, whether named as a party to that proceeding or not;

  • prescribed” means prescribed by [F23rules of court];

  • probate proceedings” means proceedings brought in a county court by virtue of section 32 or transferred to that court under section 40;

  • proceedings” includes both actions and matters;

  • registrar” and “registrar of a county court” mean a registrar appointed for a district under this Act, or in a case where two or more registrars are appointed jointly, either or any of those registrars;

  • return day” means the day appointed in any summons or proceeding for the appearance of the defendant or any other day fixed for the hearing of any proceedings;

  • F15. . .

  • ship” includes any description of vessel used in navigation;

  • solicitor” means solicitor of the [F24Senior Courts]F24;

  • . . .

  • . . .

[F25(1A)The definition of “deposit-taking institution” in subsection (1) must be read with—

(a)section 22 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000;

(b)any relevant order under that section; and

(c)Schedule 2 to that Act.]

(2), (3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F26

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Amendments (Textual)

F14Words in s. 147(1) repealed by S.I. 1991/724, art. 2(8), Schedule Part I

F15Definitions in s. 147(1) omitted (26.4.1999) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(9); S.I. 1999/1009, art. 3(j)

F16Definition of "deposit-taking institution" in s. 147(1) substituted (1.12.2001) by S.I. 2001/3649, arts. 1, 296(2)

F19Definition in s. 147(1) added (1.4.1991) by Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37,) s. 125(3), Sch. 18 para. 49(1); S.I. 1991/608, art. 2, Sch.

F23Words in s. 147 substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, arts. 3(b), 4(c)

F25S. 147(1A) inserted (1.12.2001) by S.I. 2001/3649, arts. 1, 296(3)

Marginal Citations

148 Amendments of other Acts, transitory provisions, transitional provisions savings and repeals.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)The enactments specified in Schedule 2 shall have effect subject to the amendments there specified.

(2)This Act shall have effect subject to the transitory provisions and transitional provisions and savings contained in Schedule 3.

(3)The enactments specified in Schedule 4 are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the third column of that Schedule.

149 Extent.E+W

(1)Section 148(1) and Schedule 2 extend to Scotland so far as they amend enactments extending to Scotland.

(2)Section 148(1) and Schedule 2 extend to Northern Ireland so far as they amend enactments extending to Northern Ireland.

(3)Subject to subsections (1) and (2), this Act extends to England and Wales only.

150 Commencement.E+W

This Act shall come into force on 1st August 1984.

151 Short title.E+W

This Act may be cited as the County Courts Act 1984.

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