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Land Registration Act 2002

Section 110: Functions in relation to disputes

174.Section 110 makes provision for the powers of the adjudicator in relation to the disposal of objections to applications. The adjudicator may, instead of determining the matter himself, direct one of the parties to commence court proceedings by a specified date. These proceedings may be to determine specific issues or the entirety of the matter. This replicates the power given to the Solicitor to HM Land Registry under the present law and is likely to be used: when the application raises an important or difficult point of law; when there are complex disputes whose resolution is better suited to the court process; when other issues between the parties are already before the courts; or to make use of the wider powers available to the court, for instance, the award of damages for lodging an objection without reasonable cause.

175.Rules will make detailed provision about the procedure for referring the matter to court, the adjournment of proceedings before the registrar whilst the court proceedings are ongoing, and to specify the adjudicator’s powers in the matter if the party directed fails to commence proceedings as directed. These rules may empower the adjudicator to dismiss an application in whole or in part if the defaulting party is the applicant. They may also empower the adjudicator to give effect to the application in whole or in part if the defaulting party is the objector. Additional rules may deal with the functions of the adjudicator following a court decision on all or part of the issues in the case. In particular, these additional rules will cover the adjudicator’s ability to determine (or give directions about the determination of) applications to which the reference related, and such other present or future applications as the rules provide. Special provision is made in relation to applications for registration of title based on ten years’ adverse possession (see paragraph 1 of Schedule 6). If the adjudicator decides that it would be unconscionable because of an equity by estoppel for the adverse possessor to seek to dispossess the registered proprietor, but that the adverse possessor ought not to be registered as registered proprietor, he must decide how to satisfy the entitlement of the adverse possessor and can make any order which the High Court would be empowered to make to resolve the matter.

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