Unless Orders Reminder

As the new Court term begins, we thought we would remind practitioners of the recent change in civil litigation when seeking Judgment in default of an Appearance, Defence and or Statement of Claim under Statutory Instrument SI 490 of 2021.

In summary:

  • If a party are seeking an extension of time for the deliverance of an Appearance, a Defence or a Statement of Claim, the Judge will now grant an ‘Unless Order’. This can be dealt with at the consent stage of the callover of the list, but must be made before the Judge, even if both parties consent to it.
  • Consequently, unless the Appearance, Defence or Statement of Claim is delivered within the ordered time frame, Judgment in the proceedings will be made.
  • The normal time period agreed is usually between 6-8 weeks with shorter periods granted in exceptional circumstances.
  • Both parties need to consent to this, and if not, the opposite parties should be informed that the application is being made.
  • Note, Parties must inform the other side in advance of the motion by writing to them 28 days before the bringing of the motion and then serving the motion on them.

In short, Defendants need to be very aware that Judgment will be made if the extension of time has been granted and no Appearance, Defence or Statement of Claim is delivered within the ordered timeframe.

Practitioners should further note that the new rules apply to proceedings whether commenced before or after the commencement date (13th November 2021).

The hope is that these Orders will speed up the ligation process and keep costs down as it veers away from the requirement to bring a second motion.

See here for a more in-depth education on SI/490.