PRACTICE DIRECTION 7C – PRODUCTION CENTRE
This Practice Direction supplements CPR rule 7.10
Contents of this Practice Direction
1.1 In this Practice Direction –
‘the Centre’ means the Production Centre;
‘Centre user’ means a person who is for the time being permitted to start a claim through the Centre, and includes a legal representative acting for such a person;
‘officer’ means the court officer in charge of the Centre or another officer of the Centre acting on the former’s behalf;
‘national creditor code’ means the number or reference allotted to a Centre user by the officer;
‘Code of Practice’ means any code of practice which may at any time be issued by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service relating to the discharge by the Centre of its functions and the way in which a Centre user is to conduct business with the Centre; and
‘data’ means any information which is required to be given to the court or which is to be contained in any document to be sent to the court or to any party.
1.2 For any purpose connected with the exercise of its functions, the Centre will be treated as part of the office of the court whose name appears on the claim form to which the functions relate, or in whose name the claim form is requested to be issued, and the officer will be treated as an officer of that court.
(1) The functions of the Centre include the provision of a facility which, through the use of information technology, enables a Centre user to have claim forms issued and served, by the County Court.
(2) If a Centre user files claim forms in the Centre, the functions of the Centre also include –
(a) the handling of defences, admissions, counterclaims and directions questionnaires;
(b) the entry of judgment in default, on admission, on acceptance, or on determination;
(c) the registration of judgments;
(d) the issue of warrants of control;
(e) before the parties have filed their directions questionnaires —
(i) where the defendant is an individual, sending to the defendant’s home court any proceedings where directions are required or where a hearing is required before judgment;
(ii) where the defendant is not an individual, sending the proceedings to the County Court hearing centre which serves the claimant’s home address, or where legally represented, the claimant’s legal representative’s address; or
(iii) on receipt of a counterclaim, which, for the purposes of rule 26.2A, will be the
relevant time, sending the proceedings in accordance with rule 26.2A(3) and
(f) after the parties have filed their directions questionnaires —
(i) sending the proceedings in accordance with rule 26.2A(3) to (6); or
(ii) referring the proceedings to the Mediation Service in accordance with rule 26.4A; and
(g) provisionally deciding the track which appears to be most suitable for the claim.
(1) Where the Centre or the officer is to take any step, any rule or practice direction which requires a document to be filed before such step is taken will be treated as complied with if the data which that document would contain are delivered to the Centre in computer readable form in accordance with the Code of Practice.
(2) Data relating to more than one case may be included in a single document or delivery of data.
(3) Rules 6.4(3) and 6.21(4)(copies of documents to be served by the court) do not apply to any document which is to be produced by electronic means from data supplied by a Centre user.
(3A) The requirement in paragraph 7.3 of Practice Direction 16 for documents to be attached to the particulars of contract claims does not apply to claims to be issued by the Centre, unless the particulars of claim are served separately in accordance with paragraph 5.2 of this practice direction.
(4) Practice Direction 22 is modified as follows –
(a) where a Centre user starts or conducts a claim through the Centre —
(i) the statement of truth must be in electronic form;
(ii) the form of such a statement must be: ‘I believe that the facts stated in this claim form are true.’; and
(iii) the signature of the appropriate person (as to which see paragraph 3 of Practice Direction 22) must be in electronic form;and
(b) where a defendant responds to a claim pursuant to paragraphs 5.2A and 5.2B, the statement of truth in an online statement of case must be in the form –
‘[I believe][The defendant believes] that the facts stated in this defence [and counterclaim] are true.
2.1 The Centre will not issue any claim form which is to be issued in the High Court.
2.2 The Centre will only issue a claim form if the claim is for a specified sum of money less than £100,000.
2.3 The Centre will not issue any of the following types of claim –
(1) a claim against more than two defendants;
(2) a claim against two defendants where a different sum is claimed against each of them;
(3) a claim against the Crown;
(4) a claim for an amount in a foreign currency;
(5) a claim where either party is known to be a child or protected party within Part 21;
(6) a claim where the claimant is a legally assisted person within the meaning of the Legal Aid Act 1988;
(7) a claim where the claimant’s address for service as it appears on the claim form is not in the United Kingdom;
(7A) a claim where the defendant's address for service as it appears on the claim form is not in England and Wales;
(8) a claim which is to be issued under Part 8.
3.1 Only a Centre user may start or conduct claims through the Centre.
3.2 The officer may permit any person to be a Centre user.
3.3 The officer may withdraw the permission for any person to be a Centre user.
3.4 A Centre user must comply with the provisions of the Code of Practice in dealing with the Centre.
3.5 The officer will allot a national creditor code to each Centre user.
4.1 The Code of Practice will contain provisions designed to ensure that the Centre can discharge its functions efficiently.
4.2 Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service may change the Code of Practice from time to time.
5.1 The officer, in respect of any claim which remains in the Centre, may make the following orders –
(1) an order to set aside a default judgment where, after that judgment has been entered, the claim form is returned by the Post Office as undelivered; and
(2) an order to set aside a judgment on application by a Centre user.
(1) Subject to the sub-paragraphs below, the claimant may serve and file particulars of claim separately from the claim form but the claimant must in the claim form –
(a) state that the particulars of claim will follow; and
(b) include a brief summary of the claim.
(2) Where the claimant serves the particulars of claim separately from the claim form pursuant to sub-paragraph (1), the claimant must –
(a) serve the particulars of claim in accordance with rule 7.4(1)(b); and
(b) file a certificate of service in form N215 at the Centre within 14 days of service of the particulars of claim on the defendant.
(3) The claimant must file the particulars of claim at the court to which the proceedings are sent under paragraph 1.3(2)(e)(iii) or (f) within 7 days of service of the notice that the proceedings have been sent.
(4) Where the proceedings are not sent under paragraph 1.3(2)(e)(iii) or (f) and remain at the Centre, the claimant is not required to file the particulars of claim unless ordered to do so.
5.2A A defendant wishing to file –
(1) an acknowledgment of service of the claim form under Part 10;
(2) a part admission under rule 14.5;
(3) a defence under Part 15; or
(4) subject to paragraph 5.2C, a counterclaim (to be filed together with a defence), may, instead of filing a written form, do so by completing and sending the relevant online form at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome.
5.2B Where a defendant files an online form –
(1) a hard copy must not be sent in addition;
(2) the form is not filed until it is received by the Centre, whatever time it is shown to have been sent;
(3) an online form received after 4 p.m. will be treated as filed on the next day the Centre is open; and
(4) where a time limit applies, it remains the responsibility of the defendant to ensure that the online form is filed in time.
5.2C A defendant who files a counterclaim with their defence and who wishes to apply for a remission or part remission of fees must not use Money Claim Online and must file their defence and claim form in written form at the County Court Business Centre.
5.2D The address for filing any document, application or request (other than one which is filed electronically in accordance with this practice direction) is the County Court Business Centre, St Katharine's House, 21-27 St Katharine's Street, Northampton, NN1 2LH, DX 702885 Northampton 7, fax no. 0845 6015889.
(1) This paragraph applies where a claim is started in the County Court and the defendant has filed a defence to the claim or to part of the claim, but has not filed a counterclaim.
(2) On the filing of the defence the Centre will serve a notice on the Centre user requiring the Centre user to state within 28 days whether the claim is to proceed.
(3) If the Centre user does not notify the Centre within the time specified in the notice that the claim is to proceed, the claim will be stayed, and the Centre will notify the parties accordingly.
(4) The proceedings will not be sent as provided by paragraph 1.3(2)(f) until the Centre user notifies the Centre that the claim is to continue.
Transfer of Claim
5.4 Where the defendant is an individual the claim will be sent to the defendant’s home court—
(1) under rule 13.4, if the defendant applies to set aside or vary judgment;
(2) if either party makes an application which cannot be dealt with without a hearing.
5.5 If the defendant is not an individual and one of the events mentioned in paragraph 5.4 arises, the claim will be sent to the County Court hearing centre which serves the claimant’s home address, or where legally represented, the claimant’s legal representative’s address.
(1) An application for—
(a) an order for a judgment debtor to attend court for questioning pursuant to an order for information under CPR Part 71;
(b) a third party debt order under Part 72.
(2) A request for a warrant of control to enforce a judgment or order made at the Centre must be made to that office, unless the proceedings have already been sent to a County Court hearing centre.