PRACTICE DIRECTION 2C - STARTING PROCEEDINGS IN THE COUNTY COURT
Contents of this Practice Direction
1.1 This Practice Direction applies to proceedings in the County Court. It provides an overview (together with references to relevant rules, practice directions and enactments) of those claims or applications which must be started, or, in some cases, heard, in particular County Court hearing centres, or which may be sent or transferred to another hearing centre if started elsewhere. Parties should always refer to the relevant provisions in the Rules and related Practice Directions and other enactments referred to in this Practice Direction.
1.2 This Practice Direction also includes a directory which identifies each County Court hearing centre and, where appropriate, provides additional information about them.
2. In the County Court, a claim or application may be started in any County Court hearing centre, unless any rule, practice direction or enactment provides otherwise.
Proceedings and claims which must be started in a particular County Court hearing centre or County Court Office
(1) If any rule, practice direction or enactment provides that a claim or application must be started at a particular County Court hearing centre and that claim or application is started at the wrong hearing centre, a court officer will send it to the correct hearing centre before it is issued.
(2) A party should consider the potential delay which may result if a claim or application is not made at the correct County Court hearing centre in the first instance.
(3) In the following cases, proceedings must be started in a designated County Court hearing centre—
(a) probate claims (designated by rule 57.2 and Practice Direction 57, paragraph 2.2(3));
(b) Technology and Construction Court claims (designated by Practice Direction 60, paragraphs 3.1 and 3.4);
(c) intellectual property claims (designated by rule 63.13 and Practice Direction 63, paragraphs 16.3 and 21.1);
(d) proceedings under Parts 1 to 11 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (designated by the Insolvency (Commencement of Proceedings) and Insolvency Rules (Amendment) Rules 2014 (SI 2014/817)); and
(e) proceedings under section 67(1) and (2) of the Race Relations Act 1976 (designated by the Civil Courts Order 1983 (SI 1983/713), which has been revoked, subject to savings, by the Crime and Courts Act 2013 (Consequential, Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2014 (SI 2014/820). The effect of this provision is that, for the time being, only those County Court hearing centres which correspond to the county courts designated in the 1983 Order will hear these proceedings).
(1) Subject to subparagraphs (2) and (3), the claim form in respect of a claim for an amount of money started under Part 7 of the Civil Procedure Rules must be sent to the County Court Money Claims Centre, unless it is a claim for which special procedures are provided in Rules or in practice directions (Practice Direction 7A, paragraph 4A.1).
(2) A person who is permitted to start a Part 7 claim through the Production Centre pursuant to Practice Direction 7C must send the claim form to the Production Centre at 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 4085311.
(3) An application for a Part 7 claim to be issued through the Money Claim Online scheme pursuant to Practice Direction 7E, must be sent electronically. Any other document, application or request, other than one which is filed electronically must be sent to the County Court Business Centre at the address in subparagraph (2) (Practice Direction 7E, paragraph 1.4).
(1) If proceedings under the Companies Acts or the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2000, in respect of which the County Court has jurisdiction, are started in the County Court, they may be started either in a County Court hearing centre which is specified in the Insolvency (Commencement of Proceedings) and Insolvency Rules 1986 (Amendment) Rules 2014 (the 2014 Rules) as one in which proceedings under Parts 1 to 11 of the Insolvency Act 1986 may be commenced or at the County Court at Central London; or, in the case of a company with a registered office in the London insolvency district solely, at the County Court at Central London.
(2) In this paragraph
(a) 'Companies Acts' means the enactments specified in section 2 of the Companies Act 2006; and
(b) 'the London insolvency district' means the area specified in article 3 of the London Insolvency District (County Court at Central London) Order 2014 (SI 2014/818).
3.4 A claim of a debtor or hirer for an order under section 129(1)(b) or 129(1)(ba) of the Consumer Credit Act 2006 (known as a 'time order') must be made at the County Court hearing centre where the claimant debtor or hirer resides or carries on business (Practice Direction 7B, paragraph 4.3).
3.5 The claim form in respect of an application under the Mental Health Act 1983 must be filed–
(a) in the County Court hearing centre serving the address where the patient's place of residence is situated; or
(b) in the case of an application under section 30, in the court or County Court hearing centre that made the order under section 29 which the application seeks to discharge or vary (Practice Direction 8A, paragraph 18.2).
3.6 Applications for certification of enforcement agents under section 64 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 must be made to one of the County Court hearing centres listed in Practice Direction 84 at paragraph 2.2.
Claims and applications that may be started in any County Court hearing centre, but which will be sent or transferred to another County Court hearing centre following issue
(1) In the following cases, a claim or application may be started or made at any County Court hearing centre. However, if it has not been started or made in an appropriate County Court hearing centre then, following issue, the claim or application will be sent or transferred to the appropriate hearing centre in accordance with the following rules and practice directions—
|Claim or application||Rule or Practice Direction|
|Certain Consumer Credit Act 2006 claims||
Practice Direction 7B,|
paragraphs 4.1, 4.2 and 5.1A
|Possession claims||Rules 55.3 and 55.5(1A)|
|Accelerated possession claims||Rules 55.16(1A)|
|Landlord and tenant claims||Rule 56.2|
Applications for an injunction—
(a) Housing Act 1986 injunctions
(b) demotion or suspension claims which are not made in the alternative to a possession claim
(c) claims under section 3 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997
Rule 65.28(1)(b)(ii) and (2)
(d) applications for an injunction under the Policing and Crime Act 2009
(2) A party should consider the potential delay which may result if a claim or application is not made at the appropriate County Court hearing centre in the first instance.
5 A claim under the Part 8 procedure may be made at any County Court hearing centre unless a rule, practice direction or enactment provides otherwise. However, when a claim is given a hearing date, the court may direct that proceedings should be transferred to another hearing centre if appropriate to do so.
6.1 The general rule is that an application must be made to the County Court hearing centre where the claim was started.
6.2 If a claim has been transferred to another court or transferred or sent to another County Court hearing centre since it was started, an application must be made to the court to or County Court hearing centre to which the claim has been transferred or sent, unless there is good reason to make the application to a different court.
6.3 If the parties have been notified of a fixed date for the trial, an application must be made to the court where the trial is to take place.
6.4 If an application is made before a claim has been started, it must be made to the court where it is likely that the claim to which the application relates will be started unless there is good reason to make the application to a different court. An application made in the County Court before a claim has been started may be made at any County Court hearing centre, unless any enactment, rule or practice direction provides otherwise.
6.5 If an application is made after proceedings to enforce judgment have begun, it must be made to the court, or County Court hearing centre which is dealing with the enforcement of the judgment unless any enactment rule or practice direction provides otherwise.
6.6 If the claim is started in the County Court Money Claims Centre, an application made after the claim has been started must be made to the County Court hearing centre to which the claim has been sent, or, if the claim has not been sent to a County Court hearing centre, to the County Court Money Claims Centre.
(1) The County Court Directory identifies—
(a) in column 1, each County Court hearing centre;
(b) in column 2—
(i) those hearing centres which are co-located at District Registries, Chancery District Registries or Circuit Commercial Courts; and
(ii) those hearing centres which are designated as Civil Trial Centres;
(c) in column 3, the Civil Trial Centre to which cases allocated to the multi-track, pursuant to Practice Direction 26, paragraph 10, may be transferred;
(d) in column 4—
(i) those hearing centres at which certain proceedings are must be started such, as insolvency proceedings;
(ii) those hearing centres which are designated to hear certain proceedings, such as race relations proceedings and applications on notice for an injunction under the Policing and Crime Act 2009; and
(iii) those hearing centres which are designated as Technology and Construction Courts; and
(e) in column 5, the feeder courts for those hearing centres designated as Civil Trial Centres which are specified in the schedule to Practice Direction 26.
(A feeder court is a hearing centre which is not a Civil Trial Centre, and from which proceedings may be transferred to a specified Civil Trial Centre.)
(2) The address and contact details for each County Court hearing centre can be found by using the Court Finder tool available at: courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/
COUNTY COURT DIRECTORY
|Key||Proceedings and co-located courts||Relevant provisions|
|I||Insolvency||The Insolvency (Commencement of Proceedings) and Insolvency Rules (Amendment) Rules 2014, SI 2014/817|
|C/LLP||Company and Limited Liability Partnerships||Practice Direction 2C, paragraph 3|
|CCC||Circuit Commercial Court||Practice Direction 59 – Circuit Commercial Courts|
|CDR||Chancery District Registry||The Civil Courts Order 2014, SI 2014/819|
|CEA||Certification of Enforcement Agents||Practice Direction 84 – Enforcement by Taking Control of Goods|
|CTC||Civil Trial Centre||Practice Direction 26 – Case Management – Preliminary Stage: Allocation and Re-allocation|
|DR||District Registry||The Civil Courts Order 2014, SI 2014/819|
|GVI||Application on notice for an injunction under the Policing and Crime Act 2009||Practice Direction 65 – Proceedings Relating to Anti-social Behaviour and Harassment|
|RR||Race Relations||The Civil Courts Order 1981, SI 1983/713|
|TCC||Technology and Construction Court||Practice Direction 63 – Technology and Construction Courts|
|COUNTY COURT HEARING CENTRE||DISTRICT REGISTRY, CHANCERY DISTRICT REGISTRY, CIRCUIT COMMERIAL COURT OR CIVIL TRIAL CENTRE||CIVIL TRIAL CENTRE TO WHICH CASES ALLOCATED TO THE MULTI -TRACK WILL BE TRANSFERRED||ADDITIONAL PROCEEDINGS||CIVIL TRIAL CENTRES - FEEDER COURTS|
|Barnet||Central London||Part of the London Insolvency District (High Court for Parts 1 to 7, County Court at Central London for Parts 7A to 11) (C/LLP should be started in the High Court)|
|Birkenhead||DR||Liverpool||I C/LLP CEA|
|Birmingham||DR CDR CCC CTC||I C/LLP CEA GVI RR TCC||Dudley|
|Bournemouth & Poole||DR CTC||I C/LLP||Weymouth|
|Bradford||DR CTC||I C/LLP GVI||Skipton|
|Brentford||Central London||Part of the London Insolvency District (High Court for Parts 1 to 7, County Court at Central London for Parts 7A to 11) (C/LLP should be started in the High Court)|
|Brighton||DR CTC||I C/LLP CEA||Hastings, Horsham, Lewes, Worthing|
|Bristol||DR CDR CCC CTC||I C/LLP CEA GVI RR TCC||Bath, Weston-super-Mare|
|Burnley||DR CTC||I C/LLP CEA|
|Bury St Edmunds||DR||Cambridge||I C/LLP|
|Caernarfon||DR CDR CTC||I C/LLP CEA|
|Cambridge||DR CTC||I C/LLP RR||Bury St Edmunds, Chelmsford, Peterborough|
|Canterbury||DR CTC||I C/LLP RR||Maidstone, Medway, Thanet|
|Cardiff||DR CDR CCC CTC||I C/LLP CEA GVI TCC RR||Blackwood, Newport (Gwent)|
|Carlisle||DR CTC||I C/LLP RR||Barrow-in-Furness, West Cumbria|
|Carmarthen (hearings only)||DR||Swansea||I C/LLP|
Part of the London insolvency district (High Court for Parts 1 to 7, County Court at Central London for Parts 7A to 11)|
(C/LLP should be started in the High Court) CEA RR
|Barnet, Brentford, Bromley, Clerkenwell & Shoreditch, Croydon, Edmonton, Kingston-upon-Thames, Mayor’s & City of London, Romford, Stratford, Wandsworth, Willesden, Uxbridge|
|Chelmsford||DR||Southend||I C/LLP CEA|
|Chester||DR CTC||I C/LLP TCC||Crewe|
|Clerkenwell and Shoreditch||Central London||Part of the London Insolvency District (High Court for Parts 1 to 7, County Court at Central London for Parts 7A to 11) (C/LLP should be started in the High Court)|
|Colchester||DR CTC||Southend||I C/LLP|
|Conwy & Colwyn (the building has closed - hearings are listed in Llandudno Magistrates Court; all administration is undertaken at Prestatyn)||Contact the Prestatyn hearing centre for information regarding the CTC|
|Coventry||DR CTC||I C/LLP||Nuneaton, Warwick|
|Croydon||DR CTC||Central London||I C/LLP GVI|
|Derby||DR CTC||I C/LLP||Chesterfield|
(hearings take place at Dudley Magistrates' Court)
|Exeter||DR CTC||I C/LLP RR TCC||Barnstaple, Torquay & Newton Abbott|
|Gloucester and Cheltenham||DR CTC||I C/LLP||Cheltenham|
|Great Grimsby||DR CTC||I C/LLP|
|Hertford||Luton||I C/LLP CEA|
|Huddersfield||DR CTC||I C/LLP|
|Ipswich||DR||Norwich or Southend||I C/LLP|
|Kingston-upon-Hull||DR CTC||I C/LLP CEA||Grimsby|
|Kingston-upon-Thames||Central London||I C/LLP|
|Lancaster||DR CTC||I C/LLP||None|
|Leeds||DR CDR CCC CTC||I C/LLP TCC RR||Wakefield|
|Leicester||DR CTC||I C/LLP GVI|
|Lincoln||DR CTC||I C/LLP||Boston|
|Liverpool||DR CDR CCC CTC||I C/LLP GVI TCC||Birkenhead, St Helens, Wigan|
|Luton||DR CTC||I C/LLP||Bedford, Hertford, Watford|
|Manchester||DR CDR CCC CTC||I C/LLP GVI RR TCC||Stockport|
|Mayor's & City of London||CTC||Central London|
|Merthyr Tydfil||DR||Swansea||I C/LLP|
|Middlesbrough||DR CTC||I C/LLP CEA||Darlington|
|Milton Keynes||DR||Oxford||I C/LLP|
(hearings only – all administration is undertaken at Wrexham)
|Newcastle-upon-Tyne||DR CDR CCC CTC||I C/LLP GVI RR TCC||Durham, Gateshead, Morpeth, North Shields, South Shields, Sunderland|
|Newport (Gwent)||DR||Cardiff||I C/LLP|
|Newport (Isle of Wight)||DR||Portsmouth||I C/LLP|
|Northampton||DR CTC||I C/LLP CEA||Peterborough|
|Norwich||DR CTC||I C/LLP CEA||Ipswich|
|Nottingham||DR CTC||I C/LLP CEA GVI RR TCC||Mansfield|
|Oxford||DR CTC||I C/LLP CEA RR||Banbury, Milton Keynes|
|Peterborough||DR||Cambridge||I C/LLP GVI|
|Plymouth||DR CTC||I C/LLP CEA RR||None|
|Portsmouth||DR CTC||I C/LLP GVI||Newport (Isle of Wight)|
|Prestatyn||DR||Contact the Prestatyn hearing centre for information regarding the CTC||I C/LLP|
|Preston||DR CDR CTC||I C/LLP GVI||Blackburn|
|Reading||DR CTC||I C/LLP||High Wycombe, Slough|
|Romford||DR||Central London||I C/LLP|
|Sheffield||DR CTC||I C/LLP GVI||Barnsley, Doncaster|
|Southampton||DR CTC||I C/LLP CEA RR||None|
|Southend||DR CTC||I C/LLP||Basildon, Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich|
|Stoke-on-Trent||DR CTC||I C/LLP||Stafford, Walsall|
|Swansea||DR CTC||I C/LLP CEA||Aberystwyth, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Llanelli, Merthyr Tydfil, Pontypridd|
|Swindon||DR CTC||I C/LLP||Trowbridge, Salisbury|
|Taunton||DR CTC||I C/LLP||Yeovil|
|Telford||DR CTC||I C/LLP||Wolverhampton|
|Torquay & Newton Abbot||DR||Exeter||I C/LLP|
|Truro||DR CTC||I C/LLP||Bodmin|
|Welshpool & Newtown (hearings only – all administration is undertaken at Wrexham)||DR||Wrexham||I C/LLP|
|West Cumbria||DR (to be called Workington District Registry)||Carlisle||I C/LLP|
|Winchester||DR CTC||I C/LLP||Aldershot & Farnham, Basingstoke|
|Worcester||DR CTC||I C/LLP CEA||Hereford|
|Wrexham||DR CTC||Wrexham||I C/LLP RR CEA||Mold, Welshpool and Newton|
|York||DR CTC||I C/LLP CEA||Harrogate, Scarborough|