Does a GCRO made by a Designated Civil Judge concern only one county court?

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    Does a GCRO made by a Designated Civil Judge concern only one county court?

    Practice Direction 4.2 (1) concerning General Civil Restraint Order says

    “4.2 Unless the court otherwise orders, where the court makes a general civil restraint order, the party against whom the order is made –
    (1) will be restrained from issuing any claim or making any application in –
    (a) any court if the order has been made by a judge of the Court of Appeal;
    (b) the High Court or the County Court if the order has been made by a judge of the High Court; or
    (c) the County Court identified in the order if the order has been made by a Designated Civil Judge or their appointed deputy, without first obtaining the permission of a judge identified in the order”

    I would like to know if this means that a General Civil Restraint Order issued by a Designated Civil Judge from a county court prevents a claimant from issuing claim without the permission of the court only in one county court which should be identified in the General Civil Restraint Order or in all the county courts of England & Wales?

    #2
    There is only one County Court in England and Wales.

    Comment


      #3
      Can you expand because I am confused because there is in most of big cities a county court and this rule makes reference to "the County Court identified" which suggests that there are a lot more than only one county court in England & Wales?

      Comment


        #4
        There is only one County Court in England and Wales. The County Court identified in a GCRO will be that County Court. There used to be many County Courts, but they have been merged into one. The wording of the Practice Direction is merely a relic of the previous arrangement.

        Comment


          #5
          1.
          From , 22 April 2014, the Crime and Courts Act 2014, s 17, establishes a new single, national, County Court and amends the County Court Act 1984

          However since this date the CPRs have been amended plenty of times but not the wording of this part of the CPR to say in “the county court” instead of “the County Court identified in the order”.

          Hence, the law as it stands means that a GCRO prevents a litigant from issuing a claim or an application in a particular county court hearing centre” which should be identified in the GCRO and not in all “county court hearing centres” unless it has been issued by a High Court judge or a Court of Appeal judge.

          2.
          Each county Court hearing centre keeps its own difference even if there is now only one “single county court” for the following reason:
          According to PD2C and PD 7 A a claim can be issued in any “county court hearing centre” because they say

          “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”

          2.4A
          (1) A claim in the County Court under Part 7 may be made at any County Court hearing centre, unless any enactment, rule or practice direction provides otherwise”

          A GCRO prevents a litigant from issuing further claims but also further applications and applications are always issued in a particular county court hearing centre”

          3.
          A solution to solve this issue could be to find in the Internet examples of GCRO to see what they say

          Comment


            #6
            An important fact is that there is a ‘single county court’ only since 22 April 2014 so before this date it was clear that a Designated Civil Judge can issue a GCRO banning a litigant from issuing further claims or applications only in one identified county court.

            The fact that since this date the county courts has become one ‘single county court’ does not extend the power of a Designated Civil Judge to ban a litigant to issue further applications or claims in all county courts; especially that the wording of the Practice Direction 4.2 (1) concerning General Civil Restraint has not been changed since the 22 April 2014 i.e. since seven years ago

            Therefore there has not been any change in the rule on the 22 April 2024 increasing the power of a Designated Civil Judge to impose a GCRO concerning all the county courts instead of only one identified county court.

            The is confirmed also by the contents by Section 2 of the form N19B General civil restraint order where it is stated

            “The Order
            It is ordered that you be restrained from issuing any claim or making any application in
            • Any Court
            • The High Court or any county court
            • County Court”
            We notice the blank before the word ‘County Court’ in the third option which purpose should be to indicate which county court is the identified county court

            Comment

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