Queens Bench Division Action Department, Masters' Support Unit and Foreign Process
The Issue and Registry Section checks and issues claim forms presented by solicitors and litigants in person who are owed more than £15,000.00. Once the details on the claim form are checked, an action number is allocated and the details are entered onto the High Court Forms System (HCFS). It also deals with the amendments of claim forms, issue of Part 20 claims and the issue of witness summonses. This section is also responsible for the filing of acknowledgements, admissions/part admissions, defences and defence & counterclaim lodged by the defendants in an action and record each entry on to the HCF System. It also deals with the checking & issuing of allocation questionnaires the transfer in & out of cases and the logging & filing of Legal Aid certificates, notices, certificates of service and miscellaneous documents. The supervision of public searches and requests for the office copies of documents are also dealt with in this section. The section is responsible for storing and maintaining court files, ensuring all files are easily located and accessible by appropriate court staff.
The Registry section is situated in room E07 and is usually the first point of contact when you start proceedings in the Queen’s Bench Division.
The duties carried out by the Registry staff fall, broadly into the following categories:
- Issuing Claims
- Allocation Questionnaires
- Office Copy Requests
If someone owes you money and you cannot settle things any other way, you may decide to issue a claim through the court. You can 'issue' (start) your claim in any court, though you can only issue in the High Court if your claim is for more than £15,000. (leaflet EX301 & EX302 will assist). You will need to complete a form N1 which can be obtained freely from any county court. With it you will receive guidance notes for yourself (the claimant) on how to complete the form, and notes for guidance for the defendant (the person, firm or company against whom the claim is being made). Once you have filled in the form you should photocopy it and the defendant's notes for guidance so that you have:
- one copy for yourself;
- one copy for the court; and
- one copy for each defendant you are claiming from.
You will need to send by post or take by hand to the counter in room E07 the N1, the copies and the relevant fee or fee remission/exemption (see Fees Order). after processing the documents will be returned to you for servicing (sending by post to the defendant) unless you request otherwise.
When filing a claim please check the following:
- Has your full name and address been supplied?
- Has your address for service been completed if it differs from 1 above?
- Has the defendant’s name and address been completed as fully as known?
- Have the brief details of the claim been completed in sufficient detail, so that the defendant(s) can understand what your claim is for?
- If interest is claimed, has this been stated and the calculation shown?
- Does the amount claimed correspond with the particulars of claim?
- Have you signed the statement of truth? The court will accept your claim form to issue if this part is not signed, but you may not rely on the statement of case as evidence. (Part 22.2 CPR).
- Have sufficient copies of the claim form been supplied (one original for the court file and one copy for each defendant and one which will be returned for your records after the court has issued it)?
- Have you enclosed the correct fee and made your cheque payable to HMCS?
- Are the claim forms signed, including all copies?
- If you have photocopied the claim form, have you photocopied the reverse of all pages?
- Have you stated whether you wish the court to serve the claim form and particulars if attached?
- Particulars of claim should be set out as per the attached guide
Filing the acknowledgment of service N9 allows you more time in which to seek advice and complete your defence (Leaflet EX305) If you file an acknowledgment of service within 14 days of the particulars of claim, this extends the time for filing a defence to 28 days from service of the particulars of claim. The Registry will log this on the High Court Forms System which will ensure judgment is not entered against you during this period. They will also notify the defendant of your intentions and the address of your solicitor if you have one.
You must complete form N9B (if the claim is for a specified amount) or Form N9D (if the claim is for an unspecified amount).
Whichever form you complete, you must make sure that it is taken or sent to the court (called filing) no later than 14 days from the date the particulars of claim were served on you. 28 days if you have filed an acknowledgment of service. If you do not, the claimant can ask the court to enter judgment, that is, make an order that you pay the amount claimed, or that you are liable to pay an amount to be decided by the court. The Registry staff will log your defence on the High Court Forms System and notify the claimant that it has been filed; they will also send an allocation questionnaire for completion by both parties.
if you admit the claim and wish to pay the money straight away you will need to send your payment to the claimant no later than 14 days after you received the particulars of the claimants claim. If you do not, the claimant may have requested the court to enter judgment against you. If you admit that you owe the money, but cannot afford to pay it all at once, you can ask for time to pay. You will need to fill in form N9A and send the form to the claimant. If you admit a claim for an unspecified amount of money you should complete N9C and send it to the court. This is called 'admitting liability' (responsibility) for payment. The court will then send a copy of your admission form to the claimant and will refer it to a Master for a hearing date.
When a claim is disputed and a defence filed, the Registry will a send an allocation questionnaire to all parties (leaflet EX305 will explain) The allocation questionnaire is used by the Master to ascertain the future management of the case and will have in the left hand corner a date on which it should be returned to the court. On this date the file and the allocation questionnaires will be referred to the Master for further directions
The Registry receive many different items of correspondence relating to the above and also various notices such as notice of change of solicitor, discontinuance, extension of time for filing various documents, Affidavits and witness statements to be placed on the court file, part 18 requests and notice of payments in and out of court.
All correspondence is logged onto the computer (where necessary)
The public counter is open from 10am to 4.30pm. Many litigants and solicitors clerks lodged their documents at the counter. This enables the clerks to check the documents and point out any necessary correction.
If you wish to know if a claim has been issued or need to find a claim number, you would need to do a public search. This is a manual search conducting at the counter in room E07. Each search costs £5. After carrying out a search you may order office copies of documents from the court record. Please also see the attached guidelines for further details on how to conduct a public search (Word,24Kb).
All Queen’s Bench files are stored in the Issue and Registry Section. If you want to obtain a copy of a document from the court file, you will need to pay appropriate fee. This is £5 for ten pages or less, then 50p for each subsequent page. You will also need to complete an office copy request form. There is one form for parties to the proceedings and another one for non-parties.
You will need to bring (or post) the completed correct form and the fee with you to Room E07.
Please note that the provision of documents from the court file is subject to Rule 5.4 of the Civil Procedure Rules.
Parties to proceedings can have the following documents without seeking permission:
- Statement of case: particulars of claim, defence, reply to defence etc
- A judgment or order made in public
- Any application notice and evidence lodged in support except: an application to come off record or an application to keep secret the identity of someone. This would not include a witness statement or affidavit not used to support an application or any other document not mentioned above including a covering letter.
- A notice of payment into court
- A certificate of suitability of a litigation friend
- A notice of funding
- A claim form or other statement of case together with any documents filed with or attached to or intended by the claimant to be served with such claim form.
- An acknowledgment of service together with any documents filed with or attached to or intended by the party acknowledging service to be served with such acknowledgment of service;
- A certificate of service, other than a certificate of service of an application notice or order in relation to a type of application mentioned in sub- paragraph (h) (i) to (ii);
- A notice of non-service
- An allocation questionnaire;
- A statement of costs
- A list of documents
- A notice of payment into court.
- A notice of change
- An appellants or respondents notice of appeal.
Any person NOT a party to an action can have the following documents without seeking permission as long as an acknowledgment or defence has been received from every defendant on record, a judgment has been entered or a hearing date has been fixed (not for directions):
- A claim form.
- A judgment or order made in public, but not the application attached to it.
Permission must be sought from a Master for copies of any other document, or in cases where there is more then one defendant and not all have entered acknowledgment or defence. Permission must now be sought by way of an application notice.
Issue & Registry Section
Royal Courts of Justice
DX 44450 Strand
Telephone: 020 7947 6336
Fax: 020 7947 6807