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17 July, 2020 Open access

Civil Procedure Rules amended to provide for how possession proceedings are to proceed after stay on evictions ends on 23 August 2020

New legislation issued in support of temporary arrangements to be put in place until 28 March 2021

New legislation has been issued in England and Wales that amends the Civil Procedure Rules to provide for how possession proceedings are to proceed after the current stay on evictions ends next month.

In force from 23 August 2020, the Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 (SI.No.751/2020) provide that possession proceedings and enforcement proceedings by way of writ and warrant for possession are to proceed as provided for by a new, temporary practice direction (Practice Direction 55C), which is to be added to the practice directions supporting the Civil Procedure Rules.

The explanatory memorandum to the new legislation advises that -

'This instrument introduces temporary arrangements to protect the public and to ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to protect all those involved when cases resume and to ensure that the civil justice system is 'accessible, fair and efficient'. It addresses so far as practicable matters affecting litigants and the courts when the present stay on possession proceedings is lifted and promotes best practice and consistency in and related to possession proceedings in the continuing context of the pandemic and the economic situation whilst being mindful of the impact of Covid-19 on the courts and court procedures and the economy.'

To this end, the new arrangements, that will be temporary until 28 March 2021, will include - 

SI.No.751/2020 is available from legislation.gov.uk

Update (21 July 2020): Practice Direction 55C (PD55C) has now been added to the Judiciary website.