Litigant in person gets no special treatment from the Court

Judith Thompson  03-08-2015

A case was brought against a litigant in person recently, seeking possession of two properties. The litigant in person failed to provide evidence to the Court in accordance with an order, and made an application to the Court for relief from sanctions. The Court refused the application. 

The litigant in person appealed to the High Court. In relation to one property, the appeal was allowed as the judge had not considered "all the circumstances" of the case. The High Court judge then considered the litigant in person's application again, and found that it should fail. 

The appeal in relation to the other property also failed.

This case highlights again that the Court is unlikely to give special treatment to litigants in person. Generally, they face the same sanctions as a solicitor who failed to take certain steps. The only exceptions seem to be where the case is extremely complex.

The rise in the number of litigants in person is due, in part at least, to the lack of legal aid and the demise of many types of conditional fee agreement. For some people, bringing or defending a claim themselves is the only possible way to obtain access to justice.

At Samuels, we understand these challenges, and have developed our own bespoke flexible funding arrangements for clients with strong cases. This can include no win no fee (conditional fee) arrangements. 

Contact us today for a free no obligation discussion about how we can help.