CPR Part 55 Possession Claims
When does part 55 apply?
CPR r. 55.2(1)(b) – “The procedure set out in this Section of this Part must be used where the claim includes – … a possession claim against trespassers”
CPR r. 55.1:
“a possession claim” means a claim for the recovery of possession of land (including buildings or parts of buildings);
“A possession claim against trespassers” means a claim for the recovery of land which the claimant alleges is occupied only by a person or persons who entered or remained on the land
without the consent of a person entitled to possession of that land but does not include a claim against a tenant or sub-tenant whether his tenancy has been terminated or not;
Note also 55.2.4 – includes a former licensee.
Part 55 generally – mechanics of a claim
• Claim usually started in County Court – CPR r. 55.3
• Claim Form
– 55.3.4 In a prescribed form and verified by statement of truth
• Particulars of Claim
– CPR r. 55.4 – “must be filed and served with the claim form”
– Note 55.4.5
– PD 55A – para. 2.6 – “If the claim is a possession claim against trespassers, the particulars of claim must state the claimant’s interest in the land or the basis of his right to claim possession and the circumstances in which it has been occupied without licence or consent”.
Part 55 generally – mechanics
• Hearing date – CPR 55.5:
“(2) In a possession claim against trespassers the defendant must be served with the claim form, particulars of claim and any witness statements –
(a) in the case of residential property, not less than 5 days; and
(b) in the case of other land, not less than 2 days, before the hearing
• Note “days” means “clear days” see 55.5.2 and CPR r. 2.8.
• Service – if persons unknown see CPR r. 55.6 –
“the claim form, particulars of claim and any witness statements must be served on those
persons by –
(a)(i) attaching copies of the claim form, particulars of claim and any witness statements to the main door or some other part of the land so that they are clearly visible; and
(ii) if practicable, inserting copies of those documents in a sealed transparent envelope addressed to ‘the occupiers’ through the letter box; or
(b) placing stakes in the land in places where they are clearly visible and attaching to each stake copies of the claim form, particulars of claim and and any witness statements in a sealed transparent envelope addressed to ‘the occupiers’.
Defence – CPR r. 55.7(2) – “In a possession claim against trespassers rule 15.2 does not apply and the defendant need not file a defence”.
• Enforcement – normally enforced by means of a warrant for possession in the county court – but can transfer to the High Court – importantly, in a claim against trespassers no permission is needed to transfer.