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FPR strike-out provision amended from 6th April 2016

Further amendments relate to attachment of earnings, charging and stop orders

The Family Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2016/355 amend, amongst several provisions, the strike-out provision in rule 4.4.

The explanatory memorandum to the statutory instrument explains that the judgment in Wyatt v Vince [2015] UKSC 14 identified a difficulty in seeking to strike out a statement of case when the form of application contained no grounds for making the application. The Family Procedure Rule Committee has considered the matter and is of the view that, particularly given the terms of rule 4.1(1) of the FPR 2010, any evidence filed in relation to the application which is sought to be struck out should be considered by the court when considering whether or not to strike out the application. This is in addition to any evidence filed by the parties in support of or in opposition to the strike-out application. That would allow the court to strike out an application made by a form which itself could not disclose any grounds for bringing the application because of the nature of the application form, but where the evidence in support of the application or filed in relation to the application showed that there were no reasonable grounds for bringing the application.

To add clarity to this matter, the Family Procedure Rule Committee has concluded that it is appropriate to amend the FPR 2010 to insert at rule 4.4(1A) an express provision to say that when the court is considering whether to exercise the power to strike out a statement of case, it must take into account any written evidence filed in relation to the application or answer.

The Amendment Rules also insert:

The Amendment Rules, which come into force on 6th April 2016, are here.