The Ministry of Justice has launched its long awaited refund scheme for a range of civil, magistrate, insolvency and Court of Protection fees. The implementation of the scheme follows a 2018 review where the Ministry "discovered fees in certain proceedings had been unintentionally set above cost". There are also somer fees that should not have been charged at all.
Anyone who believes they paid too much for some court services between 22 April 2014 and 31 March 2018 can now apply for a refund via the MoJ website.
The Court of Protection fees falling within the scheme are set out below (taken from the MoJ guidance)
Over-charged: fees that were charged more than the cost of the service
Mischarged: where the wrong fee was charged or should not have charged at all
In the first of some regular pieces on costs in the Court of Protection, provided by A&M Bacon, Paul Cruickshanks provides an outline of the new e-filing procedure in operation from January 2020.
The Office of the Public Guardian has published new guidance concerning travel costs that can be claimed by deputies.
It follows amendments to practice direction B to part 19 of the Court of Protection Rules, made in April 2017, that introduced a new provision allowing public authorities and other third sector deputies to claim a fixed amount for travel costs (paragraph 21).
The Guidance sets out the deputies duties, what travel costs might be covered and how to calculate them.
It also makes clear that it is a general guide only, setting out their interpretation of what counts as a reasonable claim: the Court of Protection is the ultimate arbiter.
You can read the Guidance here
Amendments to the Court of Protection Rules 2007 and a raft of changes to the accompanying Practice Directions have been published.
An an accompanying explanatory memorandum published on the Judiciary website states that:
"7.1 Amendments to the Court of Protection Rules are long overdue: no comprehensive update of rules has been done since they were first introduced in 2007, and there have been only very limited amendments in 2009 and 2011, and some more substantial amendments in 2015. The changes made by this instrument will strengthen the Court of Protection’s powers to deal with current challenges particularly the increase in caseloads and complexity of cases.
7.2 The proposed rule changes will give the court greater powers, following the model of the Civil Procedure Rules providing for civil restraint orders, to deal with applications which are without merit and allow the court, for instance, to restrain litigants from submitting repeat applications. Further changes will also introduce a new framework for international applications that will reflect current practices and case law in cross jurisdictional cases and bring clarity and consistency to the making of such applications which is now needed as these types of cases are emerging more frequently. "
The Court of Protection (Amendment) Rules 2017 (SI 2017 no. 187) amend the 2007 Rules in two respects:
Alongside these rule changes several changes to the Practice Directions are in force as set out below:
The Patient's daughter had succeeded in her application that CANH should be withdrawn and that her mother should be transferred to a hospice (see Re N  EWCOP 76). The Patient's daughter made an application for costs against the CCG. The judge held that the CCG should pay half the applicant's costs in circumstances where "their responses entailed avoidable delay and, particularly at the procedural stages, a disturbing disregard for National Guidelines".
Read the full text of the judgment on Bailii
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