Interim Payments in Civil Proceedings

Defining interim payments 

It is very well known that the administration of justice takes time. It could on some occasions be inappropriate to make the innocent party wait for years to receive the compensation owed to them. Therefore, provisions have been designed to deal with those situations and provide for payments before final judgment is granted. However, it is important to note that such are not granted easily to everyone who files an application. There is certain criterion that needs to be met prior to interim payment order being made and those requirements are discussed below.

In which court are those made?

An application can be made to both County Court and High Court as both have powers to grant such injunctions. The difference depends largely on the value of the claim and the complexity of the issues involved.

The application

The applications are generally made on notice and therefore must be served at least 14 clear days prior to the hearing of the application.

Those applications require written evidence to be included in support. In particular, information needs to be provided regarding the amount sought, what the money are to be used for, what amount is likely to be awarded and which of the grounds below the party believes to be satisfied and why.

Circumstances for an order to be made  

The remedy is not based on judicial discretion. There are five conditions set out in rule 25.7 of the Civil Procedure Rules, one of which needs to be satisfied before the court can grant and interim payment: 

  1. Where the defendant in the claim has admitted liability to pay damages or some other sum of money
  2. Where the claimant has already obtained judgment against the defendant and therefore the defendant is liable for damages or for a sum of money to be assessed
  3. Where the court is satisfied that if the claim was to be determined at trial, the claimant would obtain judgment for a substantial amount of money (other than costs) against the defendant
  4. Where the claimant is seeking order for possession of land and the court is satisfied that if the case went to trial, the defendant would be held liable to pay the claimant a sum of money for the defendant’s occupation and use of land while the claim for possession was pending 
  5. Where there are two or more defendants:
  • The court is satisfied that if the case went to trial, the claimant would obtain judgment for a substantial amount of money against at least one of the defendants (but the court cannot determine which) and
  • All the defendants are either- defendant that is insured in respect of the claim; a defendant whose liability will be met by an insurer under section 151 Road Traffic Act 1968; or a defendant that is a public body

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For more information on:

  • The amount of the award and the relevant considerations
  • What is the effect of the order at trial?