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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T V W Y

Legal Time Limits - Don't Be Late!

Legal Time Limits - Don't Be Late!

Monday 20th August 2012

The topic of legal time limits has been thrust into the spotlight this week following the debacle surrounding the deportation of the radical cleric Abu Qatada. Rarely is such a mundane yet important issue given such media attention.

It may be thought that the interpretation of legal deadlines is a topic reserved for the practice of lawyers, and whilst this may generally be the case, Jack Froggatt, a Litigation Solicitor at Brabners Chaffe Street observes that “in this increasingly litigious environment that we now live in, it is important for individuals and businesses alike to be aware of the basic legal time limits. Failure to do so may jeopardise your rights to pursue a legitimate action and equally may open you up to a liability which could have otherwise been opposed.”

Whilst every case turns on its own particular facts, here are 7 of the more common legal time limits:

1. If served with a Claim Form a defendant in England and Wales has 14 days in which to respond to the claim. If this time limit is missed, judgment in default may be entered.

2. There is a general statutory rule that civil actions (such as a breach of contract claim) must be commenced within 6 years of the date on which the claim arose.

3. If served with a Statutory Demand threatening bankruptcy there are 18 days in which to apply to the court to challenge the demand, or 21 days in which to make payment to the creditor.

4. In defamation proceedings the defamed party generally has 1 year in which to commence proceedings from the date of publication.

5. A dismissed employee has 3 months to make a tribunal claim if they have been unfairly dismissed.

6. Public bodies have 40 days to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request.

7. Personal injury claims must generally be commenced within 3 years of the injury occurring.

The premature announcement of the Home Secretary, Theresa May, earlier this week that Abu Qatada was to be deported following her misguided understanding that the 3 month period in which Mr Qatada had to appeal the decision had expired, serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding the correct legal time limits.

For further information contact Jack Froggatt at Brabners Chaffe Street on 0151 600 3338