We are continuing our series on Civil Procedure Rules, highlighting some of the little known but common rules and hopefully explaining them in plain English.
The next rule we will be looking at is rule 3.8 – Extension of time.
The rule says:
(3) Where a rule, practice direction or court order – (a) requires a party to do something within a specified time, and (b) specifies the consequence of failure to comply, the time for doing the act in question may not be extended by agreement between the parties except as provided in paragraph (4). (4) In the circumstances referred to in paragraph (3) and unless the court orders otherwise, the time for doing the act in question may be extended by prior written agreement of the parties for up to a maximum of 28 days, provided always that any such extension does not put at risk any hearing date.
What does this mean?
Following the subject of time, if there is a deadline to be met; and there is a specified sanction for failing to comply with the deadline, you and your opponents can actually agree, in writing (before the deadline) to extend the deadline by up to 28 days, provided the extension does not put any hearing at risk. This naturally can be a useful tool where it is taking longer than necessary or the parties are trying to negotiate a settlement and they want to save costs of complying.
You can find the full Civil Procedure Rules online (currently) at https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules
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