Case Summaries

20 December 1999
THE FOLLOWING notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Magistrates

R v Balham Youth Court, ex p K; QBD, Div Ct (Tuckey LJ, Moses J) 19 Oct 1999.

A CHILDREN'S home where a young offender had been living, or social services which had assumed primary responsibility for him, were not responsible for that young person's appearance in court on the date of his trial.

Leslie Thomas (Fisher Meredith) for the applicant; M. Seymour (CPS, Youth Branch) for the prosecution.

Motor insurance

Hayward v Norwich Union Insurance Ltd; QBD (Michael Tugendhat QC as a deputy High Court judge) 22 Oct 1999.

IGNITION KEYS had not been "left" in a car if they were in the car but the driver was in a position to observe any attempt to interfere with the car, and was so close as to have a reasonable prospect of preventing any unauthorised interference with it. Accordingly the insurer could not rely on a clause in the policy insuring the car against loss, theft and damage which excluded liabilty if the car stolen when ignition key was "left" in the car.

Steven Berry (Underwood & Co) for the claimant; Rachel Ansell (Philip Parsons, Norwich Union Insurance Ltd) for the defendant.

Housing

Tower Hamlets London Borough Council v Begum; CA (Stuart-Smith, Auld, Sedley LJJ) 1 Nov 1999.

AS A matter of construction and of policy, s 204 of the Housing Act 1996, in providing for an appeal to the county court "on any point of law arising from" the review or original decision, gave it a power akin to that of judicial review exercisable in the High Court, including the power to quash a decision on the ground of procedural error, questions of vires, irrationality and inadequacy of reasons.

Ranjit Bhose (Russell Power) for the appellant council; John Howell QC, Sylvester Carrott (McMillen Hamilton McCarthy) for B.

Rates

R v Huelin (Valuation Officer for Coventry), ex p Murphy Ltd; R v Hodgetts (Valuation Officer for Kidderminster), ex p Nationwide Building Society; CA (Lord Woolf MR, Judge, Hale LJJ) 1 Nov 1999.

ON THE true construction of reg 2(3) of the Non-Domestic Rating (Transitional Period) Regulations 1990, in a case where the old valuation list showed different figures for the value for 31 March 1990 at different dates, the regulation permittted each value shown in the list as the value for 31 March 1990 to be tested against the words of the regulation, and not merely the final value.

David Mole QC, Peter Village (J.P. Scrafton) for the ratepayers; Tim Mould (Solicitor of Inland Revenue) for the valuation officers.

Pension

Legal & General Assurance Society Ltd v Pensions Ombudsman and ors; Ch D (Lightman J) 3 Nov 1999.

ON THE true construction of s 151 of the Pension Schemes Act 1993 and the Personal and Occupational Pension Schemes (Pensions Ombudsman) (Procedure) Rules 1995, there was no jurisdiction conferred on the High Court to hear appeals from decisions of the pensions ombudsman on preliminary issues.

Although the absence of a right of appeal did not preclude the availability of judicial review proceedings as a means of challenging the ombudsman's decisions in cases where judicial review was available, judicial review would not always be available, and it was not sensible to have distinct grounds and channels for review of the ombudsman's decisions in the case of interim and final determinations.

Nigel Inglis-Jones QC, Richard Hitchcock (Sacker & Partners) for L&G; Monica Carss-Frisk (John Yolland) for the Pensions Ombudsman; James Strachan (Philip Roberts) for the Personal Investment Authority Ombudsman Bureau Ltd; CCA did not appear and was not represented.

County court

Aadan v Brent London Borough Council; CA (Chadwick LJ, Sir Christopher Staughton) 5 Nov 1999.

IN ORDER for a document to be filed in the county court office within the terms of CCR Ord 2, r 4 it had to be produced to the relevant officer, and that could only be done when the court office was open. Accordingly, the 21-day period in which to bring an appeal under s 204 of the Housing Act 1996 should be construed, in a case where it expired on a day when the court office was closed, as being extended to the next day on which it was open.

Robert Latham (Vickers & Co) for the appellant; Kelvin Rutledge (Paul Barber, Wembley) for the council.

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