130th Practice Direction Update to the Civil Procedure Rules (PD 51R & PD 51S)

The Master of the Rolls and the Courts Minister have signed the 130th Practice Direction Update to make technical changes to the operation of the Online Civil Money Claims (OCMC) Pilot, PD51R and the County Court Online Pilot Scheme, PD51S.

The PD is effective from 11am, 24 May 2021.

A copy of the PD Update is viewable here: PD Update is viewable

The main changes effected by this PD Update are to:

 PD51R – Online Civil Money Claims (OCMC) Pilot Scheme:

  • Extends the operation on the pilot for 2-years, until 30 November 2023.
  • Amends Section 6 and paragraphs 10.1 and 10.3 to provide for the Mediation opt-out extension. At present, if a claim is for an amount exceeding £500, parties have to opt into mediation if they would like to take part. For claims of £500 or less, parties are required to opt out. The amendment extends it so that all claims have an opt out approach to mediation.
  • Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (Breathing Space Regulations) – amendments to paragraph 11.1 to accommodate the Breathing Space Regulations. Namely, if a claimant wishes to obtain default judgment in relation to a debt covered by a moratorium under the Breathing Space Regulations, the request must be made by application under the mainstream CPR Part 23, rather than by using the automatic request function in OCMC.
  • Introduces a new paragraph 16A.1 to clarify that the court may refer a matter to a judge (or where appropriate a legal adviser) operating within the pilot for an order or directions about the management of the claim, and that the order or directions can be made without always having to send the claim out of the pilot first.

 PD51S – The County Court Online Pilot Scheme:

  • Extends the operation of the pilot for 12-months, until 30 November 2022.