Case No: CO/2663/2022
In the High Court of Justice
Queen’s Bench Division
19 August 2022
Mr James Strachan QC sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court
The Queen on the application of
Secretary of State for the Home Department
On an application by the Defendant for an additional 14 days in which to file her Acknowledgement of Service and the Claimant’s application for interim relief
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant and the Defendant, including the Claimant’s response to the Defendant’s application
ORDER by Mr James Strachan QC sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court
1. The Claimant shall be referred to in these proceedings as ‘IN’. Pursuant to CPR39.2, no person shall publish any information capable of identifying the Claimant, his wife or his children without the leave of the Court or further order.
2. The Defendant shall file and serve her Acknowledgment of Service by 4pm on Friday 26 August 2022. It shall include her response to the claim and the Claimant’s application for interim relief.
3. The Claimant’s application for interim relief be considered in light of the Defendant’s Acknowledgment of Service with her response to that application.
4. Costs reserved.
1. The Claimant has made an application for anonymity for himself and his family for reasons set out in his claim and this has not been resisted by the Defendant and appears to be justified in accordance with CPR39.2, not least given the involvement of his children.
2. The Defendant has applied for an extension of 14 days within which to file her Acknowledgment of Service suggesting that the Claim does not appear to show the complete factual matrix and the Defendant needs additional time properly to respond and indicating that the Defendant has “a number of similar cases” and “needs to ensure consistency approach.” The Claimant opposes the application.
3. I am unimpressed by the absence of any real explanation as to why a further 14 days is required to respond to this claim in addition to the normal 21 days that the Defendant has had available to her. The Application Notice does not actually explain why more time is in fact required. If it be the case that the Claimant’s claim does not show the complete factual matrix, then one would expect the Defendant to complete the picture as it sees fit by filing its Acknowledgement of Service within the normal 21 day time period allowed. It is not explained why more time is required to do this. As to the Defendant’s suggestion that it has a number of “similar cases” and it “needs to ensure consistency of approach”, no details are provided of this and why ensuring a consistency of approach requires more time.
4. Notwithstanding these inadequacies in the Defendant’s application, I consider the Court would be assisted by receipt of the Defendant’s response to the claim and the application for interim relief. It appears the interim relief sought is also effectively the final relief sought and
therefore it is important to hear a response from the Defendant; but given the interests at stake (including those of the Claimant’s children) the Defendant must now provide that response expeditiously. In the absence of proper information as to why 14 days is required, I am not
prepared to grant as long as that, but instead give the Defendant a further week in which to respond.
5. On receipt of the Acknowledgement of Service, the Court will be in a better position to consider the Claimant’s application for interim relief fairly and the permission for the claim. It may be that a hearing is necessary or appropriate at that stage, but I leave that for the Court to decide in light of the Defendant’s Acknowledgement of Service containing her response.