Citizens Advice Bureau

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LOCAL INFORMATION

4.5.1.L3a
Court Costs

Extent: Jersey
Updated 26 August 2015
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Words you may need to know

Allocated –  given or allowed

Appellant – someone who has appealed against a judgement made by the Court

Re-imburse – to pay back

Inferior and Superior Number – groups of members of the Royal Court who make decisions

Judicial Greffier -  head of the Judicial Greffe which is the department dealing with the administration of the Royal Court

Prosecution-  the person or side that is bringing the case

Taxed costs – the legal costs of the case that the Court decides are appropriate and which the plaintiff or defendant has to pay. Taxed costs are charged out according to a scale of costs decided by the Court.

Court Costs on Appeal

When an appellant is successful in her/his appeal to the Courts, it is possible for the Court to award costs to reimburse some of the expenses for cases brought before it. This does not cover earlier proceedings brought in the Magistrate's Court. This will soon change. 

At present the Superior Number of the Royal Court may not award costs if there is a successful appeal against a decision of the Inferior Number, and this is also to be changed shortly.

Unsuccessful appeals

In future it may be possible for the Royal Court to order that an unsuccessful appellant should pay all or part of the costs incurred by the prosecution in the case. This does not happen at the moment.

The award of costs after litigation

At the conclusion of any court case it is possible for the court to award the plaintiff, or defendant, 'costs' depending upon the case's outcome. 'Taxed Costs' do not make up all of the legal fees and expenses involved in the case. They are calculated according to a scale worked out by the Court administrators.  (see below)

Taxed costs can amount to between 50% and 100% of fees and charges incurred.

It is up to the Court whether to award taxed costs. The Court does not have to make an award but if does not an appeal can be made against the Court’s decision if a person’s lawyer advises that there are good reasons for an appeal.

Occasionally the Court will refuse to award costs to the successful plaintiff or defendant as an expression of the Court's disapproval of the circumstances or behaviour in the case.

The amount the successful party to a case can recover from the unsuccessful party is decided following a new system which is administered by the Judical Greffier. Fixed rates have been assessed based on actual costs, and these rates are used to determine how much the legal practitioner's hours of work should be charged at.

As at June 2004

Factor 'A' rate - hourly rate to lawyers                       Factor 'B' claims         

Partners           £183 per hr      A percentage uplift (or increase) for care and conduct representing the profit element on top of Factor 'A'.

Qualified staff            £148 per hr     

Other staff, para-legals           £122 per hr      Can be 50 - 100% added to Factor 'A' rates.

Fixing a Date for the Hearing of a Civil Matter before the Royal Court 

As agreed in an Act of the Finance & Economics Committee dated 18th June, 2003 the Bailiff has directed that a charge should be levied for the fixing of a date for the hearing of a civil matter before the Royal Court. He has therefore ordered that this Practice Direction be issued to provide for the introduction of such a charge.

With effect from 1st August, 2003, any person making an application to the Bailiff's Judicial Secretary to fix a date for a hearing before the Royal Court will be required to pay a charge as follows:-

Cases allocated up to 5 days   £100

Cases allocated 6 -10 days      £250

Cases allocated 11 - 20 days   £500

Cases allocated over 20 days  £1,000

The charge will be payable whether the date is fixed by personal attendance before the Bailiff's Judicial Secretary or by conference telephone call. The charge is non-refundable whether the case proceeds to a hearing or not.

Where applications are made by Jersey lawyers they will be billed on a monthly basis for all the dates they have fixed in a calendar month. Invoices must be settled by cheque within fourteen days of being issued.

Other applicants such as litigants in person will be required to pay the charge due by cheque at the time of the fixing of the date.

 

This Practice Direction came into effect on 1st August, 2003.