The new practice direction update was signed by the Master of the Rolls and the Lord Chancellor and is effective from 18th April 2020 and will cease to have effect on 30th October 2020.
The update clarifies that the stay which PD 51Z imposes on possession proceedings does not apply to a claim against trespassers to which rule 55.6 applies. i.e. the claim is against “persons unknown” and the claim form, particulars of claim and any witness statements have been correctly served on the trespassers.
The stay imposed by PD51Z imposes does not apply to applications for, and the making of, interim possession orders under Section III of CPR Pt 55. The stay also does not apply to hearings required by rule 55.25(4), and applications under rule 55.28(1).
The practice direction update also allows parties to possession proceedings to make applications for case management directions where they are agreed by the parties. This decision to allow case management directions to proceed will make it much easier for possession proceedings to resume effectively once the 90-day stay has expired.
The stay on possession proceedings imposed by PD51Z does not cover the issue of claims for injunctive relief.