Interim applications are used in civil proceedings in order to resolve matters which are ancillary to the substantive proceedings. They can take a number of forms. For example, if a party has not complied with a direction of the Court then a party may make an interim application for the Court to direct compliance. A party may need additional time to take a particular step in the litigation. Usually the parties will try and resolve any issues prior to the approaching the Court.
Part 23 provides the procedure for making interim applications.
Part 23.2 states:
(1) The general rule is that an applicant must file an application notice.
(2) An applicant may make an application without filing an application notice if –
(a) this is permitted by a rule or practice direction; or
(b) the court dispenses with the requirement for an application notice.
Theparty making the application is called the applicant. The person responding is the respondent.
The N244 form is an application notice for the purpose of part 23.2. The application notice should be filed stating what is being sought. The applicant party will inevitably have to serve evidence in support of their application. Deciding what to serve is a matter to be discussed with counsel. You will normally have to serve a draft order along with your N244. Rule 23.6 states that ‘an application notice must state a) what order the applicant is seeking; and (b) briefly, why the applicant is seeking the order.
Once an interim application has been resolved, the Judge will have to consider the costs arising out of that application. The approach to costs will depend on the kind of application made. The Court could order that one party be granted costs of the application. This would mean that the party would be entitled to their costs of the application. The Court could order ‘costs in the case’. This would mean that no party is named as receiving costs of the application, but the issue of the costs of the application will be resolved at the conclusion of the case. The Court could order that no order be made as to costs. This may be appropriate if neither party clearly ‘won’ the application.