Unsigned appeal accepted as duly made by HMCTS?!?

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    ben steventon

    Hi All,

    I guess I'm looking for some kind of advice. Either that or the opportunity to see if anybody else is experiencing this woeful occurence, as it's happening time and again now.


    Appeal received, not signed.  We send it back quoting FTT rules, not duly made and asking them to sign the appeal. Same appeal comes back in again, still unsigned.  One last chance, send it back again, no response.

    Short, not duly made submission follows, quoting the 3 times we have asked claimant to sign the appeal (decision notice, 1st appeal response, 2nd appeal response).

    A few weeks later, letter from HMCTS: 'The appeal has been accepted as duly made on (x date)'.

    First time around, I rang HMCTS and asked why? They said they had sent a letter asking the customer to sign the appeal, which they did. I then said to the Clerk that it would have been a great idea to send me this with their letter; they then fax me a copy.  It was a compliment slip stating 'please sign and return your appeal'.  I also questioned did they not note that I had tried to obtain the same response from the appellant on 3 occasions?

    I find this really frustrating.  I had blatantly evidenced on my submisison that on 3 occasions on 3 letters we had requested what HMCTS can seemingly do on a handwritten compliment slip, to avoid striking out an appeal. 

    Anybody else suffering the same or that can offer any words of wisdom? This seems a huge waste of time to LA's!  I wonder… if I submit an appeal as duly made without a signature, what would happen then?!?

    nick dearnley

    You’re at the mercy of rule 7(2)(a) of the Procedure Rules – the tribunal may waive a requirement in the rules that has not been complied with.
    Edited to add:
    And the appeal is now duly made, as it has been signed. This may make it technically late, but again the tribunal will fall back on rule 7 and accept it as in the interests of justice and the overriding objective (rule 2). Rule 2 includes avoidance of unnecessary formality. I’ve long since got over the annoyance of having late or otherwise not duly made appeals accepted. Well, mostly.


    I have, on a few occasions, where I have had an appeal which would be duly made apart from the lack of a signature written the submission and asked the tribunal to use the discretion allowed in rule 7(2)(a) to waive the need for the appeal to be signed. They have always been accepted. (helps my “time to send submission” stats too as it cuts out the waiting for it to be returned time) 😉

    ben steventon

    Good call, I like that idea and no doubt I should have thought about that!

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