Local Government Council tax. The claimant contested a council tax rating for his boat that had been moored at a non-permanent mooring in essentially the same place for two years. The Valuation Tribunal allowed the claimant's appeal and the listings officer appealed to the High Court. The High Court allowed that appeal. The claimant appealed to the Court of Appeal, Civil Division on grounds that the High Court had erred in law. The court found that for a mooring to attract liability for council tax, there was a long-standing requirement for a degree of permanence. Permanence was not measured by a period of time alone, but in the circumstances of the present case, time was an overwhelming factor that the tribunal had failed to address. The judge had been correct to overturn the tribunal's decision.
Contract Construction. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that the defendant lessee under an aircraft leasing agreement had been liable for the lease notwithstanding a defect in the aircraft which rendered it un-airworthy, because the defendant had signed a certificate of acceptance. The natural meaning of the documents was that the aircraft had been examined and investigated, that it had been found in the condition required for delivery, and that it had, accordingly, been accepted by the defendant on, or for, lease.
Family proceedings Costs. The Family Division ordered the respondent local authority to pay the applicants' costs of the proceedings in the Family Division, in circumstances where the applicants had been subject to freeing orders in favour of the authority, but were never adopted. The court held that the authority's conduct in relation to the applicants had been blatantly unlawful and unreasonable and had led inexorably to substantial litigation.
Rates Separate hereditament. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, upheld a determination of the Upper Tribunal (Lands Tribunal) that two floors occupied by a firm of accountants on the second and sixth floors in a modern office block had amounted to a single hereditament for the purposes of non-domestic rates.
Debt Judgment debt. The claimant brought proceedings pursuant to a judgment debt owed to him by the first defendant who had been married to the second defendant. The second defendant was the sole owner of a property known as The Orchard purchased at the time when the judgment debt proceedings against the first defendant were pending. The claimant had brought proceedings under s423 of the claiming that the first defendant had put assets beyond his reach by providing funds for the purchase of The Orchard. The County Court found that the first defendant had contributed to the purchase of The Orchard by way of a gift to the second defendant and the court ordered that the property be charged to the value of that sum for the benefit of the claimant. The second defendant appealed on the basis that the judge had wrongly calculated the value of the charge. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, rejected the appeal, holding that, on the evidence, the judge had reached a proper conclusion.
Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the applicant father's appeal against a ruling reducing contact with his children to indirect contact and dismissing his application to change the name of his youngest child. The judge had misdirected himself in reaching the conclusion he had reached in respect of contact and the supervised contact order would be restored. The name change application would be remitted to the County Court.
Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appellant mother's appeal against the issue of care and placement orders as neither order was still live.
Building contract Architect. The Technology and Construction Court considered issues of liability and quantum in respect of a claim for negligence against the defendant architects resulting from defective work carried out by a building contractor.
Immigration Leave to remain. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appellant's appeal against the decision of an immigration judge to dismiss her claim for leave to remain on the basis of her rights under art8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Subsequent to that decision, the appellant was granted leave to remain for a period of 30 months and, accordingly, the appeal was academic as she had already been given that which she would obtain if the appeal succeeded.
*R (on the application of Bibi and another v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Liberty and Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, intervening)
Immigration Rules. The claimants were both foreign nationals who were married to British citizens. They applied for judicial review of an amendment to r281 of the Immigration Rules HC 395 which required a foreign spouse or partner of a British citizen or person settled in the United Kingdom to produce a test certificate of knowledge of the English language to a prescribed standard prior to entering the UK. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the claimants' appeal as the amended rule did not contravene any requirement of the European Convention on Human Rights or of domestic law.