What Is A Consent Order And When Do I Need One?
Posted on 8th April 2020
Consent Orders are routinely used to conclude matters, but they aren’t an Order made by a Judge, rather they are one offered to the Court to approve so that the Court doesn’t need to make a decision.
It isn’t quite that simple as, if the Judge does not believe the Order is viable or fair, they can decline to approve it. Our personal injury solicitors draft Consent Orders on a regular basis, and if the terms are clear and viable, then disapproval of the court is indeed rare, although not unheard of and usually with some amendments, the Order can be put into a formal or on terms that the Court will approve.
MG Legal, your Solicitors in Lancaster use Consent Orders on a daily basis as they are a cost effective and all-encompassing way to conclude a matter formally.
What type of cases would you use a Consent Order for?
Basically, any type of matter that is in the Court process, or in some cases it an be one that has not yet been submitted to the Court. A Consent Order is a way of formalising a settlement or an interim agreement, say, the adjournment of a Hearing or an Application made by one party that is not opposed by the other. So, Family, Personal Injury, Civil Disputes, Landlord and Tenant and Financial Disputes are just a few of the cases where a Consent Order would be used.
How does a Consent Order come into being?
Whatever the case, if the two parties have reached agreement on a point, or on the case as a whole, they can draft points upon which they wish to agree, ten each party or their Solicitor will sign the Order and submit it to the Court for approval.
Usually, there is a Court Fee payable for the Court’s time and a Judge will look over the Order and decide if they are able to approve it. If the Judge approves the Order, it then becomes a Court Order and is as binding as if the Court had made the Order of their own volition.
What happens after the Consent Order is approved?
Quite simply, as it is an Order of the Court, the parties must adhere to it. If deadlines have been agreed, the parties must do what is agreed by those deadlines or if they have agreed to disclose certain documents, they must do so. Settlement must be adhered to also and so, if one party agrees and the Court approves that they must pay by a certain date, this is fixed and if not adhered to, is the same as breaching an Order made by a Judge directly.
What happens if the Order is not obeyed?
The other party is entitled to take Enforcement action. If the Consent Order is an interim one (an Order within a case rather than settling it), they can ask that Court to sanction their opponent including striking their case out entirely. If the Consent Order was a final settlement, they can use a variety of methods of Enforcement including converting the Judgement into a Writ and ask Bailiffs to attend to seize goods to the value of the debt, obtaining Attachments of Earnings, Third Party Debt Order or issuing a Winding-Up Petition if their opponent is a business.
MG Legal, your Solicitors in Lancaster have done so on a regular basis as, unfortunately, sometimes people do not comply with Orders, even if they have agreed to them. However, when a Consent Order is drafted, and bears signatures of both parties, then any doubt as to what was agreed disappears, leaving the party with the benefit of the Consent Order to take action if the other side defaults.
Where is a Consent Order used outside proceedings?
In personal injury matters, settlements, such as those for awards to minors are signed outside proceedings and are then issued as an Application for Approval rather than a contentious matter. This can also be the case with Family Law Proceedings where a couple are separating but have amicably divided their assets. Our family law solicitors draft an Oder, and the Court are simply asked to approve the agreement, rather than it being a disputed matter that settles, although this is possible too. Neither of these matters can be agreed outside Court proceedings and must be settled this way.
Can I draw up my own Consent Order?
Strictly speaking, anyone can draft their own Consent Order, however, as these Orders are generally used to conclude settlement, it is possible that the final Order if approved, could leave you in an unfavourable position. Whilst the Court must still approve the Order, the Judge can only work on the basis of the information provided and so, if a key aspect is left unaddressed, it could leave you at a disadvantage and unable to recover all of the monies you thought, or it might leave your opponent with an avenue to pursue a claim against you at a later date.
Using MG Legal to draw up your Consent Order
In all probability, if you have suffered a personal injury, or are in the final stages of a family dispute, divorce, and so forth, you will probably have instructed a local solicitor long before you reach this stage. The possible exception being an amicable Divorce where you simply require assistance with the formalities. In any case, we strongly recommend that you instruct a Solicitor, like MG Legal, your Solicitors in Lancaster, to assist you in any such matter.
Contact MG Legal by phone, email, web-contact form or at one of our offices in Lancaster, Garstang or Longridge and we will put you through to the Department best suited to your enquiry. We have specialists in Personal Injury, Family & Children matters, Property and Wills & Probate matters and so whatever your query, we will have someone to answer it for you.
We offer Personal Injury claims on a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement) and most other instructions can be accepted on a fixed fee basis. So, call MG Legal, your Solicitors in Lancaster and we will put you through to the right person to get the ball rolling the same day.
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