Bentley v Jones Harris and Co: CA 1 May 2001

The judge below acceded to a submission of no case to answer without putting the defendant to his election.
Held: ‘At the time of this trial it was, it seems, common ground between counsel for both parties and the judge that under the CPR there was no need for a party making a submission of no case to answer to be put to his election. This has now been clarified by this Court in Boyce -v- Wyatt Engineering and Others [2001] EWCA 692 per Mance LJ, so that certain limits are set on that proposition. But it is clear that on the basis of the learned judge’s judgment he concluded that in this case, in the light of the evidence given by the claimant, nothing in the defendants’ evidence could affect the view he had taken (see per Mance LJ at para 5 and the learned judge’s judgment at p.15D-F). In any event, the question of further evidence from the defendants never arose because the learned judge found that there was no case to answer. We have to decide whether that conclusion was right.’


Burton J


[2001] EWCA Civ 1724, [2001] EWCA Civ 692




England and Wales


AppliedMullen v Birmingham City Council QBD 29-Jul-1999
Under the new rules, judges were required to take greater control over court proceedings, and accordingly had the power to entertaining a submission of no case to answer at the close of the claimant’s case and without first requiring the defendant . .

Cited by:

CitedMiller (T/A Waterloo Plant) v Cawley CA 30-Jul-2002
At the end of the claimant’s case the defendant wished to submit that there was no case for her to answer. The judge then put the defendant to an election as to whether or not she would call any evidence. She appealed.
Held: It is not . .
CitedBenham Limited v Kythira Investments Ltd and Another CA 15-Dec-2003
The appellant complained that the judge had accepted a case of no case to answer before the close of the claimant’s case and without putting them to their election. The claimant estate agents sought payment of their account. The defendants alleged a . .
CitedNeina Graham v Chorley Borough Council CA 21-Feb-2006
The defendant had submitted after the close of the claimant’s case that it had no case to answer. The judge did not put the defendant to its election as to whether to call evidence, but instead decided to accede to the submission. The claimant now . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice

Updated: 08 June 2022; Ref: scu.188853