Boyce v Wyatt Engineering and Others: CA 1 May 2001

The discretion of a judge to deal with a case at the close of the claimant’s case, and without putting the defendants to their respective election was only to be exercised with the greatest caution. There was a risk that, if the claimant appealed successfully, an entire re-trial could result with considerable extra expense. ‘The course taken by the judge of deciding the case following the hearing of the claimant’s evidence without putting the defendants to their election is one which calls, on any view, for considerable caution.’ ‘If no election is extracted, then there is the risk, as here, that if the claim is dismissed, there may be a successful appeal against the judge’s view of the merits, and the matter may then have to be remitted, quite likely to a different judge, for a complete retrial. ‘


Mance LJ


Times 14-Jun-2001, [2001] EWCA Civ 692




England and Wales


CitedAlexander v Rayson CA 1936
The action was for arrears of rent. The evidence at trial was that the plaintiff granted a lease to the defendant at a rent of andpound;1200 and contracted that certain services in connection with the flat would be performed. The plaintiff sent the . .
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 . .
CitedLloyd v John Lewis Partnership CA 1-Jul-2001
The judge allowed the defendant’s submission of no case to answer without putting them to their election and again the claimant’s appeal succeeded. The trial judge had been persuaded that the rule in Alexander -v- Rayson had been altered by the . .
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, Personal Injury

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.78524