Pritam Kaur v S Russell and Sons Ltd: CA 2 Jun 1972

The plaintiff sought damages following the death of her husband when working for the defendant. The limitation period expired on Saturday 5 September 1970. The writ was issued on the Monday following.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The writ was issued in time.
Lord Denning MR said: ‘The defendants can say: ‘The plaintiff has three years in which to bring his action. If the last day is a Saturday or Sunday, or other dies non, he ought not to leave it until the last day. He ought to make sure and issue it the day before when the offices are open’.
The plaintiff can say: ‘The statute gives me three years in which I can bring my action. If I go into the offices on the last day, and find them closed, I ought not to be defeated on that account. I should be allowed to go next day when the offices are open. Otherwise I should be deprived of the three years which the statute allows me.’
Those arguments are so evenly balanced that we can come down either way. The important thing to do is to lay down a rule for the future so that people can know how they stand. In laying down a rule, we can look to parallel fields of law to see the rule there. The nearest parallel is the case where a time is prescribed by rules of court for doing any act. The rule prescribed in both the County Court and the High Court is this: If the time expires on a Sunday or any other day on which the court office is closed, the act is done in time if it is done on the next day on which the court office is open. I think we should apply a similar rule when the time is prescibed by statute for doing any act. By so doing, we make the law consistent in itself; and we avoid confusion to practitioners. So I am prepared to hold that, when a time is prescribed by statute for doing any act, and that act can only be done if the court office is open on the day when the time expires, then, if it turns out in any particular case that the day is a Sunday or other dies non, the time is extended until the next day on which the court office is open.
Lord Denning MR
[1973] 1 QB 336, [1973] 1 All ER 617, [1973] 2 WLR 147
Limitation Act 1939 2
England and Wales
Appeal fromPritam Kaur v S Russell and Sons Ltd QBD 1-Jun-1972
The plaintiff sought damages following the death of her husband when working for the defendants. He had died on 5 September 1967 but the writ was not issued until Monday 7 September 1970. The applicable limitation period was 3 years, which the . .
ApprovedMarren v Dawson Bentley and Co Ltd 1961
Compensation was sought for injuries received in the course of employment.
Held: The limitation period was to be calculated to have started on the day after the occurrence which founded the claim, the day itself being excluded from the . .

Cited by:
AppliedAadan v Brent London Borough Council CA 3-Dec-1999
On a day when the court office is closed, the time for filing documents is accordingly extended by one day, if the expiring day would otherwise have been that day. A request for an appeal was due to be filed within 21 days. The last day was a day on . .
CitedThe Clifford Maersk QBD 25-May-1982
The defendants contracted to carry a cargo for the plaintiff. The plaintiffs asserted that it was delivered in a damaged condition. The Act required an action to be brought within one year. The defendants granted extensions of time until at last ‘up . .
DistinguishedSwainston v Hetton Victory Club Ltd CA 1983
The claimant was dismissed on 7 September 1981. The time limit of three months, expired at midnight on 6 December. Other departments shared the building entrance with the Tribunal. The front door was closed over the weekend, but there was a . .
CitedSt. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council v Barnes CA 25-Oct-2006
The claimant had delivered his claim form to the court, but it was not processed until after the limitation period had expired. The defendant appealed a finding that the claimant had brought the cliam within the necessary time.
Held: The claim . .
CitedMucelli v Government of Albania (Criminal Appeal From Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice) HL 21-Jan-2009
The House was asked whether someone who wished to appeal against an extradition order had an obligation also to serve his appellant’s notice on the respondent within the seven days limit, and whether the period was capable of extension by the court. . .
CitedModaresi, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Health SC 24-Jul-2013
The Court was asked: ‘As: (i) a public body with obligations in public law and (ii) a public authority under the Human Rights Act 1998 can the Secretary of State for Health ‘the S/S’ lawfully refuse to refer a patient’s case to the First-tier Mental . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 21 September 2021; Ref: scu.231055