Wife’s claim for husband’s police pension if he predeceases her transferred to Queen’s Bench under Part 8


Re: R (Carter & Anor) v Chelmsford Crown Court [2019] EWHC 1484 (Admin)

This matter arose in the context of a challenge to the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 which have the effect that, if he were to predecease her, Mrs Carter would not be entitled to Mr Carter’s police pension because they were married after he had retired.

The Court held that Mrs Carter’s contingent claim could and should have been the subject of a straightforward claim for declaratory relief under Parts 7 or 8 of the CPR. It also concluded that, contrary to the consideration of the lower court, Mrs Carter was not entitled to make a claim under regulation H5(1) instead. This is because the regulation carefully restricts the circumstances in which such an appeal can be made to a) a refusal to admit a claim as of right; b) a refusal to admit a claim to a larger award than that granted; c) a decision as to whether a refusal to accept medical treatment is reasonable and d) forfeiture of any award. The Court considered that the only one of these criteria which might have applied was a); however because Mrs Carter was not at the time entitled to any award, her claim could not fall under regulation H5(1). As such the Court concluded that the claim should not have been brought before the Crown Court under the regulation. Therefore, the case is to be transferred to a single judge of the Queen’s Bench, and treated as if it was a claim commenced under Part 8.

Chris Buttler was involved in this case.