In Hoddinott and others v Persimmon Homes (Wessex) Ltd -Butterworths Law Direct 21.11.07 the Claimant had sent a copy of the claim form to the Defendant for information only and then sought an extension of time for service. The Defendant applied to set aside the extension of time on the ground that there had been no good reason for it. The claim form and particulars were then served and the Defendant filed an acknowledgment of service indicating that it intended to defend the claim but not to contest the jurisdiction. The judge set aside the order extending time and held that the Defendant did not have to make an application under CPR r.11 since it had made an application disputing service before the proceedings had been served.
The issues that arose on appeal were (i) whether CPR 11 was engaged at all; if so (ii) whether the district judge was right to hold that the Defendant's application to set aside the order extending time for service rendered an application underCPR 11(1) unnecessary; and (iii) whether the district judge's exercise of the discretion conferred by CPR 7.6(1) was wrong. The Court of Appeal held that CPR r.11 was engaged. The word "jurisdiction" was used in two different senses in the CPR: one meaning was territorial jurisdiction, but in CPR r.11(1) the word did not denote territorial jurisdiction but the court's power or authority to try a claim. Even if the court had jurisdiction to try a claim where the claim form had not been served in time, it was open to a defendant to argue that the court should not exercise its jurisdiction to do so and CPR r.11(1)(b) was engaged in such a case. The application to set aside the order extending time for service did not render an application under CPR r.11 unnecessary. Rule 11(5) provided that if the defendant filed an acknowledgment of service and did not make an application within the period specified he was to be treated as having accepted that the court had jurisdiction.