The bank had obtained a suspended possession order and some 11 years later, during which time there had been further inconclusive proceedings, it renewed its application for a full order. Neither the existence nor validity of the suspended possession order was disputed but the stated amount of arrears was. Accounts of monies paid were ordered and further proceedings took place over the next four years before an appeal disputing the validity of the original possession order was then made by the defendant. It was claimed that the original order had not been sealed and so had not been perfected. The judge rejected the appeal on the ground it was made too late.

The Court of Appeal agreed. It was now far too late for the validity of the order to be challenged. Where all the parties had proceeded on the basis that the order was valid, it would be an abuse of process for the court to now take the point that it was, in fact, invalid.

Abbey National Plc v Miller