The Franks applied to the Land Registry to be registered as proprietor of land registered in the name of the Bedwards on the grounds of adverse possession. The Bedwards objected and the dispute was referred to the Land Registry Adjudicator. The Adjudicator rejected the claim and ordered the cancellation of the Franks’ application, which was duly cancelled. The Franks appealed and in 2008 the Court set aside the cancellation. However, the Land Registry was not informed of this until 2010.
In the meantime, the Bedwards had created charges in favour of third parties over the disputed land. The Franks applied to Court to have their application restored as if it had never been cancelled. The effect of this would be that the application would take priority over the rights of the third party charge holders. The judge agreed to restore the application.
The Court of Appeal refused to reverse the judge’s decision. It was clear that the Court had jurisdiction to make an order for restoration in cases where no third parties where affected and, as a matter of logic, there was nothing to suggest that the jurisdiction would not exist simply because a third party interest in the land might be affected. The difference in cases involving third parties and those which did not was that the Court would not ordinarily exercise its jurisdiction in a case where the interests of an innocent third party would be detrimentally affected as the effect of this would be to rearrange the order of priority of interests provided by the Land Registration Act. However, that was not to say that the jurisdiction was not available in an appropriate case.