SS v RS [2023] EWFC 32 (Fam)16 March 2023

Published: 25/03/2023 09:00

Sir Jonathan Cohen. Application by H, inter alia, for compensation relating to delay in W complying with an undertaking to use her best endeavours to procure the release of H from the mortgage on the family home following a financial remedy order in 2019. W applied to strike out H’s application as she later succeeded in re-mortgaging the property and obtaining H’s release from the mortgage.

H argued that W’s failure to release him from the mortgage sooner led to him suffering significant financial loss. H accepted that he had made no payments towards the mortgage for which W would have been liable to indemnify him. H claimed that W’s behaviour was abusive pursuant to s 1(2)(b) of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 (‘DAA 2021’), and that he had suffered economic abuse in that her behaviour had a substantial effect on his ability to acquire, use or maintain money or other property, or obtain goods or services (s 1(4) of the DAA 2021).

H’s claim for compensation was found to be misconceived as there was no power nor provision for the making of financial compensation in the DAA 2021. H’s attempt to extend the principle of “compensation” to include the court having the power to award compensation was found to be mistaken. H had no freestanding claim for economic loss. If H had suffered any loss from W’s default, his remedy was to apply for an order for sale (H had done so but it took some time for the application to be heard).

The application was therefore struck out as it had no merit. H penalised in costs for refusing to withdraw his application after being informed that he had been removed from the mortgage, which would have avoided the expense of the hearing.

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