Home Information Cases Godfrey v Torpey & Ors (2006)

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Godfrey v Torpey & Ors (2006)

Summary

Where a claimant had brought proceedings against a party for the recovery of unsecured debts, and that party allegedly had a beneficial interest in property, those proceedings amounted to a "pending land action" for the purpose of the Land Registration Act 2002 s.87 and the claimant was entitled to register a notice against the property.

Facts

The applicant registered proprietor (X) applied to vacate a unilateral notice registered against his property. X was the fifth defendant in proceedings in which the claimant (C) asserted that the fourth defendant (Y) had incurred liabilities to him under various actions concerning unsecured debts. In those proceedings C alleged that X's property beneficially belonged to Y or alternatively that it had been transferred by Y, in which case the transfer was challengeable under the Insolvency Act 1986 s.423, and registered a notice against the property. X argued that C's action against Y could not be the subject matter of a "pending land action" under the Land Registration Act 2002 s.87(1) and the notice should be vacated.

Held

Section 87 of the 2002 Act mirrored the Land Charges Act 1972 s.17. The purpose of a pending land action notice was to put on notice prospective purchasers that there was a dispute that might affect the land. A party had to show a genuine interest in the outcome of litigation to claim a pending land action, Calgary and Edmonton Land Co Ltd v Dobinson (1974) Ch 102 considered. In the instant matter, C had a legitimate interest in asserting on behalf of Y what Y would normally be expected to assert, namely that she was the beneficial owner of a valuable property. C's claim related to land or an interest in land. While in most cases a party would be seeking to assert a direct interest, it did not follow that merely because a party was not seeking a direct interest an action could not be brought that affected the title to land that he had an interest in bringing. C's proceedings amounted to a "pending land action" for the purposes of the 2002 Act.

Application refused

Chancery Division
Peter Smith J
Judgment date
5 May 2006
References

LTL 8/5/2006 

Practice areas