The Mortgage Corporation v Anscombe & Ringland (1998)
The court has an inherent jurisdiction to order production of confidential documents of third parties for use as evidence.
Preliminary issue on production of evidence in a negligence action against two companies of expert valuers. The plaintiff sought an order under s.112 of the Land Registration Act 1925 as amended against the Land Registry for production of an office copy of a transfer (as registered at the Land Registry) of property of a third party so that evidence of the price at which the transfer was made could be used as comparable evidence in the main action. The Chief Land Registrar exercised his discretion under s.112 to refuse to produce the office copy transfer. The plaintiff alleged in the alternative that there was an inherent jurisdiction in the court to order production of the office copy transfer in any event.
(1) The Chief Land Registrar was entitled to exercise his discretion as he had done. (2) There was, however, a residual jurisdiction under the inherent jurisdiction of the court to order production of the office copy transfer revealing the purchase price of a piece of land if it believed it was necessary to do so in the interests of justice. On the facts of this case that jurisdiction would be exercised in favour of the plaintiff.