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CHAPTER XXXIII.

FEES PAYABLE BY THE PARTIES PROMOTING OR OPPOSING

PRIVATE BILLS. TAXATION OF COSTS OF PARLIAMENTARY
AGENTS, SOLICITORS, AND OTHERS.

bills.

Fees pay. The fees which are chargeable upon the various stages of Chapter able on

private bills, and are payable by the several parties proprivate

Table of moting or opposing such bills, are specified in both houses Ć

see Introin the standing orders.

duction. It is declared by the Commons, “ That every bill for the particular interest or benefit of any person or persons, whether the same be brought in upon petition or motion, or report from a committee, or brought from the Lords, hath been and ought to be deemed a private bill, within the meaning of the table of fees ; ” and that “the fees shall be charged, paid, and received at such times, in such manner, and under such regulations as the Speaker shall from time to time direct.” 1

The promoters of provisional orders or certificates are exempt from the payment of fees : but the opponents are not so. In the Commons, only half of the fees for proceedings in the house are charged on estate, divorce, naturalization, and name bills. No fees on an indemnity or restoration bill are charged in the House of Lords.

1 In the case of Chippendall's Divorce Bill in 1850, the promoter petitioned to be allowed to prosecute the bill in formâ pauperis, and in both houses this privilege was con. ceded to him, on proof of his in ability to pay the fees. The committee on the bill in the Commons, to whom his petition had been referred, distinguished his case from that of the suitor for any other kind of bill, and considered that the re

mission of the fees would not afford a precedent in other parliamentary proceedings (see Report, 25th July, 1850, 105 O. J. 563).

In 1604, counsel was assigned to a party, in a private bill, in forma pauperis, he “being a very poor man" (1 C. J. 141).

; In the Lords, the promoters are also charged fees at the committee stage in the case of opposed Provisional Order confirmation bills.

col.

Chapter Fees are also chargeable on "hybrid bills,” though in
XXXIII.

some special cases, where the objects of the bill were
mostly of a public nature, they have been remitted ;
and petitioners against hybrid bills are charged with
fees.
In both houses, there are officers whose special duty it How col-

lected.
is to take care that the fees are properly paid by the
agents who are responsible for the payment of them (see
p. 711). If a parliamentary agent, or a solicitor acting
as agent for any bill or petition, be reported as a defaulter
in the payment of the fees of the house, the Speaker may
order that he shall not be permitted to enter himself as
a parliamentary agent, in any future proceeding, until
further directions have been given. In the House of And how
Commons, all moneys arising from the fees of the house app
are treated as an appropriation in aid of the vote for the
House of Commons offices. In the House of Lords, the
fees upon private bills are carried to a fee fund, and,
after deducting any amount which may be required to
supplement the interest on the invested fee fund existing
in 1868 for the payment of pensions, the balance is
similarly treated as an appropriation in aid of the vote
for the House of Lords offices, the salaries and expenses
of the official establishment of the House of Lords being
now also included in the estimates.

The last matter which need be mentioned in connection Taxation with the passing of private bills, is the taxation of the Of co costs incurred by the promoters, opponents, and other parties. Prior to 1825, no provision had been made by either house, as in other courts, for the taxation of costs incurred by suitors in Parliament. In 1825, an Act was passed to establish such a taxation in the Commons; 1 and in 1827, another Act was passed to effect the saine object in the Lords. Both these Acts, however, were very defective, and have since been repealed. By the present “House of Commons” and “House of Lords Costs

costs.

16 Geo. IV. c. 123.

? 7 & 8 Geo. IV. c. 64.

Taxing officers.

Lists of charges.

Applications for taxation.

Taxation Acts,"l as amended by subsequent Acts, à Chapter

XXXIII. regular system of taxation has been established in both houses.

In each house there is a taxing officer, having all the necessary powers of examining the parties and witnesses on oath, and of calling for the production of books or writings in the hands of either party to the taxation. Lists of charges have been prepared, in pursuance of these Acts, in both houses, defining the maximum charges which parliamentary agents, solicitors, and others will be allowed to charge for the various services usually rendered by them.3

Any person upon whom a demand is made by a parliamentary agent or solicitor, for any costs incurred in respect of any proceedings in the house, or in complying with its standing orders, may apply to the taxing officer for the taxation of such costs. And any parliamentary agent or solicitor who may be aggrieved by the non-payment of his costs, may apply, in the same manner, to have his costs taxed, preparatory to the enforcement of his claim. The client, however, is required by the Act to make this application within six months after the delivery of the bill. But the Speaker in the Commons, or the Clerk of the Parliaments in the Lords, on receiving a report of special circumstances from the taxing officer, may direct costs to be taxed after the expiration of six months.

The taxing officer of either house is enabled to tax the whole of a bill brought before him for taxation, whether the costs relate to the proceedings of that house only, or to the proceedings of both houses ; and also other general costs incurred in reference to the private bill or petition. And each taxing officer may request the other, or the proper officer of any other court, to assist him in taxing

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Costs of both houses taxed to gether,

1 H. C. Costs Taxation Act, 1847, 10 & 11 Vict. c. 69; H. L. Costs Taxation Act, 1849, 12 & 13 Vict. c. 78.

2 The Parliamentary Costs Act, 1865, 28 & 29 Vict. c. 27; and

the House of Commons Costs Taxation Act of 1879, 42 & 43 Vict. c. 17.

3 These lists are printed for distribution to all persons who may apply for them.

Chapter any portion of a bill of costs. The proper officers of other
XXXIII. "

courts may, in the same manner, request the assistance
of the taxing officer of either house in the taxation of
parliamentary costs; such costs when taxed and settled
are returned by the taxing officer, with his opinion thereon,
to the officer who made the request.
In the case of costs not taxed at the request of the taxing Certificate

to have the officer of another court, the taxing officer, if requested so effect of a

warrant to to do by the parties, reports his taxation in the Commons confess to the Speaker, and, in the Lords, to the Clerk of the judgment. Parliaments. If no objection be made within twenty-one days after such report, either party may obtain from the Speaker or from the Clerk of the Parliaments, as the case may be, a certificate of costs allowed, which in any action brought for the recovery of the amount so certified, will have the effect of a warrant of attorney to confess judgment, unless the defendant shall have pleaded that he is not liable to the payment of the costs. By the House of Commons Costs Taxation Act, 1879,2 Power of

taxing the powers of the taxing officer were extended to costs in officer respect of provisional orders and certificates, and bills ext promoted by public authorities, and opposition to public bills. If requested by a secretary of state, or by the local government board, he is also required to tax costs incurred in respect of any bill or provisional order or certificate.

extended.

1 12 & 13 Vict. c. 78, s. 12.

: 42 & 43 Vict, c. 17.

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