The appellant (Y) wished to appeal a civil penalty notice issued by the Secretary of State (S), under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. The notice stated that the 28-day time limit for bringing an appeal would end on Monday 26 May 2014. That was a bank holiday, and the court offices were closed. Y attempted to file its appeal at its local County Court the next day (27 May), and again the following day, but the court refused to accept it on the mistaken basis that it should have been issued at an Immigration Tribunal. Y posted the appeal to another County Court, where it was lodged on 30 May.
The appeal was struck out on the basis that the last day for filing it was 26 May and there were no exceptional circumstances justifying an extension of time.
Y’s appeal was unanimously allowed on the basis that:
- Where the time period ended on a bank holiday, Y was entitled to file its appeal the following day.
- Y did all it could to issue the appeal in time, and the court’s error constituted exceptional circumstances justifying an extension of time.
The court’s dismissal of any suggestion that a party should be encouraged or required to explore methods of filing, such as sliding a document under the door of the court office or finding a letterbox in the court building, are helpful. However, the decision confirms that the approach in Kaur v S Russell and Sons Ltd  QB 336 (namely, that, where the last day for an appeal specified by statute is a public holiday, Parliament must have intended that the appeal can be filed on the next working day) only applies where the relevant public office is closed for the entire last day of the limitation period. (Yadly Marketing Co Ltd v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1143.)