Midland Packaging Ltd v Clark, EAT 14 February 2005

A fax in time

Midland Packaging Ltd v Clark, EAT 14 February 2005

Midland Packaging Ltd wished to appeal against the decision of an employment tribunal that it had unfairly dismissed one of its staff.
The 42-day time limit for lodging their appeal expired on 3 August 2004 at 4pm. On that day, and at the last minute, a Notice of Appeal, together with the required additional documents, was faxed to the EAT on behalf of Midland Packaging Ltd.

The EAT’s fax machine did not start to print the 21-page fax until 4.06pm, although the sender’s fax machine reported that all 21 pages had been transmitted electronically by 4.09pm.

The Registrar, the EAT’s principal administrative officer, who also performs certain quasi-judicial functions, decided that the appeal had been lodged too late. The EAT allowed an appeal by Midland Packaging Ltd against the Registrar’s decision. The probability was that at least one page (but certainly not all) of the Notice of Appeal had been delivered to the EAT’s fax machine by 4pm. That was enough to amount to lodgement.

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