It is often thought that an appeal to the Court of Appeal will lead to the resolution of a dispute, but in some cases, the Court will merely decide that another hearing is necessary.
In a recent case, the Court heard an appeal concerning a boundary dispute involving land in the Isle of Wight countryside. In simple terms, the question at issue was whether the line of a hedge (which had subsequently been replaced by a fence) or a ditch (which ran part of the way between the properties) represented the true boundary.
The Recorder hearing the case had declined to give consideration to a 1915 deed containing a plan. He concluded that the ditch marked the boundary, even though it was dug after the hedge was created. A further issue regarding adverse possession (‘squatters’ rights’) had not been considered by the Recorder and the result was an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
In the circumstances, the Court made no decision but remitted the case for a new trial so that all the relevant factors could be considered.