Exceptions as a Delaying Tactic

By Roelien Watson

Director – Watson Law Incorporated, Pretoria, South Africa

14 July 2019

Over the last decade, it has become an increasingly popular tactic by attorneys, to deliver a Notice to Remove Cause of Complaint , or deliver an Exception, in order to
buy some time for their clients in a matter, whether it be to allow them to gather sufficient funds to pay the outstanding debt they are being sued for, or to liquidate their company. Many Defendants also attempt to have their proverbial “bread buttered on all sides”, by delivering a document cloaked as an Exception but incorporating an Application in terms of Rule 30A, without having delivered any Notice to such an effect, as required by the South African Uniform Rules of Court. These days, more often than not, the delivered “Notice of Exception and Notice to Set Aside” amounts to an abuse of process, as many litigants deliver large amounts of individual Exceptions, contained in one document, each of which relates to a specific paragraph of the Particulars of Claim, and not the Particulars of Claim as a whole. In my opinion, this is contrary to the spirit and purpose of Exceptions, and this type of conduct simply causes delay, and occasions unnecessary legal costs. Read the full article here.