§ Sir Brian Mawhinney
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many outstanding unpaid claims there were for compensation under the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 on 21 January. 
§ Mr. Michael
[holding answer 29 January 1998]: On 21 January 1998, there were 18,482 claims awaiting processing under Options A and B and 10,411 claims awaiting processing under Option C, the great majority of which are mixed claims on which the Options A and B elements have been paid.
The total number of claims received as of 21 January under Options A, B and C was 40,078.
§ Mr. William Ross
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many applicants under the terms of the 1997 Firearms Amendment Acts for compensation for pistols, revolvers and accessories have(a) served notice on the Home Office stating intention to sue for payment and (b) issued proceedings in the county courts, listing in each case (i) the number of guns involved, (ii) the name of each court and (iii) the current state of the action; 
(2) how many prospective litigants, and litigants, in cases of outstanding claims for compensation under the terms of the 1997 Firearms Amendment Acts for compensation for pistols and revolvers and accessories have been sent letters stating that costs will be claimed against them if they proceed with their actions against the Home Office. 
§ Mr. Michael
[holding answers 30 January 1998]: The number of claimants indicating an intention to sue for early payment of firearms compensation is not recorded. County Court proceedings have been issued in four such cases, as follows:
Court Number of guns involved Current position Ilford 2 Case struck out as disclosing no reasonable cause of action Cheltenham 3 Awaiting hearing Norwich 8 Awaiting hearing West London 2 Subject to Appeal
The Appeal in the fourth case above is by the Home Office against a District Judge's refusal to strike out the case as disclosing no reasonable cause of action. A further case, before a Sheriff Court in Scotland, has been struck out.
Under Order 38, Rule 1(3) of the County Court Rules and Order 62 Rule 3(3) of the Rules of the Supreme Courts, the normal practice in interlocutory applications is that costs are borne by the unsuccessful party. Standard correspondence from the Treasury Solicitor warns Plaintiffs of this, especially where a case involves a litigant in person who may be unaware of the rules relating to costs.