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steampowered last won the day on April 15 2017

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  1. 34% of your claim is better than the 0% you would have got without small claims court surely? You might be able to appeal, but appeals are more difficult to win and often not worth it. We'd need to know more about your case to say whether you might be able to appeal or not.
  2. The pre-action protocol says that "The letter should include the basis on which the claim is made, a summary of the facts, what the claimant wants from the defendant, and if money, how the amount is calculated". Your LBA can be short but it should include the basic details of your claim. Regardless of what you put in the LBA, the Defendant is going to have at least 28 days from your POC to file their Defence (assuming they file an acknowledgement of service). Personally I think that holding information back is pointless. 28 days should be enough time for them to work out what to write in their Defence, surely?
  3. If the evidence against the Defendant is clear, obtaining a civil CCJ should not be particularly difficult. There would be a cost to filing the court claim though, which you might not get back if the Defendant has no more money, unfortunately. In the circumstances fingers crossed that the criminal process gives you some sort of resolution.
  4. It would normally be the executor who brings claims on behalf of the estate. Not the beneficiaries. See http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part19#19.7 and http://www.civillitigationbrief.com/2016/01/14/a-potential-beneficiary-cannot-bring-an-action-on-behalf-of-an-estate/. Legal fees and expenses can be paid out of the estate. It can be a good idea for the executor to ask for the beneficiaries to confirm they are happy for the executor to take that action where possible, so that there can be no question of the executor mismanaging the estate. The timing is difficult. It would be easier to bring a civil claim after the criminal case - as facts proved in the criminal case could be used as evidence in the civil claim. However, waiting gives the Defendant more time to hide assets. If any assets belonging to the Defendant can be identified (e.g. a house, a bank account), it may be worth the executor proceeding with legal claims ASAP, to reduce the chances of the Defendant disposing of those assets without making payment. By the time you get to the end of the criminal case the money will probably be gone. Options such as a freezing order over the Defendant's bank account can be considered. It would probably be a good idea for the executor to take an initial bit of legal advice to assess whether there are simple steps that can be taken now to secure the assets. Indeed, the executor's duties to the estate probably demand they at least consider properly whether the estate should be taking legal action now or not.
  5. I think you just need to let your application for default judgment work its way through the process. You are correct on the rules, save to note that the courts can and often do grant time extensions. Generally the court will err on the side of letting people file a defence rather than issuing a default judgment. If the DJ is minded to do that, there is not a great deal you can do to stop it unfortunately. If an extension is granted you would need to continue with the court process until it reaches its conclusion.
  6. Yes, thanks very much indeed for the update. It sounds like the landlord was lucky to get off lightly on this occasion. The landlord would be well advised to heed the judge's warning, and to offer a settlement to the tenants to settle their other claims. Otherwise it sounds like the landlord risks new claims being brought against him which as the judge said could cost the landlord tens of thousands.
  7. What a nightmare. I would be talking to the police more regularly - each time he harasses you. I wonder if more frequent reports would help. You could consider taking civil action as well, under the Protection from Harassment Act? Though this would be to claim monetary damages rather than a criminal sentence.
  8. Sorry to hear about this. I agree with Emmzzi. It sounds like finding a nicer job and moving on with your life might be the best thing for your mental health. You certainly have grounds for raising a grievance but it sounds like a grievance is not likely to achieve very much, given that this is a small business. Engaging with a grievance or Employment Tribunal process could be stressful and may make it harder for you to move on from this.
  9. Personally, I would ask the solicitor for a copy of the will or at least a copy of the provisions relating to your wife and daughter. Hopefully this will all become much clearer when you know the exact wording of the will. Your wife can then make an informed decision as to whether she requires professional advice or not. If this is a 'bare trust', which may be the case if the daughter is the only beneficiary, the daughter would be legally entitled to require your wife to transfer the money to her anyway. Unless the will says something unusual I suspect there will be no issue with transferring the money to the daughter now. I don't see how the tax man would get involved as this is clearly an inheritance rather than income, the solicitor's letter is more than enough proof of that.
  10. It is difficult to say what an appropriate % settlement would be without knowing: 1) How strong the case is, i.e. what % chance there is of the claimant winning 2) How likely it is that the claimant would be to get the full amounts asked for in the schedule of loss if successful However, I think it is fair to see that most settlements are for less than 50% of the amount claimed. In many cases much less.
  11. Thanks for the update. Its really common to negotiate over a settlement figure, and for the parties to start quite far apart. A settlement of 38% less than what you are claiming would in most cases be a very good settlement. People often get a lot less than that. As well as the chance of not winning, you have to consider that even if you win you might get less than you asked for, or in many cases what is known as a 'Polkey reduction'. The barrister would have asked for the most she thought could reasonably be asked for. So your friend should be prepared to negotiate a lower figure - and work out in advance of the meeting what her negotiating strategy is, and what her 'proceed to Tribunal' settlement figure is.
  12. In small claims track, a third party (such as a wife or other family member) only has the right to represent a party if the party is physically present in court. If a party is in hospital, his wife has no legal standing to represent him. The rules are pretty clear on that - you can only be represented by a solicitor or barrister if not present. Though to be fair it is very possible - probable in fact - that the judge would just let it slide and hear out the wife despite what the rules say, rather than go through the bother of rescheduling the hearing. To me it sounds like yet another reason why the landlord should try reach a settlement in advance of the hearing. Yes the tenant is liable for damage to the property, if the landlord can prove that the tenant damaged the property (e.g. by a check-in inventory compared to a check-out inventory). But I think the landlord also has to accept he did not protect the deposit and there will likely be a penalty for that.
  13. I don't know how HMRC would investigate this, but there are lots of presumptions in tax legislation dealing with connected persons - see https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/inheritance-tax-manual/ihtm04442. I suppose the trigger would be if the house was sold for clearly less than market value, that may cause questions to be raised. Aside from Inheritance Tax, there is also Capital Gains Tax that needs to be considered if the house is not the seller's residence. There are also deprivation of assets issues if the seller goes into care. It is very difficult for HMRC to challenge tax on a genuine third party sale, but if the persons involved are related/friends then the possibility of tax avoidance being alleged is much higher. Difficult to say more without knowing the details.
  14. This sounds to me like a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation - the company does not have authority to share your personal data (such as debts owed) with family members. It also sounds like a breach of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. How you take that forward is more difficult. I would probably respond asking that all correspondence regarding this matter is directed to you, and indicate that you may have to make a harassment complaint to the police and/or raise a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office if this person continues contacting your children.
  15. Legal costs are not usually awarded in small claims track. However, they can be awarded against a party who has behaved unreasonably. From what you've posted so far this particular landlord sounds as unreasonable as they come. Based on the limited information in this thread it sounds like there is a very good chance of him losing the case, being ordered to pay a penalty for not protecting the deposit and being ordered to pay the claimant's legal costs. This is the worst of it. If the judge concludes that the landlord has been dishonest in his evidence, the landlord is highly likely to be ordered to pay the claimant's legal costs. This is possible - anything can happen in court. But I don't think it will be easy for the judge to overlook blatent non-compliance with the requirement to protect a deposit, fraudulent evidence and what sounds like an illegal eviction. The landlord has got himself in a real mess here. The best advice might be to try and reach a settlement with the Claimants before getting to court.
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