I had my day in court on Friday, it was a very unfair trial, judge was clueless, the advocate for Mortimer Sols winged it, and I ended up with a CCJ!
My hearing started 2&1/2 hours late and it was nearly 12.30pm, bearing in mind the hearing was allocated 2 hours, as soon as we entered the hearing, the judge said looking at the time, lunch is coming up! He then went on to say he hadn’t read either of MY WSs and needed a couple of minutes! He then went on to say he was only interested in my Amended Defence! I found this very odd as my WSs both had a bearing on the case.
The advocate went on to go through the history of the account and said that I had put a very good Defence & WS forward, the judge then asked me my issues with the claim, hence I mentioned the Recon Agreement not correct due to it not being my signature and a different 16 digit number on it, the account is for a LUMA card and not a Capital One card as my Capital one card which is being served by Arrow Global. The judge quickly replied, it’s like having a Marbles Card but it is issued by Barclay’s Bank!
The Judge then said I had made a mistake with the 16 digits that they were wrong and in fact there were 18 digits and that didn’t make up a credit card/bank card number. I quickly corrected the judge and said I am 100% sure it’s a 16 digit number to which the judge confirmed, yes his mistake, there are 16 digits. I told the judge that the claimant was back tracking from it being an account number to just a ‘document number’ now. Judge said nothing to this.
The judge then went on to say that I was saying that the recon agreement is wrong and it’s for a Luma Card not a CAP1 Card, to which I said yes. The judge then asked the advocate for the claimant, “how important is this agreement for this claim, is the claim barred without an agreement?”…… I was so shocked the judge actually asked this!!! Of course it’s important!
I just felt he had already made up his mind before coming in and lunch fast approaching that he was going to let the Claimant win. The advocate looked just as shocked as I was and he delayed replying back to the judge! He said he wasn’t too sure about it being barred without an agreement, so the judge started to look up Section 78 of the CCA 1974.
The judge then confirmed yes, we do need an agreement. The advocate started going on about, “well I don’t think they paid the £1 for the request, so the request is not valid”!! The judge ignored this as how else was I supposed to get documents for a claim against me! The judge asked the advocate if he had any case law to help this matter regarding the validity of the recon agreement and the advocate mentioned the Carey case, that it only needed my name and address on the recon agreement and nothing else mattered.
The judge looked at the case law and said yep, that’s right and nailed the coffin at that.
I mentioned again, why my false signature on this recon agreement and that too done digitally when I applied by post and signed by hand, why a different 16 digit number on the top of the agreement and why no mention of a Luma Card? The judge wasn’t interested and said that didn’t matter.
To further shock me, the judge said, “how can we go about this claim then with what we have, as seems like a technicality issue”….to be honest I would have thought the claim should have been struck out at this point but the judge suggested to the advocate, “why don’t you cross examine the defendant (me) but the defendant can’t cross examine the advocate as he hadn’t written the WS”, how was this fair? The advocate agreed to the cross examination, the judge went on to say, “shall we adjourn this for lunch or will your questions be quick” to which the advocate replied he’d be quick! I might as well have left the court and left them to it!
The advocate started his questions from my original defence for the claim, to which I said I have an amended Defence, and I needed the relevant documents as per my CPR 31.14 and Section 78 request. He then went on to the statements which were digital print offs with my name on the first page, asking do I recognise any of the transactions….. I said I recognise some of the transactions on the page with my name on it. He said you have denied the debt, it is not true that you have another Capital One Card. I told him that I have presented the account number for the CAP1 Card in my WS2 and that it was true.
He just wouldn’t have it, said I was lying about it and that there was no such other card. I then told him that I have the actual CAP1 Card at home and the advocate said why I hadn’t bought it in with me for evidence! I told him that the account number for the Cap1 Card was sufficient and that they should have verified that themselves. That was the end of his questions.
The judge said is there anything else I would like to mention as I can’t cross examine the advocate, to which I said yes, by placing my name and an account number on a blank page before the recon agreement doesn’t make it mine, I do have another CAP1 Card so how can there be the one agreement for 2 different cards.
The Judge then went onto conclude the case, by serving me the judgment.
The advocate quickly piked up to ask for costs, both for the last hearing and todays, plus hearing fees, Summary Judgment application fee from last hearing, summary judgment fixed costs, costs which he claimed he was entitled to pursuant to CPR Part 45.
The judge said that costs on the last hearing were silenced so he isn’t granting them, and if he could prove why he was entitled to CPR part 45. The Advocate replied he was entitled to his costs due to ‘my weak defence’.
The judge replied that this was not a good enough reason and wasn’t allowing them. The only costs allowed were the initial court fee and solicitors fee when the claim was issued, £150 compared to the further £460 he wanted! The judge then asked me how long I wanted to pay the judgment figure to which I requested a payment plan, the judge cut me short and said, you have 14 days to pay the claimant, if you want it varied etc apply to court! I also said that I would like to mention to the advocate that I was entitled to defend the claim weak or not and that this is not what I do for a living and no law says I couldn’t defend it.
The case was dealt within 45mins! I feel the judge didn’t have a clue about credit card issues and the advocate had caught on to this too, the judge had already made his decision without reading my WSs & Amended Defence and wanted his lunch. Had I taken in the other Cap1 Card wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference I don’t think as the judge was clueless on Recon Agreements, tried to catch me out on the 16 digit number on the recon agreement and ignored my false signature and called it a technicality issue.
Thank you for all the help and advise, it was definitely an unfair hearing.