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  1. The process of Litigation on Receipt or Issuing of a Summons In addition to this explanation - please also see the Small Claims FAQ The purpose of this sticky is to explain in general terms how the Court system works, what will happen once a claim is issued, and what duties the Court imposes upon both you as Claimant or Defendant and upon your solicitors. It is a very complex area, and if you have any questions at any time please feel free to post for further advice. This is part one of further postings were we will break down each section into detail on how to conduct and respond in more depth to different stages of the litigation process. The different kinds of Court and the rules that apply There are two separate but related types of Civil Court-the High Court and the County Court. There is now little difference between the two, although some types of claim are specifically allocated to a particular Court-for example mortgage repossessions are always dealt with in the County Court. More complex or high-value claims and some special types of claim are dealt with in the High Court. The rules of the civil Court system are contained in the Civil Procedure Rules ("CPR"), which are available on line at the Court Service Website at www.hmcourtsservice.gov.uk. These rules regulate the Court's procedure; they do not contain the law that must be applied to each particular case. The CPR also deals with issues such as costs, and the way in which appeals are dealt with. The intention of the CPR is to ensure that cases are dealt with fairly, expeditiously, and as cost-effectively as possible. This is called the "overriding objective". It is the duty of the parties to assist the Court in meeting this objective. Parties that do not assist the Court in doing so-by delaying, for instance-may be punished by costs being awarded against them, or their claims or defences being struck out. It is very important therefore to keep to the rules and to any timetable laid down by the Court. How claims are started - the Pre-Action Protocol In some types of case the CPR requires the Claimant (as the party bringing the claim is known) to follow a procedure before a claim is issued from the Court. This is known as a "pre-action protocol". Essentially this requires the Claimant to write to the proposed Defendant setting out the claim in detail, and allows a period of time for the proposed Defendant to respond. In highly complex claims such as building disputes the pre-action protocol provides for a meeting to take place after the exchange of these letters to try to identify the issues that the parties agree and disagree upon. Sometimes experts are also involved at this stage. A party that refuses to comply with a protocol and insists on issuing proceedings may not get their costs back, even if they are successful at trial. A new pre-action protocol for debt claims came into force on 1 October 2017. This basically requires that the two parties attempt to resolve the matter by an exchange of correspondence. This exchange could go on for as long as 90 days – depending on whether each party responds to the other. Here is a link to the Ministry of Justice PDF https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/pdf/protocols/pre-action-protocol-for-debt-claims.pdf . At the end of the exchange of correspondence, if it appears that there is no basis for an agreement then the claimant is allowed to issue a letter of claim giving a final 14 days before the issue of the proceedings. Issuing proceedings A claim begins by the Claimant sending a claim form to the Court, this may be your local Court or from the CCBC (Northampton) (identifying the parties, their addresses, the type of the claim and the Court fee), and also the particulars of claim. The particulars of claim is a document which sets out precisely what the claim is about, and what the Claimant is asking the Court to do-usually to give judgment for a sum of money, but may be possession of a property for instance. The Court will need a copy for itself and one for each Defendant, and one for the Court to seal and return to the Claimant. The CPR also specifies the various forms that are required. The Court will also require a Court fee when a claim is issued, and the amount depends on the amount of the claim. Information about the fees payable is available on the Court Service Website at www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk as well as many of the forms that the CPR requires. COURT FEES can be paid in cash or by cheque made payable to "HMCS" (Her Majesty's Court Service).http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/fees Once issued, either the Court or the Claimant serves the claim form and the particulars of claim on the defendant, together with a "response pack", either by post or by personal service. The response pack contains a number of standard forms, which gives the Defendant a choice as to how he or she deals with the claim; they can admit it all, admit part of the claim and defend the rest, or defend the whole of it. Forms N1 the Summons N9A and N9B Response and Defence/Counter Claim. It is important to note that in cases were full admittance is admitted (N9A) the Court requests you send this to the Solicitor for all documents as per the claim form address. It is advocated that you only copy the Solicitor and send the admittance back to the Court. Once a claim is served on the Defendant time begins to run. Either a defence or an acknowledgement of service must be filed with the Court within 14 days of receiving the claim form. If an acknowledgement of service is filed, the Defendant then has 28 days from service of the claim to file a defence. If no acknowledgement of service or defence is filed within the time permitted an application for judgment in default can be made by the claimant. If judgment is obtained this way the Defendant can apply to the Court to set it aside, but in most cases it is necessary for the Defendant to explain why no defence was filed in time, but also show that there is an arguable defence to the claim. There may also be the Claimant’s legal costs to pay even if the judgment is set aside. However if the Defendant pays the amount claimed together with the costs (i.e. the issue fee and any legal costs claimed, which are fixed at this point) within 14 days of receiving the claim the case proceeds no further. Allocation When the Court receives a defence it will send a copy to the Claimant, the claimant will have 28 days to respond and you will be informed of this on notice form the court. If the Claimant fails to respond within 28 days the claim is stayed if they do respond the court will transfer the claim to your local County Court ( CCBC Claims) and it will also send to both parties an "directions questionnaire". Formally N149 & N150. This document requests information from the parties that will help the Court determine how the claim should be managed. The District Judge considers the issues raised by the claim form, the defence, and what is said in the allocation questionnaires, and then either makes a directions order or sets a hearing date for the parties, when the order will be made. The hearing is often now dealt with over the telephone rather than at the Court itself, unless one or both of the parties are representing themselves. In cases of Fast Track and Multi Track the Claimant/Defendant will submit their own proposed Directions The CPR divides claims into 3 "tracks", depending on a number of factors that are considered by the District Judge when the Court receives a defence from the Defendant. Principally the Court considers the value of the claim; if it is less than** £10,000, the Court will normally allocate the claim to the small claims track; if between £10,000 and £50,000 the fast track, and over £50,000 the multi-track. However the Court also considers the complexity of the case-for instance whether experts are going to be needed. It is possible that a claim under £10,000 is put into the fast track for instance. The Claimant must pay an allocation fee to the Court at this stage, unless the Court assigns the claim to the small claims track and the dispute is for less than £1,000. ** subject to review 2012 The directions questionnaire also asks the parties to tell the Court about any dates that they and any witnesses or experts cannot attend. A trial date may be set very early on in the case, and may be difficult or impossible to move. The Court will also decide which Court should deal with the proceedings; if a claim is brought against an individual it will normally transfer the proceedings to their nearest County Court. If the Defendant is a company then the Court will decide where the most convenient place for the trial will be-depending on the location of witnesses for instance. Amendment Two Directions Questionnaires are introduced N180 & N181 one for cases that are provisionally allocated to the small claims track and one for cases which may be allocated to the Fast or Multi-Track. Following the receipt of a defence the court will make a provisional decision as to which track is appropriate based on the value of the claim. The court will then send a notice to all parties requiring completion of the Directions Questionnaire; the notice may also contain other directions. Only where a party is a litigant in person will the court send out the appropriate Direction Questionnaire. Where a case is likely to be allocated to the Fast or Multi-Track parties will be required to file proposed or agreed directions. The time by which the completed Direction Questionnaire and accompanying documents must be filed is increased and parties will have at least 28 days from the deemed date of service of the notice in which to file the documents. All parties will be required to serve a copy of the completed Directions Questionnaire and any other documents required by the notice on all other parties. The agreed or proposed directions for Fast Track cases should follow those set out in Part 28, for Multi-Track cases standard and model directions can be found online. Consequential amendments are made to PD5A, PD5C, PD15, PD28 and PD29. These amendments apply where a defence is filed on or after 1 April 2013. The directions order The District Judge may make a directions order either without a hearing, or after he has heard from both parties at a hearing at the Court or by telephone. The order is then sent to both parties (and their solicitors if they are represented). The Court will first allocate the claim to what is known as a “track”, which determines how the case will be dealt with by the Court. These tracks are as follows:- The small claims track Claims in this track are dealt with quickly and as cheaply as possible, and without the parties having legal representation. The Court does not award legal costs to the winner, apart from the issue fee and expert fees (unless the Defendant has behaved unreasonably). If the Court decides that the claim is suitable for this track it will send the parties a short list of directions, including a hearing date. It will also require the parties to exchange a bundle of relevant documents, and also to exchange witness statements. It is best to number each page of these bundles, so that they can be referred to easily at the hearing. The hearing itself will take place in the District Judge's chambers, and normally the District Judge will give judgment (in legal proceedings it is spelled with one "e") at the end of the hearing. The fast track Cases in this track are allocated a "trial window" of a week or so when the case will be tried and normally the parties have to use a single jointly-appointed expert who reports to the Court. The trial window is normally 6 months or so away from the directions hearing, and as the trial can only last 1 day cases which will require more time but are still less than £50,000 in value will be allocated to the multi-track. In fast track cases the Court will send out a listing questionnaire shortly before the trial window, which requests information about any further directions that the parties need to get the case ready for trial. The Claimant has to pay a further fee at this stage. Once the Court receives the listing questionnaires, it will set a date for the trial within the trial window, and also inform the parties where it will take place; this may not be the Court dealing with the case, as it depends on where a Judge and Courtroom are available. In fast track matters the parties may only get a few days notice of the trial, so it is very important to keep the Court informed of dates that are inconvenient for the parties or their witnesses. The multi-track Multi-track trials are now relatively unusual. They are restricted to complex high-value cases such as building disputes and severe personal injury claims. The directions that the Court will give are similar to the fast-track directions, but tend to be much more extensive to ensure that the case is presented at the eventual trial as efficiently as possible. The Court will usually permit the parties to use their own experts, and for them to give oral evidence at the trial. Unlike fast-track trials, no trial window is set at the beginning of the case. Instead, the Court will set a date for a listing questionnaire to be sent out to the parties, which requests information about the progress of the case Trials themselves may last many days, and judgment is usually reserved. The Court order will also set a timetable that both parties must adhere to. This will give the dates on which witness statements, disclosure, and expert reports (if appropriate) must be dealt with, and the trial window or length of trial (depending on whether it is a fast track or multi-track case). It may also give directions for specific issues such as specific disclosure. The directions order will set a timetable requiring the parties to deal with the following to prepare for the trial (directions are also given in small claims but the directions are much simpler): Disclosure of documents (usually 14 days after the directions order). The parties exchange lists of these documents, and each party is obliged to disclose all documents which are relevant, whether or not they favour the party disclosing them. Failure to do so may result in heavy costs penalties, or even the case being struck out. The obligation is continuing, so if documents later come to light they must be disclosed immediately. Exchange of documents (normally 14 days from disclosure). Each party is entitled to copies of documents from the other side's disclosure list, on payment of reasonable copying charges. Witness statements from all relevant parties (normally 14 days from service of the disclosure lists). These must be in a particular form and must also contain a "statement of truth". Expert reports (normally 56 days from service of witness statements, to allow the parties’ time to agree the expert, to instruct him, and for the report to be prepared). The Court will only allow expert reports to be used if it thinks it necessary, and will not usually allow their evidence to be given orally at the trial. Instead the Court will require the parties to use a single expert jointly appointed by both, and each side will be bound by the expert's opinion. The expert's fees are met jointly at the time the bill is sent-the party that wins the claim can recover its share when costs are dealt with. Disclosure You will prepare a list of documents in a standard form from the documents you wish to rely or have referred to. The list (N265) will identify all of these documents, and also indicate any documents over which you claim a right to withhold inspection ("privileged documents"), and documents that are no longer your control (and what has happened to them). The list will include a disclosure statement, signed by you. A disclosure statement is a statement setting out the extent of the search that has been made to locate documents, certifying that you understand the duty to disclose documents and that you have carried out that duty. This list is then sent to the other party in exchange for their list, and each party then has a right to have copies of any document in the other’s list. What documents are to be disclosed Standard disclosure requires you to disclose all documents in your possession (or have once been in your possession) the list must give details of both the documents on which you rely and also any documents that adversely affect your own case or support the other party’s case. The Court may also make an order for specific disclosure in some cases, in other words for documents of a particular sort or category This means that if they are aware of documents that should be disclosed you owe as a duty to the Court to do so. What is a "document" "Document" means anything in which information of any description is recorded. This therefore includes photographs, video recordings, and computer information on hard drive or removable media such as floppy disks. It also includes emails. The duty of disclosure Your duty to disclose documents is limited to documents that are or have been in your control. This means having physical possession of it, or a right to possession of it, or a right to inspect or take copies of it. A copy of a document that contains a modification, obliteration or other marking or feature on which you intend to rely or which adversely affects your case or another party’s case is treated as a separate document. Your duty of disclosure continues until the proceedings are concluded. If documents come to your notice at any time during the proceedings, you must immediately notify the other party of it. It you fail to comply with your duty, any order or judgment that is made in the claim could be appealed or set aside. There may also be very serious costs consequences if you fail to comply with these obligations. Privileged documents You are not obliged to disclose documents that are generated by or in reasonable expectation of the claim itself (known as litigation privilege). There is also a category called legal privilege, which applies to all documents generated as a consequence of you seeking legal advice. This means that letters between you and your solicitors do not need to be disclosed, provided they relate to the claim that is being brought. It also applies to advices from Counsel and in some cases to experts; however it is very important to ensure that documents that are privileged are not carelessly distributed for instance by email-this can lead to privilege being lost, and your opponent can then seek an order forcing you to disclose them. If, however, the documents are relevant to the dispute and were giving legal advice but were not generated by it, then they must be disclosed. For instance, if you bring a claim about your purchase of some land, then the other party’s solicitor’s file relating to the purchase is disclosable, but letters relating to the claim that is then brought by you are not. Duty of search ( Claimant) You are required to make a "reasonable" search for documents. What is meant by "reasonable" depends on a number of factors, including the number of documents that would be involved, the nature and complexity of the proceedings, and the significance of any document that is likely to be located during the search. Where you have not searched for a category or class of document on the grounds that to do so would be unreasonable the disclosure statement must state this and identify the category or class of document. Witness statements Each party is required to give its evidence in the form of written witness statements, which contain all of the evidence that they will give at trial. These statements form part of the evidence in front of the Court, and will be read by the Judge. It is therefore extremely important that the statements contain all of the evidence that a party is going to rely on, as the Court will not allow further evidence to be given that is not in the witness statements. In most cases Witness Statements must be submitted and served 7 days prior to any hearing and served on the other party. Applications to the Court It may be necessary to ask the Court for specific orders from time to time-for instance, if the opponent has failed to comply with a direction. The request is made by application, which summarises the reason for the request and the order sought; the cost varies dependant on with a hearing or not normally. It is possible to ask the Court to strike out a defence on the ground that it cannot succeed at trial-known as an application for summary judgment CPR 24. If successful this type of application can result in a judgment against the Defendant in a very short time after the defence has been filed, although often the Court does not have time to list the application for several weeks. In some cases the District Judge may decide that a defence cannot succeed when he allocates the case-and will strike out the claim at that stage. It is vital that constant checks are made to see if the other party have made application as sometimes the Court may be behind in serving you a copy. Experts Experts have a duty to the Court to report truthfully the entirety of their opinion, and this duty overrides their duty to the party instructing them. The expert's report must contain a declaration to that effect, in order to comply with the requirements of the CPR. Experts may be expensive, particularly if they are to give live evidence at the trial; it is for this reason that fast-track restricts expert evidence to a single expert and written evidence. Barristers/ Counsel Barristers (or "Counsel" as they are often called) are used in a number of ways, depending on the type of case. In fast track cases their involvement may only come in to deal with the trial however Claimants have been known to call them for applications in certain cases. Barristers specialise in certain areas, and for more complex cases their involvement may come at the outset of a case for advice either in writing or in a meeting called a conference. They may also be used to draft legal documents such as the particulars of claim and defences if they are particularly complex. The trial The trial itself may be heard in the Court in which the claim began, or at some other Court depending on the availability of the Judge. The Claimant’s representative will open the case by explaining in fairly brief terms what the case is about, and will then call their witnesses to present their evidence. Once the Claimant’s evidence is concluded it is then the Defendant's turn to bring its evidence by calling their witnesses. When a person is called to give evidence they are firstly given the oath, and they are then requested by their own representative to confirm that it is their statement, and that it is true, and they are also entitled to ask certain clarificatory questions. Their opponent is then entitled to ask questions about that statement in cross-examination. Once complete, the party’s own representative is allowed to ask questions arising from cross-examination (in re-examination). Once the evidence has been heard, the parties then make closing submissions to the Judge; this may be given in speech form, but in complex cases this can be done in writing. In fast track cases the Judge will normally give their decision at the end of the case and then deal with costs; in complex cases judgment may be given in writing and delivered by post, and costs and so on will be dealt with at a later date at another hearing. Offers to settle-part 36 offers The CPR encourages the parties to settle the claim by negotiation before and during the proceedings. Both the Claimant and the Defendant may make offers to settle (these are not disclosed to the Judge hearing the trial). This is known as a "part 36 offer". These offers are made by formal letter and are automatically withdrawn after a certain period (which cannot be less than 21 days after they are made). After that date they can only be accepted if the parties agree or the Court orders it. However there is a sting in the tail for a Defendant; in order for an offer from a Defendant to be effective, the Defendant must also offer to pay the Claimant’s “reasonable costs” up to the date the offer is accepted. It is therefore essential that any offer to settle is made as early as possible for two reasons. If the offer is accepted, the Claimant’s costs that the Defendant must then pay will be minimised; if rejected and the Claimant fails to beat it, the amount of costs that the Defendant will be able to recover from the Claimant will be maximised. Both Claimants and Defendants can make offers, and they have different consequences when the case comes to Court. For a Claimant, if the Court awards the Claimant more in damages than his or her offer, then the Court may in addition award the Claimant indemnity costs, interest on those costs, and also interest on the damages. If the Claimant doesn’t beat their own offer then they will just get the amount ordered and interest plus their reasonable costs. In contrast, if the Claimant fails to beat a Defendant's offer then they will get the amount ordered plus their costs up to the date they could have accepted the Defendant's offer, but they will have to pay the Defendant's costs after that date plus interest on those costs and their own, and they will include the costs of the trial. To take an example, suppose a claim is worth £10,000. The Defendant could offer to settle the claim for that amount together with the Claimant’s reasonable costs even before proceedings are issued but the Claimant rejects it. If the amount finally awarded at the trial is £10,000, the Defendant will have to pay the Claimant the £10,000 but the Defendant can then ask the Court to order the Claimant to pay all of the Defendant’s costs from the last date on which the Claimant could have accepted the Defendant's part 36 offer. The Claimant will only get his or her reasonable costs up to that date. If the parties have each spent £10,000 in legal costs getting the case to trial, then in the example the Claimant will get£10,000, but will have to pay £20,000 in costs. The Defendant will only have to pay £10,000 plus the Claimant’s costs up to the part 36 offer which are likely to be minimal. For a Claimant the effect is even more dramatic; suppose the Claimant makes an offer to settle of £10,000 before the proceedings start and the case takes 3 years to get to trial, at which point costs are £10,000 on each side. If the award is £10,000 the Court can be asked to order the Defendant to pay interest on the £10,000 at up to 10% above base rate from the date of the Claimant’s part 36 offer. If the base rate is 5%, then the total interest could be as much as £4,500. In addition the Claimant will be able to claim costs on an indemnity basis plus interest on those costs at a rate not exceeding 10% above base rate. The Defendant would have to pay £14,500 plus £20,000 costs plus interest on the Defendant's costs. As a result of these potentially draconian consequences, a part 36 offer early in the proceedings or even before them can be very effective. Alternatives to litigation The Civil Procedure Rules positively encourages (but does not require) parties to resolve their differences without the Court process. In particular a process known as Alternative Dispute Resolution may be appropriate. There is recent case law in which a party-though successful-did not get its costs because the Court concluded that it had unreasonably refused to attempt ADR. ADR may be a very informal meeting between the parties, a rather more formal discussion between them assisted by a professional mediator, or even what amounts to a mini-trial at which a professionally qualified expert makes judgments on the issues between the parties who are represented by Counsel and by solicitors. Specialist Courts Some types of case are assigned to specialist Courts, which have particular jurisdictions. Examples of these include the Chancery and Mercantile Courts, the Company Court, the commercial Court and the Technology and Construction Court. Many of these specialist Courts are in London, but the commercial and chancery Courts also have hearings in Birmingham and Manchester. Judges Day-to-day procedural issues are dealt with by District Judges in their private rooms at Court, known as Chambers. These hearings take place in private, and are normally attended by solicitors rather than barristers. They may even be dealt with on the telephone. District Judges have wide case management powers under the CPR, with the intention of meeting the overriding objective. Circuit Judges or Recorders usually conduct trials, although some District Judges also have the authority to hear fast track trials. Appealing a decision It is possible to appeal from judicial decisions, but to do so is usually expensive. It is necessary to show that a Judge's or District Judge's judgment was either wrong about the law that applied, or that the Judge made a mistake about the facts of the case which is relevant to the decision that was made. It is much more difficult to appeal on the ground of a factual error, as the appeal Court will normally regard the Judge that heard the evidence as being best placed to decide. It is not possible to appeal a case from the small claims track unless there is evidence that the Judge or District Judge was wrong about the law. Time limits apply when appealing, and these tend to be short (usually 14 days). Depending on what kind of decision is appealed the Court that hears the appeal may be a Judge of the County Court, the High Court, or the Court of Appeal. Enforcement The Court does not enforce judgments itself; the winner or judgment creditor must do so. There is a large number of procedures available depending on what is likely to be most cost-effective, as all involve further legal costs to a greater or lesser extent. The debtor can also ask the Court for time to pay a judgment, although a company cannot do so. Common methods of enforcement are; bailiffs. Under £5,000 the County Court bailiffs are used. Over £5,000 the case will be transferred to the High Court, and the High Court sheriff used. bailiffs have the power to seize goods under a judgment, and sell them if a judgment is not paid. Attachment of earnings orders. If the debtor is working, the Court can order that a certain amount of the debtor's wages is paid to the creditor each month. Charging orders. Restrictions. If the judgment debtor owns property, the Court can be asked to grant a charging order (which is rather like a mortgage) which can then be registered at the Land Registry. If the debtor wishes to sell the property the judgment debt must be paid first, so securing the debt. It is also possible to request the Court to sell the charged property. Freezing orders or Third Party Debt Order. Not strictly a method of enforcement, but if the debtor is trying to move money out of an account-for instance following the sale of a property-the Court can order that the debtor's bank accounts be frozen up to the amount of the claim. A freezing order can also be applied to someone else's account containing the debtor's money, such as a solicitor's client account following the sale of a property. The remedy is expensive but is effective. Statutory demands. This is the precursor to a bankruptcy petition (if the debtor is an individual) or a winding-up order (if a company). It is served giving the debtor 21 days to pay. The advantage of these two procedures is that the service of the statutory demand is quick and cheap, and is often effective if the debtor has the money to pay it. However, if the demand does not produce payment it will be necessary to consider a bankruptcy or winding up petition. Bankruptcy/winding up. If a statutory demand is not satisfied then the next step is to present a petition for bankruptcy or winding up, as appropriate. The Court fee and deposit is quite expensive, but the hearing of the petition is usually relatively quick (about 8 weeks). If an order is made, then statute prescribes a list of the creditors who are paid out first; a judgment debt would rank last, with any other unsecured creditors. Costs If a claim is successful, the Court will usually order the losing party to pay the winner their "costs". What is meant by "costs" is a complex area, and has important implications for anyone contemplating or involved in litigation. The introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules has also radically changed how costs are ordered and assessed. Under the terms of the retainer between the solicitor and the client, the responsibility for paying the solicitor’s costs and disbursements such as barristers’ and experts’ fees rests with the client, whether or not the claim is successful. If an order for costs is made, unless the parties agree how much the costs will be, the Court will decide how much the loser should pay. Litigation can be extremely expensive, especially if the case is complex and involves barristers and experts. It is for this reason that, if you have legal expenses insurance, it is very important to ensure that you notify your insurer of any dispute you become involved with as soon as possible-most policies are very restricted on when claims will be considered. Normally the "winner" of a case is awarded the legal costs, but this does not necessarily follow. The Court has very wide powers to deal with the costs of a case in any way it feels is appropriate and this can often mean that the party that has behaved most reasonably has the best chance of getting their costs paid. Costs may also be ordered during the progress of the case if any applications have been made. The usual order is for the loser to pay the winners reasonable costs, to be assessed by the Court if no agreement can be reached. Costs orders The Court has the power to make any award of costs it thinks appropriate, and at any time a Court order is made. Consequently the Court may make costs orders during the proceedings, not just at the final hearing. Usually no order for costs is made in small claims apart from the issue fee and the fee of any expert instructed, unless one of the parties has behaved unreasonably. The rules also provide for "fixed costs" in some cases; for the issue of proceedings for instance, and also for some types of claim such as possession proceedings. The normal rule is that "costs follow the event"; in other words, the loser pays the winner’s costs. However, the Court is required to take the conduct of the parties into account as well as who is successful, and make an order that does justice to the parties in the circumstances. The Civil Procedure Rules impose a duty on the parties to proceedings to assist the Court in achieving the "overriding objective", which is to deal with cases justly. One aspect of the overriding objective includes saving expense, and cost. As a result, the Court may penalise a party that has not complied with the spirit of the Rules, by for example failing to serve a pre-action protocol letter if required. In addition the Court will take into account offers to settle and payments into Court. If a Costs order is made, it will state whom the "paying party" (usually the loser) and the "receiving party" (usually the winner) is, and also what basis of assessment is to be used if no agreement can be reached. In fast track cases the Court performs the assessment at the end of the trial. In multi-track cases, or if a claim is settled during proceedings with an agreement that costs be paid by one of the parties (for instance if a part 36 offer is accepted), a schedule of the costs is sent to the paying party to try to reach agreement. If this is not possible then a costs draftsman prepares a bill of costs for assessment by the Court. Both the costs draftsman and the Court charge fees. The CPR encourages the parties to negotiate, but ultimately the Court may be requested to assess the bill. The Court has to decide:- Whether it is reasonable for the loser to pay for the work charged for; and Whether the hourly rate charged by the solicitor is reasonable. The Court will not require the loser to pay the winner if he or she has behaved unreasonably, by for instance telephoning or writing to his or her solicitor more often than is necessary to progress the case. Nor will the assessing Court regard a senior solicitor dealing with a simple case as being reasonable. Each Court area sets standard rates for solicitors of different levels of experience, and it may award a lower rate than is claimed in such a case. Similar principles apply when the Court assesses the amount claimed for barristers' and experts' costs. The Court may decide that the amount the loser must pay in costs is less than the winner has paid to his legal team. As the Court tends to be conservative when it assesses costs, the loser is often ordered to pay only 75% or so of the winner's costs. Even if a costs order is made, this does not guarantee that payment will be made; if it is not, the successful party may have to use enforcement methods to recover the money and may be unsuccessful if the loser does not have the means to pay. In addition, if the losing party has a Public Funding Certificate (which used to be called "Legal Aid"), the Court may still make a costs order, but may also order that payment of the costs will not be enforced without the Court’s permission. Disbursements These include barristers’ fees, Court fees and experts’ fees. Often a party's solicitor will require payment in advance of the disbursement being incurred, as it is usually the solicitor that is responsible for payment of these fees. these fee may be recoverable at the end of the case. Agreement The Court will expect the parties to attempt to agree the costs between them, as far as possible. The receiving party will prepare a schedule of its costs and submit this to the paying party, and invite comments on it. Often the parties will not be far apart, and agreement may be reached. If no agreement can be reached, the receiving party must draw up a formal bill of costs which summarises precisely what was done and when. A costs draftsman normally does this, who will charge a percentage of the bill for doing so (normally 2%). This is then sent to the paying party, who must serve a formal response within 21 days, stating what elements of the bill are disputed. If no response is served, the receiving party may apply to the Court for a "default costs certificate". This is an order requiring payment within 21 days of the certificate, and can be enforced as a judgment against the paying party. If a response is served, the receiving party may either negotiate, or ask the Court to set a date for assessment. The receiving party must make the application for assessment within 3 months of the costs order, unless the parties agree an extension. The basis of assessment The Court must be satisfied that the costs that are being sought are not unreasonably incurred or unreasonable in amount. However there are two different bases of assessment that the court may order. The usual order is that costs are assessed on the "standard basis". This means that the paying party must pay only an amount of costs that is "proportionate to the matters in issue"; in other words, it will not sanction a large bill for a small dispute. It will resolve any doubts it may have as to whether the costs are reasonably incurred, or reasonable in amount and proportionate, in favour of the paying party. In unusual cases the Court will order that costs are to be assessed on the "indemnity basis", which means that it is the receiving party who receives the benefit of any doubt. Summary Assessment The Court has the power to make a summary assessment of costs during the proceedings, without needing to go through the lengthy detailed assessment procedure. It is also required to do so at the conclusion of a "fast track" trial. The parties will both prepare costs summaries for the hearing, and serve these on each other prior to it. The Judge will consider the summary at the conclusion of the hearing and decide the amount of costs to be awarded. Detailed Assessment If the parties cannot agree the costs, the receiving party will ask the Court to set a date for the detailed assessment of the bill. District Judges undertake the assessment, but in London the Supreme Court Costs Office deals with cases in the High Court. Representatives of both parties attend the hearing. The District Judge will consider the submissions of both parties and decide whether the work done was reasonably necessary, and if so, whether the time taken and the solicitor’s hourly rate claimed was reasonable (different rates apply in different parts of the country, and are set by the Court). Normally the Court will reduce a bill by about 15%, as a rule of thumb guide, on assessment. The District Judge will also decide which party should pay for the costs of the hearing itself, and summarily assess them as well. Any order made to pay a sum of money as costs is enforceable just like any other order.
  2. Hi to all. I am going to try and keep this very simple and brief. I was sent a package/gift by my relative. So it was not a online purchase or any of that sort The item was delivered to my apartment complex via Royal Mail signed for service and was received by the concierge who signed for the item and made a log of my parcel and put in a delivery note via my letter box. However when I went to collect my parcel it had disappeared from a secure parcel room. I am not here blaming the concierge stealing the package all I am saying it just disappeared. I spoke to the building management and put in a formal complaint. I contacted the police also who could not do much at this point as no proof of who took the parcel. I wrote endless letters of complaint to the building management company of my apartment complex. Who ignored my complaint s and never responded. I then did a subject access request for the office log sheets containing the acceptance and delivery of my parcel even then they ignored and after my letter to management stating I will make a complaint to the ICO they sent me the documents. I then wrote to the CEO of the company and yet received no response. I had no choice other than to seek financial claim of my missing item via the small claims court. £ under 5000 claim. So The Small Claims court acknowledges my claim and gave until 1st of October for the defender the building management company to acknowledge and put in a defence to my claim. I rang the small courts/money claim centre on the 2nd of October who said they have received no information from the defendant however they are 5 days behind. i had to wait until 7th to find out if they had received any correspondence. I ring up on the 7th and yes they have not received any information. I sent in via email a request for judgment by default on 7th October, received the confirmation email, but again it takes 5 days for it to go through. The judgment by default was sent as the courts had not received any information from the defendant at this point of time. On the 8th of October I received an email from the defendants solicitor stating that there is no contractual relationship between me and the building management, and my particulars of claim are not clear, (I have been extremely clearly in my claim form) and that the claim is misconstrued and vicarious and that the concierge company is separated and are hired separately and in so many words saying it’s not them and trying to shift blame, followed by giving me 2 options, A)discontinue the claim B) agree to an an extension for the defence to allow them a extra 1 month to put in a defence C) And if I do not agree to a or B the building management company would file for a summary judgment strike out as the claim is vicarious. And giving me a 23 hour notice to respond via email only and to seek legal advice. Note I received the email on the 8th at 9pm and was given less than 24 hours to respond via email only by 3pm on the 9th of October. And the defendant will claim between £2500-£3000 In court costs and legal charges etc In a panic and surprise that having not any response up to date and all of a sudden a letter from a solicitor o sort legal advice and was told by my legal team to continue with the judgment by default. On the 14th of October I rang the court and was told the defendant on the 6th of October put in an acknowledgment of service but have until the 15th to put in the defence. So the judgment by default is not valid. But can put in another judgment by default if they don’t receive a defence. That’s the basic of what is going on. Now my question is can the defence claim legal costs via small claims? What advice and help would you suggest. What steps could you suggest I take as I am getting stressed out. Thank you and all response will be appreciated.
  3. From what Ive read on here, im going around in circles.. can someone comment? Way I see it :- 1) you send an inivoice, 14 days to pay, " i reserve to take legal action without further notice to you" written on it 2) Send a notice before action FORM (it used to just be a letter but now is this form? https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/pdf/protocols/debt-pap.pdf 3) proceed with coourt claim after 90 days? Citzen advice here, says something else https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/legal-system/taking-legal-action/small-claims/Problems-with-goods---letter-before-court-action/ Can somsone clarify? This is for an unpaid invoice.
  4. I made a PPI claim online for an old Littlewoods account. I have a few questions. The account was opened in 2010 and sold to a DCA in about 2012/13. I paid very little directly to Littlewoods and very little again to the DCA. On and off etc. I'm not even totally sure I had PPI and the claim was made more in hope than expectation, but does it matter how old the account is and whether or not it remains unpaid? How long should I expect to wait until I hear something? I didn't even get an email receipt of the claim when I made it about a week ago. If anyone has made a claim like this recently would love to hear your experience
  5. Hi everyone I use a courier company, i will call "TPC", who in turn use DPD. I have to say on the whole the past few years has been event free but a few months ago we sent a 3D printer to someone to use and it was smashed up really badly. The recipient took photos and has emailed us stating the damage was beyond dropping in his view and we have loads of photos of the box damaged etc. I reported the issue immediately and TPC were originally very sympathetic etc. I have to say I was shocked at the damage, you would have had to try really hard to do what they did. As the client needed to get printing urgently, I resent a new identical printer out, only this time this one had a glass build plate, so about 30x20, super tough, heat resistant glass plate that the plastic is printed onto. This was in fact a bespoke upgrade I did to this one but the plastic plate was also sent. This printer was also sent insured fully. This 2nd delivery went horribly wrong yet again, with a tonne of damage done. We sent both printers in the original boxes, designed for transporting them. They are thick boxes, with the original polystyrene inserts. Loads of space etc. we also used an outer box with more packaging to be safe. The packaging has never been challenged, in fact DPD stated that it was fine. long story short. I know DPD have accepted both claims (although irrelevant as the contract was with the 3rd party we use, TPC). I am still waiting for any decision, I have emailed multiple times and so we logged a small claims track. Unfortunately the printers are no longer made, so I have asked for the replacement cost of the latest available model for both printers. The defence is that they will not pay as there was glass in the box (even though only the 2nd item had glass in it) There is no consideration about the first delivery that had no glass in it at all. I have sent the court questionnaire off, have stated I am willing to mediate and I am waiting. No solicitors seem to be involved at this point, certainly no legal sounding stuff has come back from the defendant at this point. Just want some help and advice really. I have basically lost a part of my little business due to these printers being damaged beyond repair. Questions: 1. I have no doubt that I will get the compensation for the 1st Printer as there was no glass and it was clearly in breach of the Sale of goods and services act 1982, (reasonable care and skill clause). however What about where there is a piece of glass in an item? I have never actually claimed for this extra add on, I feel that if they had delivered properly in the first place I would not have had to send the 2nd printer out and also the glass did not cause the damage, it was just "also" damaged, but again I am not claiming for this. 2. I would normally claim for the cost of the item if damaged. However in the case of the model being superseded and no longer being available. Is it OK to claim a little more for the latest available model? I have averaged the price from 5 retailers and would genuinely be buying these to simply replace my lost printers. In my defence it is a real pain in terms of retraining and new software to learn a new machine. Any help would be appreciated on the best course of action and of course I will post everything up here so others can learn from my mistakes and hopefully successes!! I am about to go through mediation, but can't find much on the process here. Has anyone gone through this process as a claimant and is there any advice anyone can give. I have been told by the CAB that it's a chance to "negotiate" but Ii'm not sure if negotiation is what I want to do, i'd really like the defendant to try and see the light. Also can the defendant deny wanting to use mediation? Any help appreciated.
  6. Hi, its been a while since Ive been here. Just logging on and telling my story about TSB and a sim swap that emptied our accounts for a while. TSB have changed the way customers have to log in via an APP, whereas before we had a card reader. I never use the app as it doesn't work on Win phone. TSB facilitated a fraud on our account after a sim swap was made. They sent a one time password to someone, who then logged in and emptied the account. Once I tried to log in, I spoke to TSB and noticed this. I then tried contacting their fraud dept, but because it was a business account, they couldn't help ( infuriating). After long waits on the phone ( over 5 hours ) I had to take time out from my contracted hours, to go to the branch, where I waited most of the day for them to contact fraud with no answer. Went the next day and pretty much same thing. Id lost 2 days of work which we cannot recover. I issued an invoice, which TSB have totally ignored, even though good ole Paul pester promised that no customer would be out of pocket. We are now at the stage where, the invoice is overdue (14 days) plus an extra 10 business days to pay up. My next task is LBA, with further 10 to rectify. If anyone wants to chip in feel free, I am so annoyed with them not even writing to us to acknowledge anything, I am hoping to get my day in Court. Just had a look through CPR and the rules are a little different for a business to make a claim, Its 30 days from a LBA. I do like the reply forms that have to fill in, this could be fun. Additionally, they also owe us 70 odd quid because they blocked the accounts and a payment wasn't received, It was taken from a suppliers account and not applied to ours, even though TSB have said its been processed. Second LBA going off next week
  7. Hi All, So this is our current situation: 20th June 2018 my partner was involved in a RTC (Road Traffic Collision) he is an HGV Driver and was driving his trailer at the time. He clipped another vehicle which caused that vehicle to 'roll over' a woman, who was crouched down on the drivers side. Earlier when my partner arrived at the Recycling Centre this same vehicle was parked (in an un-authorised area and parked facing the wrong way : drivers side on pavement: and the two ladies were having difficulty as the ignition key had been broken in the ignition, my partner went to assist these ladies but could not retrieve the key therefore he helped move the vehicle forward so that he could get into the loading bay. On leaving the loading bay you drive around the exiting site, but before he could leave he had to ask for another vehicle to be moved (which was also in un-authorised space) he then pulled out to enter the weighbridge passing (3) vehicles which were all beyond a no entry sign, and as he turned to make the weighbridge he clipped the vehicle with his rear end, he hears a shout "stop stop" and stopped. In the meantime getting back to the vehicle, whilst my partner is working his way around the site, the ladies mother arrives and she is crouching down on the drivers side (presumably to assist with getting the car started again) so from a visual perspective when my partner is making his manoeuver he sees vehicles only. He does misjudge and clip the vehicle at less than 2 miles per hour. The woman sustains injuries and the emergency services are called. VOSA also attends and Brian is subsequently suspended pending full investigation. Brian makes a full statement to HR and the following week attends a meeting in the workplace to formalize the previous statement. Brian is then invited to attend a disciplinary action meeting Friday 6th July outside of the workplace. We have now been informed that he is dismissed from today's date, the reason being that the seriousness of the accident warranted dismissal. Having worked for this company for some time Brian is aware of the concerns raised for this area and lots of complaints have been made, other accidents in this very area where damage has been limited to vehicles only have resulted in no action being taken against the driver, therefore the reasons for dismissal is because sadly someone was injured, but how can Brian be held accountable for that? 1) He clipped the vehicle at less than 2mph, but obviously being an articulated lorry has moved the other vehicle which then in turn injured the woman, he did not hit the woman. 2) All mirror checks should no persons only 3 vehicles. How can he be blamed when the woman was out of sight crouched down? We are hoping that we have grounds for appeal and would like your help. I have copies of all statements, letters received, letters sent although the dismissal letter we have been advised is being posted out today. We have five days to appeal and to determine if we have grounds for Industrial Action. There is no union in place and Brian is not affiliated to any other. We look forward to your thoughts, thank you swift
  8. Hello all I have been dealing with a number of irresponsible loans lent to my sister who suffers from dreadful mental health that total £40,000 in just a few months One of those is with a payday lender for £400 I put forward a complaint on her behalf and they asked for a copy of her passport and a letter authorising me to make the complaint. I have provided both twice. She has signed the letter that states she gives me authorisation to make the complaint and for the written outcome to be addressed to her by letter to her address I have asked for the outcome of the complaint to be addressed to my sister. However they are being very difficult and asking me for my details, date of birth and address, but I have stressed that whilst I am making the complaint on her behalf and have sent in medical documents that show she is mentally very poorly they keep changing the goal posts and making this very difficult. I have been able to make complaints on her behalf to a number of financial organisations but not come across such a string of emails since the first week of June. They keep changing the requirements and send email responses three to four days later with a new request Is this right because it does not feel so and its just adding to the stress of trying to sort this mess out
  9. Hi i am looking for some advice on what to do with a court letter i have received. It is from an old credit card from Aqua which i had taken out back in 2013. The Claimant is now Arrow Global Limited who i assume has now purchased the debt. I have until 11.08.17 to reply. Issue Date: 06.07.17 Amount approx: £2288.42 Claimant: Arrow Global Limited Solicitor: Shoosmith LLP Original Creditor: Aqua Credit Card (NewDay Ltd) Particulars of Claim: The claimants are a finance company which inter alia operates the business of debt purchasing. By virtue of a debt purchase agreement ('the agreement') between the claimants and Newday Ltd ("the original owner") dated 18/10/2016, the claimant acquired title to and was assigned the right to payment in respect of all debts and other monetary claims of any nature due or owing by the respondent to the original owner which were in existence as at the date of the Agreement, and in particular in relation to the contract hereinafter condescended upon. The said assignation was intimated to the respondent by the way of a written notice on or around 18/10/2016. The agreement between the respondent and the original owner upon which this action is based was regulated under the Consuer Credit Act 1974. Further information in relation to that agreement is contained in section D4, where we set out the sums due and the basis which the fell due. The Said contract between the original owner and the respondent is a regulated credit green in terms of section 189 of the consumer credit act 1974. it is dated 20/02/2013 and relates to a credit card issued by the original owner for Aqua credit card with the account number: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. on numerous occasions between 20/02/2013 and 30/01/2015 the respondent utilised the credit facility created under said agreement by purchasing goods and services on credit using the facility. It was a term of the agreement that the original owner would use statements in relation to the account on a monthly basis upon which would be stated the current balance the minimum payment which required to be made in terms of the said agreement and the date by which said payment required to be made. By the nature of the said agreement payment to be made each month fluctuated from month to month depending on use. The last payment made by the respondent thereunder was made on 27/05/2014 in the sum of £110.00. It was a term of said agreement that failure to meet and payment on a due date would render the account in default and would entitle the claimant to serve notice of default on the respondent requiring the respondent to remedy the breach within 14 day failing which the agreement would be terminated. on or around 30/01/2015 the respondent failed to make payment of a sum which had failed due and the said account thereby entered into default. A default notice was issued to the respondent on 30/01/2015. The respondent failed to remedy the default following upon service of the said notice and the account was accordingly terminated in accordance with that notice. The account remains in default. The sum due in terms of the said agreement amounts to £2288.42. The right to receive payment of the sums due in terms of the said account vests in the claimant. The form asks what documents they may bring to court to support the claim and they have listed.. A copy of the credit agreement, statements of account and notice of assignation will be produced in any defended process to follow hereon. Is the debt Statute Barred? No List any letters you have sent: None Yet Sorry for the long post but i am unsure on how to proceed with this. Should i just admit it and offer some sort of monthly payment? What would be a reasonable offer? I am not sure if they have all the original documents and no evidence was attached to the letter but as above they said the will be produced in court if i defend the case. I am not 100% sure but i think i might have signed an online credit agreement at the time so i assume they will still have a copy of this. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks
  10. New independent appeals process to protect passengers issued with penalty fares READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-independent-appeals-process-to-protect-passengers-issued-with-penalty-fares
  11. Three weeks ago I got notification that my wife would not be entitled to claim for carers allowance because and at that time of the decision we were not in receipt of the disability benefits, in my case PIP. Can I ask for a mandatory decision on this now as PIP has been awarded and backdated to November 2016, and would now meet the crtieria not met a few weeks back, any help as always would be appreciated. SF
  12. I've started the VT process today and will keep people here updated as no one seems to have said anything about charges and what happens after they collect the car. So far just had a call from moneybarn confirming BCA will be in touch within two days and then the car will be collected within 7 days. My car is 6 years old with just over 30,000 miles and they said on the phone they don't expect it to be in mint condition but I'll be interested to see what the final bill is. I'm very happy with this car but I still have two and half years worth of payments and for the little I use it, it's just not worth it.
  13. I have been looking at process servers for the purposes of serving court papers, what should I be looking at to protect myself from s.cams and the like when trying to buy these type of services ?.
  14. Hi there, Thank you all for considering my enquiry. I will try to keep it as to the point as possible. I have sought advice from many advice bodies and a couple of solicitors but I'm receiving conflicting information and a friend recommended I try here. SUMMARY DESCRIPTION I engaged a tradesperson for a range of works which were quoted at £1740. The tradesperson completed some of the works over 2 days. On the 3rd day, the tradesperson was late and sent an offensive message. Based on the offensive content of the message I refused to allow him onto my property further. He agreed to reduce fee based on works not completed. He offered a reduction of £240, total £1500, which I said was not fair based on the works left to complete. I paid a portion (£1240, 83%) of the fee, with a reduction of £500 from original quote of £1700 based on an average of 3 quotes from local providers for the remaining works. He returned the payment and engaged a debt collection agency. Debt collection agency has given 5 working days to pay full amount or they are taking me to court. Full description and timeline below. AMOUNTS Original invoice - £1740 Tradesperson offer after reduction - £1500 Amount we paid - £1240 Amount debt collection agency is seeking - £1500 + interest of £10.23 QUESTIONS 1. I have told the debt collection agency I dispute the debt. Is my best bet now just to wait until they start court process? 2. Am I correct in thinking, because of the amount in dispute (they want £1500, we paid £1240 which they returned, so effectively £260 in dispute), this will be considered as a small claims issue? 3. Were I to lose the dispute, I would be required to pay the £1500 + small amount of interest + court fee of £100-£200? So I wouldn't have to pay his legal costs or cost of using debt collector? 4. Would this type of issue (full details below) be likely to go to court? Or will it be considered on the basis of submissions? 5. Given we're talking so small amounts here, I am obviously wanting to maximise value from any legal advice. Would the best use of money on legal advice be to ask a solicitor who specialises in consumer issues to review my defence form, N9B? Thank you very much for any advice you can give. FULL TIMELINE & DESCRIPTION 28th Jan - Having found a tradesperson through an online review site I asked for a quote for some work on my property. They emailed a quote of £1740 (I'll round the figures for ease of reading). 30th Jan - I phoned the company and asked them to start work as soon as possible. 7th Feb - Tradesperson started work on the property. 8th Feb - Tradesperson attended the property. 9th Feb - Tradesperson doesn't show in the morning. I ask where they are and am told they'll be there later. After I have asked when they will arrive, I receive a 'pocket call' with a recording of the tradesperson where he calls *somebody* a 'f-ing bird, b-tching about when tradesperson will arrive'. We speak on the phone where he considers the situation a joke and calls me a 'b-tch'. I say I don't want him on my property anymore and he agrees to discount the fee for the incomplete work. 13th Feb - Tradesperson confirms work left to be completed and offers discount of £200 (total £1540). 14th Feb - On the advice of the Equalities service I submit a formal letter of complaint about the comments which says that no matter who he was talking about I find the comments offensive on the basis they are about somebody of my gender which violates my dignity and creates a hostile environment. On the advice of Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) I say I do not consider discount fair for the work that is left to be completed and will be seeking to show market rate as part of negotiating process under the Consumer Rights Act. 17th Feb - Tradesperson apologises for comments and offers discount of £240 (total £1500). 25th Feb - On the advice of CAB I seek 3 quotes for the remaining work from local providers which show market rate to be £500. I offer tradesperson £1050. 3rd Mar - Tradesperson rejects offer and threatens debt collection if £1500 is not paid by 6th Mar. 4th Mar - I transfer £1240 (original invoice of £1740, minus £500 fair market rate) and say that is our final offer. 6th Mar - Tradesperson emails to say he will be returning the £1240 and engaging a debt collection agency to seek £1500 from us. 6th Mar - On the advice of CAB I send a formal letter questioning why he has engaged a debt collection agency when we have paid £1240. 11th Mar - I receive a letter from a debt collection agency demanding £1500 (plus interest of £10.23) to be paid within 5 working days, or they will begin court process. 13th Mar - I speak to debt collection agency who try to debate the merits of my dispute with me. I say we have not received any of our payment returned. They say it was sent Friday. I say I do not wish to discuss the issue with them and just wanted to check the address to correspond with, they end the conversation saying "see you in court". On the advice of the Debt Advice Line, I post a formal letter confirming my disputing the debt and evidencing previous correspondence.
  15. I will be travelling abroad for 7-10 days and will be signing off, I am on old style JSA and want to avoid if possible making a fresh claim for UC and make a rapid reclaim for JSA instead upon my return. Would it not be the case that if I signed off from JSA for one week to go overseas then I would need to make a claim for housing benefit due to a change of circumstances to cover me for the period I am on zero income. So I make my housing benefit claim immediately after I close down my JSA claim. Therefore I cannot go on UC due to me awaiting a desicion for housing benefit ? If you've applied for other benefits You can’t get Universal Credit if you've applied for any of the following and you're waiting for a decision: Jobseeker’s Allowance Employment and Support Allowance Income Support Housing Benefit Child Tax Credit Working Tax Credit Thoughts ?
  16. my brother paid for 2 crossings at Dartford to go from darkest Essex to deepest Kent and paid online in advance. A week later he gets 2x£100 fines because he was not charged enough when he paid the amount demanded. Dartcharge dont employ humans so you cant reason with them about the ridiculousness of the charge so how do you appeal this?
  17. HSBC have sent me a claim form. I owe £13,500 from a loan taken out several years ago. I intend to respond using the "disagree with the claim" option as I believe I may have been mis sold PPI on the claim. In the event that the judge upholds the claim, how does the process work RE making repayments. Once the judgement has been made, do we have to go back to court another day to agree a repayment schedule. Will HSBC be obliged to offer a repayment schedule or could they start bankruptcy proceedings if I don't make payment in full after the CCJ?
  18. Hi there, Thanks for reading. I'm new to the forum, and hoping I may be able to find a little help with my current situation. I'm in a bit of a tangle!. Essentially I received an N1SDT CCJ claim form in the mail, too late to reply, and subsequently received a CCJ. I believe the debt to be statute barred, and intent to have it set aside if possible. I'm currently trying to claw my way out of long term unemployment by starting a small business (via the JSA/NEA scheme. I'm in the very early stages), so this is pretty awful timing. On the 18th of August I received a claim form dated 25th July. Obviously at that point it was too late to submit a seemingly simple defense, and the court ruled in favour of the claimant. I have received a 'Judgment for Claimant' notification, and correspondence from the claimant. The debt is from a capital one credit card dating back to August 2007, and was apparently 'assigned to the claimant' in Oct 2009 (this information is taken from the 'particulars of claim' section of the claim form that I received). I have no records of the debt, but have had no contact with anyone regarding the debt/account since the point were I stopped making payments (which I assume is 2007). I'm hoping that I can have this CCJ set aside, owing to the debt being statute barred. I'm currently claiming JSA, have no savings/additional income, live in my father's home, and I believe that I meet the requirements for a full remission of court fees, should I be able to go down that route. Though I'm not really sure how I go about doing that. Also I'm not entirely sure what kind of evidence I would have to supply. I have no records from the time, and assume I'll be needing them. Any advice with regards to my options at this point would be greatly appreciate. My understanding's pretty limited, and time is of the essence it seems. Thanks for any help.
  19. I received a Penalty Notice from a small local authority, not a council however still a government based authority. I'm reluctant to name them at this stage. The ticket states a penalty payment of £50 is now due reduced to £20 if paid within 5 days. I have chosen to pay the £20 at this stage and fight the charge after without the risk of it being increased. Probably not what most of you would recommend but its not the money for me, its the principle. The ticket has not been filled in correctly. It just states the date, time, vehicle etc. The ticket has a tick box for a choice of several car parks and also for several reasons of issuing the ticket. None of these have been completed. The ticket also has no appeals process stated on the ticket, although the address and phone number are on the ticket. I had purchased a valid ticket which included my vehicle reg number so there is no doubt that a ticket had been purchased. The issue is the ticket was a lightweight paper till roll type ticket that must have blown off the dash as I closed the door, it was a windy day. I have read of appeals still going against people with a ticket not being displayed correctly hence my just paying the £20, however if the ticket has not been completed correctly or there if there is no appeals process then surely they must be in breach of the Traffic Management Act ? Would appreciate any comments. My intention is to hopefully recover the £20 and ensure they change their ways....
  20. Hi, this is my first post so I hope it's in the correct place. Quick history, worked for county council for 10 years, have suffered from a diagnosed mental health disability for the whole time for which I take medication, work are fully aware of this. I reluctantly took out a grievance for disability related issues against my line manager, head of department and a senior manager. The grievance was investigated at the first stage over a very extended period and nothing was found even though I had given them a load of facts which they seemed to ignore so I appealed. In the interim my line manager has been promoted and the senior manager has retired so HR have said there is no point in investigating the grievance any further. Can they do this, as it is totally against what is said in our extensive grievance policy and to be honest it has totally messed with my head Thank you
  21. Good Afternoon all, Having been a keen reader for many years now, only now do I feel the courage to take on these ghastly payday loan companies which left me in such disarray in late 2012 and early 2013. To provide a bit of context, I got myself in a bit of trouble gambling (which I have not touched since 2014), was on anxiety medication from 2012 to 2014 and often found myself taking out payday loans to make sure I got through and able to pay for my rent, council tax, travel and living costs. I often was scrabbling around, pawning items, going to pawnbrokers and also applying online. I have been following everyone's advise (it's most appreciated) and have reached out to all the Payday loan companies asking them for all my statements during that period of time. Everything has been paid off (I fortunately got approved a personal loan from Nationwide in July 2013) While I am waiting for every payday loan company to respond, I also trawled through all my accounts and estimated the total amount of loans that I took out in a period of a year. Please note that this is just rough figures, a lot of the time I took money out in person, then deposited into my account. 1st Stop Pay Day - £1500 Bonga - £1600 Cash Converters - £3000 Dosh Express - £700 Early Payday Loans - £160 Microlend - £300 Moneyshop - £1000 PDUK - £1000 Wonga - £1400 Wizzcash - £1140 Several of these companies all performed credit checks so should have been able to see my spending/loans but approved me nevertheless. Would you classify this as irresponsible lending? Too many times did I have to roll over or take out another loan simply to pay another one off. When I got my personal loan through, I paid the pending ones back: 90, 139, 185, 195, 333, 366, 366, 520, 317, 200, 500, 1000 (cash converters extortionate personal loan of 568%!!) which amounts to me having 4200 of loans with extortionate rates. At the rates, 1000 of payday loan - 300£ interest? So I was paying £1200 a month in interest alone. I was earning 1600 a month from work... Please advise if I have a case to put forth to either the companies themselves or should I refer this to the Financial Ombudsmen? Furthermore, is there a chance that I can get these removed from my credit file? I was not aware that these types of credit agreements would stay? No one told me that they would, i was ok with the credit search but I'm not too happy about the black mark on these. Many thanks for your help, Appleguy
  22. As per the title we are in the process of purchasing a (new to us but used) vehicle & need advice. We had been looking for a new family car for a short while & seen one that we loved the look of online. we visited the dealership & the vehicle was in the showroom. My wife instantly fell in love with it & wanted it, so I asked a few questions. One of them was "does the 4wd work ok? (as I know there can sometimes be issues) The dealer gave me a slightly puzzled look & said it was a 2wd model & this one isn't the 4wd version. I said okay, by this time my wife didn't seem too bothered as she had fallen in love straight away with this one due to the great condition it appeared in (we had looked at others for around the same budget that didn't look in as good condition). We have small children & I explained that safety was paramount, he reassured us & said that Any issues at all would All be addressed, the car would get a Full new MOT, Full check & Full service before it was released to us, so we went ahead & paid the deposit. However.......... We have done a small online check & it shows that since paying the deposit it had failed the mot & also some advisories. I told my wife not to worry because they would of course All be addressed before we got it & that was the point of him mot'ing it. next check by us has revealed that All failures addressed & has passed the mot, BUT this is where I am needing advice before I speak to them. The advisories are all still there so obviously have Not been addressed. The advisories are that the brake pipes are: "slightly corroded from front to rear of the vehicle" And the other states that the "propshaft is missing from the vehicle" ??? I had an idea what the latter meant & sure enough, after doing a little research on the net & enthusiast forums & it has been known for these vehicles to develop a fault on these parts & replacing them (by a garage) can be quite expensive, some drivers have opted to remove the propshaft thus rendering the vehicle 2wd instead of 4wd (there are also some claims that it saves fuel but others argue that it is minimal) it looks like the dealer wasn't exactly honest with us as it obviously Was originally & is meant to be a 4wd model?? Also the fact that the brake pipes are corroded worry us too. I always thought that advisories were there to advise that although it has passed the MOT that it was advising that those other points mentioned meant that they should be addressed soon & would fail the next mot on those issues? Can anyone confirm if this is correct? This has left us now feeling uncertain about going ahead with the purchase of this vehicle but at the same time not sure where we stand? We have after all paid the deposit & agreed (in writing) the part exchange figure for our current car & the dealer has now obviously went to the expense of mot'ing & repairing the vehicle (even though he hasn't done the brakes or propshaft). We aren't the type to complain or go back on an agreement, so would like (& greatly appreciate) some advice on the best thing to do from here?? Thankyou for taking the time to read this & appreciate anyone taking the time to reply.
  23. Hi everyone, Havent had to post here for a while now, but this website proved invaluable to me when being persued by Lovell and Co. Here's my new dilemma! In process of selling my home and purchasing new one. Mortgage advisor called me in to inform me there is now a problem with my application. Had previously been approved last year when started looking for new property. I hadn't checked Experian for a while as I knew my credit rating was 974 and classed as excellent. I know how important credit files are, having had bad credit many many years ago, taking me years to even get a basic bank account. I have seen my credit rating increase over the years, and know what causes my rating to dip from time to time...new searches etc. Anyway, to my horror when I checked Experian yesterday, I now have a credit score of 308...very poor!!!! I could have cried. After the initial shock, I found the culprit.... Welsh Water Dwr Cymru. They have reported for the past 3 months a debt of £495 and marked as 'Delinquent'. I was going to ring them up first thing today, but then remembered your advice of doing all correspondence by post /email. I don't believe I am responsible wholly for this debt, as the current property I live in does not have mains water. However I bought another relatives property who had passed away in 2013 and did initially have all the utilities in my name there. Never moved in, just did the property up for letting. The property had been let for the past two years by the same person. They have recently vacated the property just before Christmas. I honestly can't remember if I informed Welsh Water of the new tenant and am wondering if my name is still linked to that property? How do you think I should handle this? I can prove where my current address is and have a copy of the tenancy agreement. If it comes to light that they are still billing me for this property and not in the tenants name, can I be still held responsible for the debt as the landlord? I still have the security deposit for the previous tenant, can this be used to settle any debt? I need to sort this out quickly for obvious reasons and have these defaults removed or I wont be moving!!!!!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.
  24. The company I worked for was taken over and my team were moved / transferred (something called 'TUPE') to a new employer. The new employer then advertised an internal opportunity (area manager) out to the team and several employees applied for the position including myself. However, the interviewer that the company chose to conduct the interviews was not a senior person within the group, but another area manager currently working for them who had previously worked with my old company. I felt that I was the most suitable person for the role, however, one of the applicants (my colleague) has previously worked closely with the interviewer and they are very good friends outside of the business. During the interview I got the impression that a decision had already been made before I even started to answer their questions and following the interview (the following morning) I was informed that my colleague that knew the interviewer had been offered the position. I think that the interview process was bias and there was a 'conflict of interest' between the interviewer and my colleague - do I have any rights to make a complaint about this as I feel it is an unfair process / practice!? Thank you
  25. Can anyone here confirm how long it takes Parking Eye to process their charge notices and when the charge notices was actually received. I received a Parking Charge notice long after the statutory 14 day period had expired. Their envelopes don't show a postmark so I can't date when the notice was sent although the "Date Issued" shown is within within 8 days. I know this to be untrue, what can I do?
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