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hurricane01

Need to dispute jurisdiction - please help

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I have been living outside the UK for 4 months now and received a summons to my old address for a disputed account. So far I have had my mail forwarded on to me in Hong Kong. I do not have any assets in the UK and even though I have sent a letter to the claimant due to the time limit for responding I don't want a default judgment entered into in my absence. Is there a form I can use to dispute the jurisdiction or do I just dispute this on the summons and return to the court? Or can I just send a letter to the court telling them that I do not live in the UK and the court does not have jurisdiction? I can have someone send a letter on my behalf from within the UK to make sure it arrives in a timely manner. Does anyone else have any advise to share please?

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You have a cast iron defence and the case should automatically be dismissed.... but get the online application in asap.

 

As soon as you state you are now resident in Hong Kong there is no case against you.

 

Which company are trying to take you to court at an old address and who are they acting for, that might bring more experts in.

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Well, there's a bit more to it than that.

 

If you haven't told them of your new address they are entitled to serve the claim form on you at your usual or last known residence under CPR 6.9(2). They will no doubt be able to demonstrate that they've done this and so, if you do not respond, then they will get a default judgement.

 

Unfortunately, being in HOng Kong doesn't, of itself, protect you. It does, however, make it a lot more unlikely that they'll bother to chase you - there are a lot of much easier victims for them to go after than all the hassle of chasing you in Hong Kong (unless maybe you owe them tens of thousands). What they need to do in this case is get permission from the court to serve you the claim form in Hong Kong. If the court agrees then they can serve the claim for on you. Being in Hong Kong is no protection as China is a signatory of the Hague Convention which means that they recognise court judgements in other countries. However, what the actual chances are of a Hong Kong court actually enforcing an order and, anyway, your creditor making an application to the Hong Kong court in the first case - well you know more about Hong Kong than I do so I'll leave you to answer that question

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Well, there's a bit more to it than that.

 

If you haven't told them of your new address they are entitled to serve the claim form on you at your usual or last known residence under CPR 6.9(2). They will no doubt be able to demonstrate that they've done this and so, if you do not respond, then they will get a default judgement.

 

Unfortunately, being in HOng Kong doesn't, of itself, protect you. It does, however, make it a lot more unlikely that they'll bother to chase you - there are a lot of much easier victims for them to go after than all the hassle of chasing you in Hong Kong (unless maybe you owe them tens of thousands). What they need to do in this case is get permission from the court to serve you the claim form in Hong Kong. If the court agrees then they can serve the claim for on you. Being in Hong Kong is no protection as China is a signatory of the Hague Convention which means that they recognise court judgements in other countries. However, what the actual chances are of a Hong Kong court actually enforcing an order and, anyway, your creditor making an application to the Hong Kong court in the first case - well you know more about Hong Kong than I do so I'll leave you to answer that question

 

 

Good point.

 

Service out of jurisdiction is a pain but is not difficult.

 

How much do you owe? If it's a small amount I agree your creditor won't bother chasing you o nce you tell them you live in Hong Kong.

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The amount they are claiming is 11K (I don't like to say "owe", because, well I dont feel that I owe them anything). My concern is the domestication of a foregin judgement and even though that is costly if contested (and a waste of time and money if no assets can be located) I don't like to take chances. The way I would like to put it is because the debt is disputed and I intend to bring on a trial... as a self-litigant it would be impossible for me to present myself due to the distance and cannot afford legal representation in the UK (If they wish to sue me in Hong Kong bring it on!). I may even hint in my response that the claimant is trying to file in the UK to avoid a challenge to obtain summary judgement. At least that is how I am going to try responding. If anyone else has any more input i'd really appreciate it...

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Good point.

 

Service out of jurisdiction is a pain but is not difficult.

 

How much do you owe? If it's a small amount I agree your creditor won't bother chasing you o nce you tell them you live in Hong Kong.

 

Provided you follow the procedure in the country you intend to serve service outside the jurisdiction can be done. For example in Scotland you must use a Sheriffs Officer to serve an English courts writ

Edited by JonCris

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If you admit knowledge of the impending summons you cannot at a later date have it set aside on the basis of the HRA 'right to a fair trial' Lenders & their agents do it all of the time

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hurricane,

 

They have to bring the claim in the UK because that is where the contract was signed and the contract will say that it is subject to the UK courts, it's got nothing to do with avoiding a challenge. I'm confused when you say "domestication of a foregin judgement". I don't know anything about Hong Kong courts but what they will be asked to do is to enforce a UK CCJ made against you. It will be too late for you to contest it then - you can only contest it in the UK.

 

If you have not told the creditor your new address they are entitled to serve the form on you at the last known address. If you fail to respond they will get a judegement by default.

 

I would suggest that if you wish to defend this then you need to return to court.

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Also how old it this alleged debt, is it about expire ie over 6 years old? If so I suspect they are going for summary judgment at your old address in the full knowledge that your elsewhere & that way limitation will no longer be an issue for them

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Thank you for all the replies! I am filing my response right at this moment...

 

To clarify: By "foregin judgement" I mean any judgement taken out against me in the UK will be viewed as "foreign" here. As a part of the domestication process to have it recognised in Hong Kong a hearing is requested if the judgement is disputed. One of the grounds to set aside is "improper jurisdiction". In other words if I had already established residence here (which I had) and in my case informed the foregin court/creditor of this recognition can be refused especially if it can demonstrated that the matter would have been contested (and thus impossible because of the distance). A creditor wishing to sue over an alleged UK debt will need to place this in the hands of a local attorney and bring the action in court here in Hong Kong. The courts will recognise a contract so long as it comlies with the law of the land in which it was signed.

 

International recovery is not cheap when contested!

 

(The alleged debt is not yet statute barred in the UK but it is in Hong Kong)

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One of the grounds to set aside is "improper jurisdiction". In other words if I had already established residence here (which I had) and in my case informed the foregin court/creditor of this recognition can be refused especially if it can demonstrated that the matter would have been contested (and thus impossible because of the distance). A creditor wishing to sue over an alleged UK debt will need to place this in the hands of a local attorney and bring the action in court here in Hong Kong. The courts will recognise a contract so long as it comlies with the law of the land in which it was signed.

 

I'm afraid you are wrong here. It doesn't matter where you live now. What matters is where you lived when you signed the contract and what the contract says about which country's laws are applicable.

 

I presume that you signed the contract while living in the UK and the contract says that English laws apply. In this case it will be through the UK courts that this will take place.

 

I would suggest that if you do respond to this saying that you are in Hong Kong, first of all, it obviates the need for the creditor to request permission to serve the claim form on you in Hong Kong as you obviously have received it - otherwise you wouldn't have been able to make a response. Secondly, it won't stop the case against you as the contract will have said that English law is the governing law and english courts will have jurisdiction. It's then your responsibility to be in court on the correct day.

 

The Hague convention then comes into play and, presuming they're not trying to make you bankrupt - as that is an exception - then they can apply to the Hong Kong court to have the judgement recognised and enforced against you. Even a default judgement is no defence as long as they can show that the claim form was actually served on you - which if you reply then they will be able to do this.

 

At the end of the day, it is probably unlikely they will come after you in Hong Kong, but this may well cause problems fdor you when / if you return to the UK

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