Jump to content


Scottish Small Claims Summons but i didnt make the agreement, help please


style="text-align: center;">  

Thread Locked

because no one has posted on it for the last 3729 days.

If you need to add something to this thread then

 

Please click the "Report " link

 

at the bottom of one of the posts.

 

If you want to post a new story then

Please

Start your own new thread

That way you will attract more attention to your story and get more visitors and more help 

 

Thanks

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

 

I’ve been looking through the forums and have found some fantastic advice so far. However as far as I can see no one else has the exact same issue as me and I would love some advice. Also if any has any case examples that would help that would be great.

 

My situation is in October 2007 my employer at that time organised a night course at a university for 3 members of staff. This was part of my employment and I had to attend. The universities business development manager solely organised everything with the company I worked for. The fees and agreements were organised only by those 2 parties. I was never made aware of the course fees and the agreement.

 

In March 2009 I received a first reminder for £1200 for the course; the reminder stated the company I worked for was in liquidation. They also enclosed a copy of terms and conditions covering there "sponsorship" program. One of the other guys I worked with received the same and called the university and resolved the matter over the phone and has heard nothing since. I took the same approach and the accounts department advised me that my "sponsor" had failed to pay and therefore I was responsible to make the payment and this is clearly stated in the t&c's they had attached, I advised them I didn’t have sponsor as I didn’t make any agreement with them but the company I worked for made the agreement and therefore I am being asked to sponsor that agreement. They advised me to email them stating my objections, I did this and didn’t here a thing from them.

 

The next communication was in July 2010 from a solicitors threatening court action, they enclosed a final demand (I never received this) which was for £325 and not the original £1200 and the t&c's again. I contacted the university accounts department asking them for a copy of the financial agreement between myself and the university as I didn’t make one. She advised I had agreed that if my sponsor didn’t pay then I would be responsible by enrolling in the course. I asked her for proof of this and she advised she couldn’t do this as it was done online and a digital agreement. I advised I was never presented with an invoice nor had any knowledge of the course fees. She said she would get back to me.

 

2 weeks after the lawyers letter I received a letter (dated 2 weeks after the lawyers letter) from the university advising me to pay or they would take legal action. This time I contacted them in writing demanding a copy of the financial agreement between myself and the university. They advised they were sorry but I had to pay as I had agreed, they again advised they could not provide the agreement as it was digital. They also advised due to the lawyers’ letter being sent 2 weeks before the letter advising they would do this they would cancel the account with the law firm and I could pay them direct. I left it at that because I was too stressed and the fact they couldn’t provide an agreement I thought it wouldn’t progress.

 

On the 23/12/2010 I received my sheriff court summons. It states I have failed to or at least delayed payment for tuition fees incurred by myself for a course I instructed them to carry out. They included the invoice with the papers but again failed to include a copy of the financial agreement. I also didn’t instruct them to carry out the course my employers did that, I only attended the course under there instruction.

 

I really need help as there seems to be a lot of things done wrong here and information failed to be produced but I don’t know what angle to take to fight the claim. I can see they haven’t followed the correct procedure before taking me to court; they have failed to produce the agreement on several occasions including the small claims court paperwork. They have claimed I had a sponsor but I didn’t organise the course and agree to fees and then advise them my sponsor would pay, infact the company I worked for organised staff training and I am being asked to sponsor their agreement (not what the t&c ‘s apply to).

 

Additional information, the first reminder advises the “sponsor” is in liquidation in March 2009. The company was never liquidated, it was dissolved in august 2009 and this was 3 months after the Edinburgh gazette article advising it would be struck off after 3 months unless contested. This surely means they could have sought the money from the company and would have no reason to believe the company was being liquidated. Should they have pursued the company and contested the dissolution of the company. The managing director of the company advised me they threatened legal action to the company but didn’t pursue it further, so they have taken a more aggressive action against me than the actual company who owed them the money and is this right for them to do.

 

My old managing director is willing to be a witness at the court and advise them it was the company who made all agreements and not me, would this help me?

 

Sorry it’s so long winded but I know you need the full facts before offering advice. Any help appreciated.

 

I have £25, 000 of personal debt, I work 7 days a week to pay it off, I do this because I agreed to these agreements’ and therefore I will pay it off. I refuse to pay this as I didn’t take out the agreement.

 

Thanks for your help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Iain

 

I have asked IdadInFile from the site team to look at this as it is Scotland and a bit too specialised for this forum. don't worry, help is at hand

  • Haha 1

At your Service

 

Please Double click the Star and leave a message if I have helped you

 

Please support CAG and they will support you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks coledog. I'm in the middle of drafting an email to the uni principle voicing my concerns on the waste of uni money pursuing the amount.

 

 

Hi Iain

 

I have asked IdadInFile from the site team to look at this as it is Scotland and a bit too specialised for this forum. don't worry, help is at hand

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hiya,

 

can you post up or scan the poc's from the claim form?

 

when is the return date?

 

Ida x

Please contact a member of the site team if you are offered help off the forum for a a paid or no win no fee service.

 

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site running

Click here to donate through PayPal (opens in a new window)

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is quite a tricky one. Universitites will routinely have a term that the student will be liable to pay the fees if the sponsor for whatever reason doesnt cough up. That however, will be used more often than not with foreign students, who quite often come over here, sponsored by someone back in their home country. So the student is at the University because they want to be there - its not 'by order of the management' as you were. You say it was part of your employment. What do you mean EXACTLY by that - was it just that it was a course relevant for what you do, or did they push it as fas as making it a condition of your employment (ie if you didnt attend you would be disciplined, or even dismissed?). Or if it was somewhere in between these two things, where was it? I think that is one relevant consideration.

On the other hand, what type of course was it? Universities basically do two types of teaching work. One is (are?) credit bearing modules that would count toward a degree - this tends to be of a more general nature, and there would almost certainly be other members of the public there. The other is the kind of course that is put on specifically for a particular company and would be aimed specifically at the knowledge/skills needs of the employees who were on the course - company specific, with only company employees in attendance. If the course was this latter type, then the University really is being very naughty imo, as the terms referred to above would imo only apply to the more general modular courses and not when its a company specific teaching contract, which would be between the company and the University. Did you yourself sign anything? Did you get a "student card" (or matriculation card for those of us old enough to remember them)? I would take up your old MD's offer of providing you with his backing - that could be very useful in terms of what was actually agreed between them and your company.

Another thing is that you say that your employer has gone into liquidation. The University is being quite naught here as well, because it will be a creditor of your company. Now, perhaps they have taken a view that the liquidation will take ages and they will end up getting not very much (if that much), so lets see what we can get out of the "students" (if indeed you were a student).

The other thing is the old adage about getting blood from a stone.

So essentially, I think the issues that apply are

1. what was agreed between the University and the company? In particular can the University make a case for saying their standard T&Cs with students apply (ie it might have been arranged between the company and the University, but it was on the standard credit bearing modular terms)?

2. did you sign anything? Did you ever have sight of anything? It would be a bit hard to take action on someone who didnt know. On the other hand, why didnt you know? Did the company keep you in the dark? Or should you have known, but chose - even passively - not to?

3. Does it make sense for the University to spend public money when they have little or no chance of recovering it from you as you just dont have it?

Lastly, the argument that they cant provide the agreement because it is digital is just nonsense. A Word file is digital, but it can be printed out. I would have hoped a University could have been more original than that. E -------

But as Ida has said, if you can put up the pocs that would be a big help. The above are just general considerations on the basis of what you have told us.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, thanks for getting back to me.

 

Hi Ida, the return date is the 25/02/2011 and the hearing date the 11/03/2011. The POC, is this the whole court summons you need or just a certain page? It may take me a few days to get this up as I work 7 days, 10 hours a day but I will try as soon as I can, thanks.

 

Hi seriously fed up. I wouldn’t know if the training was compulsory, I didn’t think I had any reason to ask. I viewed all training organised by my employer was relevant and needed. I have often attended training courses for companies I have worked for. I have never needed to question the courses as the companies organised them and I attended. I viewed it similar to the work organising a Christmas night, staff equipment and mobile phone, none of which I am liable for. The course was for Cisco training, it was made up of a mixture of company employees and individuals. I was never included in any discussions on fees. I didn’t think the company was in keeping me in the dark. I would have thought the university would contact the individual about the fees even if the company made the initial enquiry as really the agreement would have nothing to do with the company until the final stages when sponsorship was discussed. The university advised me I have agreed to pay the fees if my sponsor doesn’t by enrolling in the course but I only received a matriculation card after queuing in line with all students and spending 10 minutes with a girl. I was never presented with fees or agreements. The company never went into liquidation; in fact the original invoice included with summons is dated the 27th of April 2009 (a year and half after the first semester of the course). At this date the company was classified as a solvent and legal entity, companies house advises intention to dissolve the company in may 2009 with the article in the Edinburgh gazette and the company was finally dissolved in august 2009.

 

I have included below the email I have sent the principal of the university. It marks out more clearly what has happened. I have received a response advising they will look into my concerns and respond in due course.

 

 

Dear,

 

 

As a last resort I am writing this email to ask for your personal intervention and assistance because it would appear that none of your Administration staff are capable of helping me.

 

I received a court summons on the 23/12/2010. This was organised by your solicitors on behalf of the University. The court summons is for £387.50.

 

My situation is as follows; I never organised a course or agreed to fees for a course. My previous employer organised a course for 3 members of staff in October 2007. They organised this part time evening course with the University. All course fees and financial agreements were discussed and finalised between the University and the company. At no point did the University consult with me what they were arranging with the company. I was told to attend the course as part of my employment by the company, I turned up and received my matriculation card and attended the course. I only attended the first semester; the company advised me I was not to attend the course after this. I didn’t question this as this was the companies training and their decision. The University never contacted me to ask why I wasn’t attending as the agreement was with the company.

 

In July 2009 I received a first reminder for £1200 advising me my “sponsor” was in liquidation ( N.B The company was never liquidated, it was dissolved, Edinburgh gazette entry advising of dissolution in 3 months published in May 2009 and The company finally dissolved August 2009 –source Companies House Register). I called the accounts receivable department and they advised I had to pay as my “sponsor” was liquidated. I advised them I didn’t organise the course and I didn’t have a “sponsor”; they were unwilling to listen and referred me back to the terms and conditions. They allege I agreed to the "sponsorship" program when I enrolled in the course. I spent 10 minutes with a girl who produced a matriculation card for me, is this enrolment? I asked them to provide me with proof of a financial agreement. They advised they couldn’t do this as it was digital and the invoice and terms and conditions should be enough proof for me. I’m sure you can appreciate anyone can make and print an invoice, so this wasn’t sufficient proof, and as I knew the University and The company had organised the course between themselves failure to find the agreement would hopefully satisfy the accounts receivable department that this was not my debt. I have requested this agreement a further 3 times and even in a formal freedom of information act request and I have been declined each time. The court summons also fails to have the agreement enclosed and only includes an invoice for £1200.

 

I fully understand your sponsorship program and I understand why it needs to be applied in the right circumstances. Surely for the sponsorship program to be legal and apply to me, I would have needed to organise the course, I would have needed to be involved in the discussions about fees and terms and conditions, I would have needed to agree to fees and receive an invoice from the beginning, I would have needed to notify the university that I had a sponsor to pay my fees and I would have needed to agree to pay the fees if my sponsor failed to do so (none of which happened). In my situation, The Company and the University organised the course and agreed on all financial agreements. Therefore I am actually being asked to sponsor the agreement between the University and The Company. I had to attend this course as part of the training and development required by The Company. The University arranged this course and associated fees with The Company to meet the training needs of The Company. I did not arrange this course, I did not agree to the associated fees and I did not organise a sponsor for funding.

 

The accounts receivable department are applying the standard terms and conditions of the sponsorship program to my case and are not willing to investigate it further.

 

I am defending the court summons and I believe I have a strong case for a number of reasons. The method of action taken against me (Pre-legal letter dated 2 weeks after the legal letters), written confirmation that the legal action would be suspended but it hasn’t, the failure to produce the agreement, the fact I didn’t make the agreement for the course, the fact court action has been taken against me but all actions to recover the debt from the company were dropped even though they were a legal and solvent entity at the time the University started to pursue me. Furthermore one of colleagues affected by the same situation resolved this matter over the phone and the claim was dropped after explaining the circumstances, but I am still being pursued.

 

I don’t avoid the debts that I have, I would be willing to pay for a credit check to prove that to you, although I have credit cards and loans I pay them on time each month, I pay these because I have made the agreements and I abide by them. I work 7 days a week to do this. I strive to protect my credit rating and this could damage my credit rating even if I am successful in court. I even had student fees for my course in another University in 1999 and I have paid these in full. I didn’t make the agreement and would never even think it was legal for the University and The Company to make financial agreements on my behalf and without my knowledge.

 

The reason I chose to email you direct is a final act before lodging a complaint with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). I’m concerned about the amount of university/public money being wasted on chasing the original sum of £325. Court applications, lawyer fees and expenses; and the amount of departmental money spent on administration dealing with emails and calls. Not to mention the costs in chasing the fee from The Company before the University choose to pursue me instead. This is the same £325 but double the costs. The costs by now must exceed the original sum of £325.

 

I see from your website that the University want to be seriously considered as a place for businesses to train their staff. The sponsorship program needs to be seriously revised for these situations. It can’t be legal to organise financial agreements on behalf of individuals without their knowledge or approval. The agreement needs to be solely organised with either the employee or solely with the employer, it can’t be organised solely by the employer and then liability passed to the employee without their knowledge.

 

Sorry this is so long winded but I have really tried to keep it as brief as possible. As I mentioned at the start of the email this is the last attempt at hopefully resolving the issue before it goes to court. The accounts receivable department have had numerous chances to help but have chosen to take the legal route.

 

 

I thank you for your time and attention.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What I was really getting at was to what extent it was in the course of your employment, and from what you have said I would say it is, which I think is a point in your favour. My point is that if my employer gets me to go on a course on his initiative, then the cost falls on him.

Also, I am somewhat surprised that a University has issued court papers for a debt of £382, because if you contest it, even if they win, they arent going to realise that much. Perhaps your email to their Principal will have an effect - though, copying it to their Business Development Manager and Dean of the relevant School (Computing) might be an idea as well.

One more question - did YOU SIGN anything at all? If they cant show that you signed anything - and that you didnt (if you didnt) might be at the root of the "its digital" nonsense - then they are going to be thrown back on a term in their T&Cs about what happens when a sponsor fails to cough up. BUT, as I said this is more common for students from abroad and they will have signed a document to the effect that if the sponsor fails to pay then they will be personally liable. So did you sign any documents at all?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi seriously fed up

 

Thanks, that’s what I was thinking. That’s what I have been trying to explain to them, I didn’t organise anything all I did was turn up and get the matriculation card. The company I worked for organised the course with the university, their decision and not on my behalf.

 

I didn’t physically sign anything, no pen to paper. The agreement to pay if my sponsor didn’t was apparently part of the “digital” enrolment.

 

Thanks for your help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just for info, I actually know someone who runs these types of courses and I put your situation to him in a hypothetical sort of way - you know, if company sends employees on a Cisco course and agrees to pay the fees, but gets dissolved before fhe full fees (or any fees) are paid, would the uni chase the students. He said that in these circumstances, "if, at the time of signing up, the Company has agreed (normally some paperwork for this) to pay the fees. " they wouldnt chase the student. So, another tack might be to see what the company signed prior to you starting the course.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for doing that for me. Really apprecite it.

 

Luckily I've managed to track down my old boss so he might be able to hunt that out for me.

 

As I said he's willing to be a witness at court do hopefully that will help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No bother

Actually a sworn statement by him to the effect that the company did agree with the University that the obligation to pay was the company's and the company's alone - or appearing as a witness would be even better - should suffice.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

 

just to give an update.

 

my letter to the principal was successful, they have chosen as an "act of good faith" not to pursue me further for the debt and cancel all court actions.

 

Thanks for your help

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please please please do not take their word for it and give it 7 days and check with the court that they have discontinued.

 

Ans i hope you have the above in writing

Please contact a member of the site team if you are offered help off the forum for a a paid or no win no fee service.

 

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site running

Click here to donate through PayPal (opens in a new window)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Please please please do not take their word for it and give it 7 days and check with the court that they have discontinued.

 

Ans i hope you have the above in writing

 

Hi IdaInFife

 

Thanks, i have a series of emails confirming this, including one advising i dont need to take any further action apart from advising my own legal team.

 

The advised me of this on the 31/01/2011 and i was going to leave it till this monday before chasing it up.

 

Can i contact the court to confirm it has been cancelled?

 

If it hasnt and my return date is the 25/02/2011, who should i chase to cancel the court summons, the uni or the courts?

 

thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes ypu need to confirm with the court that it has been discontined - the court will only take notice from the claimant and if the stauts has not changed by the 17/02 then you will need to get a defense in.

Please contact a member of the site team if you are offered help off the forum for a a paid or no win no fee service.

 

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site running

Click here to donate through PayPal (opens in a new window)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes ypu need to confirm with the court that it has been discontined - the court will only take notice from the claimant and if the stauts has not changed by the 17/02 then you will need to get a defense in.

 

Thanks IdaInFife,

 

i will chase it on monday with the courts, then with their solicitors and the uni.

 

i will get my defense fully ready to be sent off in case the worst happens.

 

i will let you know how i get on, thanks for the advice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

I called the sheriff court this morning. They advised the summons hasn't been cancelled.

 

Called the solicitors taking the action. They confirmed the account with them has been cancelled however the hearing date is still valid and they just call it to be dismissed on that date. I have asked them to confirm this in writing.

 

I have also contacted the uni aswell for further confirmation,

 

Is this the right procedure, seems a further warrants public money to allow the hearing to continue and then dismiss on the date. Can it be cancelled or is this correct.

 

Anything else I should do?

 

Thanks again for the help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

sounds fishy to me - they should be notifying the court asap,

 

I would not be happy with is

 

I'll give SFU a shout

Please contact a member of the site team if you are offered help off the forum for a a paid or no win no fee service.

 

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site running

Click here to donate through PayPal (opens in a new window)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree Ida.

Get back to their lawyers and suggest a jointly agreed motion of absolvitor - that kills the whole thing for ever more. They dont have to wait for the hearing - they just put the papers into court, sheriff signs etc, you get a copy of his judgement and you've won.

If they say yes, insist on a letter/ email confirming this agreement between you.

If they say no, then i would be at the court on the due date ready to defend (with your ex-boss in tow). I would also contact my local newspaper to advise them what their friendly local uni is like and what a bunch of snakes their legal reps are. Or I might just give the Principal a break and give him 24 hours notice of your intention to do this. For what they are chasing you for, its just not worth the bad publicity.

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Guys,

 

really sorry and also selfish of me to not give you an update and a well deserved thank you.

 

The good news is, i managed to get a letter of confirmation that the solictors were going to dismiss the action. I had them send it to the court as well, i was able to call the court and they confirmed their submission of dismissal had been recieved. i didnt appear on the court roll for that day on the court website and the court confirmed the case was dismissed on the day.

 

Called the university, they advised i had an outstanding balance still of the amount pursued, however she back tracked and apologised that there were notes to say it should be credited and the balance set to zero. She apologised this hadnt been done. She offered all this informtion as all i said was i would like to know the balance.

 

So all sorted and cleared.

 

Thanks for your help.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...