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Howard Cohen obtained judgement - Help

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This is my first time ever on CAG so please forgive me if I come across green.

I do not know if this is the correct place to raise my issue. This concerns Companies House and my

Dad’s company.

The problem I have at the moment is that just before Christmas Companies House took his company to court for late submission of accounts and won. He was not represented and was not able to attend court. There are two people in his company – the other being his brother who is paralysed after recovering from a brain haemorrhage. He has no one working for him. He’s been pretty much on his own since his brother went into a coma. And since my father has been ill, his company has not really been very active, though it had not ceased trading.

Whilst he’s been ill, I have been trying to sort things out for him and learnt of the late filing penalty.

But regarding the court case, I could not find and did not know the date of the hearing. No letters were received from the court. I tried to phone the court to find out but could not get through. I wrote to the court but did not get a reply. Finally, I found out the hearing date from a letter from Companies House. I received the letter on a Saturday but the hearing was on the following Tuesday.

I tried to find out what to do over that weekend. To cut a long story short, I was advised to submit an application to postpone the hearing on the basis that the only two officials of the company were both unable to defend nor attend court due to their illness by submitting form N244. I submitted this application which was accepted by the court. However the hearing date was the following day and the judge decided in favour of Companies House. The judge made no mention of my application to postpone the hearing – only that the defendants did not attend.

The reason Companies House gave for pursuing this case (even though they can see the doctors sick notes and letters) was that my dad was “well” in the critical period before the accounts were to be submitted. This is true – he was late in filing his accounts for 2006/7 and 8 .

I found it hard to understand why the judge/court would not consider my application? After all, it was submitted in time. I can only assume that it was because the solicitors for Companies House was present.

My first question is what I can do now as far as the judgement is concerned.?

Should I submit another N244 form to apply to have the judgement set aside ?

On the basis that we did not hear of the case till 3 days before – so we could not even prepare a defence… (not just because of lack of time but because the only person who could prepare a defence is my dad and he was unable to do so.)

My second question is how can I negotiate with Companies House regarding the judgement and the repayment of the penalty?

I did suggest to my father to forget about this and liquidate, but he said he will lose all his investment. It would really kill my dad to put the company into liquidation as this is the one thing that’s been keeping him going. He was diagnosed as suffering from severe depression. We think he had a breakdown around March 2010. I am sorry to say that we did not know what was wrong and how ill he was until much later. But in retrospect, he must have been in a real bad way for months

Many unfortunate things happened to my dad which lead to this and I wont go into that.

My dad was actually getting better slowly as we were all spending a lot of time with him but this issue with the Companies House really knocked him back and he had another breakdown leading up to the court case.

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thank you



I have a problem with speaking to CH and entering into a negotiation as I do not know what can be afforded. In your opinion, is there no way we can apply for the judgement to be set aside or a stay as my father was not able to attend and defend and we did receive the date of the hearing very late.



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  • 2 weeks later...


Can anyone help me with this please - is there a nything i can do to apply for the judgement to be set aside or a stay since it appears that they took no notice of our submission at the time of the hearing that my father was really ill. The irony is that his doctor wrote a letter to that effect.

many thanks/M

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