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Help Appealing a Small Claims Judgement!


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The Defendant lost the case today and we're still reeling from the decision.


In brief:



  1. The claim was on the small claims track (circa £2800). The Claimant was represented by a barrister.
  2. The Defendant asked that I could act as her Lay Representative so that I could assist with presentation of the case. This was denied but I was allowed to act as a McKenzie Friend and perform a limited amount of presentation and cross examination for the Defendant.
  3. The Claimant's barrister completely steam-rollered the Defendant and was utterly relentless with questioning, so much so the Defendant could not keep pace. I was not allowed to help whatsoever, even to assist in highlighting evidence within the Defendant's bundle so that she could then respond to a question. When I tried to do this I was told to sit away from the Defendant for the duration of the cross examination.
  4. Part of the Defence involved relying on the Doorstep Selling Regulations as the contract was formed inside the Defendant's home with the trader. Trading Standards had previously told us the contract was unenforceable as per these Regulations (specifically Regulation 7).
  5. The Claimant admitted to failing to adhere to these Regulations in their Reply to the Defence.
  6. The Judge ruled that Regulation 6 applied to the contract as the trader visit was solicited by the Defendant, hence the contract was enforceable.
  7. On the topic of poor workmanship, the Judge ruled that although there were aspects of poor workmanship only a small amount was deducatble from the Claimant's invoices, despite clear evidence to the contrary i.e. the fact we have paid a third party to resolve the problems.
  8. The Judge made several key mistakes with the evidence in her judgement, refering to incorrect documents and also recalling previous statements made within the hearing incorrectly.
  9. The Defendant has been ordered to pay the Claimant despite already paying another contractor to finish and remedy the poor workmanship, around £2800 including costs.

All-in-all, we felt that the Judge has failed to consider all the evidence in the case. There are a ton of mistakes in the final judgement that are at odds with the evidence provided by both parties. The Defendant was bullied into submission by the Claimant's barrister and this was allowed to happen despite the fact the Defendant is litigant in person and she was denied a lay representative. The Judge has also made a clear mistake with the law and has taken Regulation 6 completely out of context. It did not apply to this contract!


Where the heck do we go from here? The Defendant recently lost her job (Compulsary redundancy) and has spent all her money getting the problems resolved with a third party? We feel absolutely let-down by the legal system - the hearing was a total farce from start to finish.

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