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    • Thank you. First of all, this is not chronology so we don't have any sense of the timeline. It's still rather complicated – but maybe when you produce a chronology it will come more into focus. However, there are a few things that we can start to tease out. You say that you accepted £250 in an offer which was intended to reflect distress. Although you say that you accepted this offer mistakenly, it may well be that you have no further rights on this issue because of course it would have been up to you to understand the situation properly before accepting any kind of financial offer. However, it would be useful to understand the reach of this offer and so please could you post up the offer letter by uploading it in PDF format. You say that "high-volume messaging" is not explicitly covered in the terms and conditions – but there may be references to "fair use policy" and it may be an interpretive problem rather than looking for words which specifically match your situation. So it will be helpful to know what words Vodafone were relying upon and also what was the extent of your high-volume messaging. Did they give you any warnings. You say that they referred to terms and conditions which you did not sign. However, it isn't necessary to sign terms and conditions. We would have to understand more about the context – but generally speaking if there is an agreement which refers to terms and conditions from the outset and you then embark upon the agreement and use the services, then all the signs would be that you've accepted the conditions of use. Signed written terms and conditions are generally speaking only required in contracts for property or copyright or shares. You say that the contract was put in your sole name despite the fact that the company name was on the agreement. We don't have a chronology so we don't see how long this went on for and you don't explain why you didn't raise any objections to this – or maybe you did? You say that you have sent Vodafone and Lowell an SAR but "so far" you are waiting for a response. This suggests that you sent the SAR some time ago – but you haven't told us anything about when this might have happened. You are referring to obligations under the Consumer Rights Act but I'm afraid that these obligations refer to contracts between a trader and a consumer – and you are not trading as a consumer so these probably wouldn't apply to you. Finally, you are worried about expressing a claim in legal language. If you begin a small claim then you certainly don't need any legal language – and in fact that kind of approach simply gets in the way. Also, it seems to me that you are gearing up to bring a court claim – which is fine, in my book – but you haven't identified your cause or causes of action and you don't have a plan. I think we need to slow down and have a more careful and methodical look at the situation. Otherwise you're simply going to find yourself in trouble
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Advice for Small Claims Hearing

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This is my first post on this forum.


I have a small claims hearing to try and recover some money from a tradesman who didn't want to honour our contract and kept getting payments out of me before the work stage was complete.


I issued proceeding and he did a bogus counterclaim - reversed all my grievances in his favour


The case has finally reached the hearing stage and I would like some advice.


1) When I sent my defence to the counterclaim, the court helpline told me to send in all my evidence, photos, etc as this would be used in the hearing.


I recently received the hearing date letter and it advised me to send in my witness statement and evidence

- what happened to my evidence I sent in with my defence of the counterclaim?

- will this be in the file and can I use this?


2) What is the normal format of the hearing?


3) How strict will the rules be regarding evidence ?


4) If I am not happy being denied use of my evidence sent in at an earlier time, can I do anything about it, such as ask for a change in date, etc?


Thanks in Advance,



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1) you would not normally have sent any of your evidence et cetera with your defence. I would say that the advice to you to do this is either incorrect or maybe you misunderstood it. You would be required to send all of your evidence as part of a bundle – including a skeleton argument if possible to the other side and to the court – normally 21 days before the hearing date.


2) I'm not sure what you mean by "format". Please have a look in our library and find the court familiarisation guide which tells you something about it and also advises you to make a familiarisation visit.


3) the rules of evidence are not very strict – especially as you are acting as a litigant in person – and I imagine that the other side is in person as well. Is this correct? It is very likely that the judge would take over the hearing and ask each of you in his own questions. Of course you should contribute and try to make your point as much as possible.


4) why are you prevented from using your evidence? Haven't you kept copies of everything that you sent in? If you have a look at our Consumer Survival Handbook available on Amazon, it will give you some good tips about preparing a bundle of evidence, how many copies to take and why, making a familiarisation visit and also about preparing a skeleton argument.

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Hello BankFodder,



Thank you for your reply.



At the time of submitting a defence to the counterclaim against me, I telephoned the court and I was told that I needed to submit all my evidence. I did this and also sent a copy to the other party. So it was filed with the court and the defendant also received a copy, but I'm just worried that I may not be able to use this evidence.



By 'format' I mean the most likely way events will proceed during the hearing, i.e. a timetable of what to expect.



I am a litigant in person but the tradesman will be using a Solicitor.



My reasoning for not being able to use my evidence is because I may have sent it in 'too' early, but at the end of the day it was filed with the court and also sent to the defendant.



Thanks again,


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Thread moved to General Legal Issues.



Illegitimi non carborundum




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have you had a look at the Civil Procedure Rules re small claims disclosure, and other things such as responding to counterclaims etc.

so long as any evidence is relevant (and then admissible), you can use it. and it can be disclosed any time before any rules/orders/directions deadlines if happy to.

as bankfodder says, you'll do a bundle for the day. which will include what you have disclosed.




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