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Claim on the Crown incorrectly served

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I made a complaint against a county court which was uphold by the Ministry of Justice.

As a consequence I issued a claim for compensation.

I sent my claim to the County Court Money Claims Centrer requesting that the claim form was sent back to me so that I serve it myself on the defendant along with my particulars of claim within four months what I did.

 

However I have received a letter from the solicitor of the defendant telling me that my service of the claim form is defective because according to CPR 6.10 I should have sent my claim form to the solicitor acting for the Government Department and not to the Ministry of Justice because it is a claim against the Crown.

 

This letter invites me to serve again my claim but this time on the defendant’s solicitor.

However I am reluctant to do this because it is now more than four months that I issued this claim and it could be struck out at a hearing because of the limitation issue and I could be ordered to pay the cost of the hearing.

I cannot also issue another claim because it will be outside the six years limitation period.

 

I would like to know what to do to save my claim.

 

I would like to know if I can write a letter or make an application to the court asking that it order the defendant to accept that the claim form was properly served on it and to order the defendant to respond to it even though I did not sent it to its representative contrary to CPR 6.10?

Maybe I can put forward the following explanations

 

a) I am a litigant in person and I did not know the CPR contrary to a professional lawyer

 

b) I was not aware that the Ministry of Justice was the Crown

 

c) The address that I used when I made my complaint was always this of the Ministry of Justice so it was difficult for me to imagine that the claim form should be sent to another address

 

d) Maybe I can say that CPR 6.10 is confusing and when it says that we have to serve the claim form on the defendant’s representative this could be interpreted also as being served on the defendant who will pass it to its representative as usually it happens.

We think that we can serve directly on the defendant’s representative or indirectly by sending it to the defendant who will pass it to its representative

 

e) I can maybe say also in this simple letter that anyway the defendant has received my claim and it should have sent it to its representative because its representative replied to me and as a consequence finally my claim has been served on its representative because he has finally received it.

 

 

I can maybe say that if I have not served myself my claim form on the defendant's representative the defendant has served it itself on its representative. And that the defendant want to take advantage of a technicality not to respond to my claim

 

f) Another issue is that the defendant has waiting more than one month after receiving my claim form before its representative informs me that the service of my claim form was defective.

 

 

I would like to know if I can advantage of this if my claim was really defective he should have tell me before or respond to my claim within 14 days of receiving it as required by the CPRs?

 

g) I would like to know also if the fact that I have not complied with CPR 6.10 because I have sent my claim form to the defendant instead of having sent it to its representative is a reason for the defendant to ignore my claim form and not to respond to it because after all its representative has finally been given my claim form by the defendant itself?

 

 

Or this gives the right to the defendant only to make an application to have my claim struck out for this reason or to ask for more costs?

 

The question is whether I have enough grounds to save my claim or it is better that I simply abandon it?

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I think you may be in trouble as CPR 6.10 is clear about serving proceedings against the Crown on the Government Legal Department.

 

You need to speak to the GLD and find out what their intentions are if you serve the papers again. If you're lucky they won't take issue with it.

 

I don't think it'll wash with a Judge that you're a LiP and didn't know the rules as you're supposed to check these things or take legal advice beforehand.

 

You might have some sympathy from the Court though as the Defendant hasn't really been prejudiced.

 

How much is your claim for?

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The Government Legal Department invites me to serve my claim form on it.

 

However according to CPR 7.5 my claim form should be served upon within four months of having been issued and if I serve my claim again I will not comply with this deadline.

 

I can ask the GLD if I serve my claim late on it if it will not make an application to have it strike out but this is very unlikely because it is well known that defendants use any possibilities that they have to strike out a claim.

 

Another possibility is that I made an application under CPR 7.6 for an order extending the period for compliance with rule 7.5. but the issue is that such application should be made within the four months deadline or we have to have a good reason for not having done so.

 

If I do such application I do not know if I can say that I was a litigant in person and I did not know that the Ministry of Justice belongs to the Crown and that the defendant has sustained any prejudice. Or I can put forward any other grounds to which I make reference in my first post

 

My claim is for less than £300 but I intend to increase its value because when I made it I did not know its value but know I have additional information which shows that my claim could be worth more than this

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That's because your other reasons aren't very good. CPR 6.10 isn't ambiguous. It's very clear unfortunately.

 

How much more than £300 do you think your claim is worth?

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It think that it could be worth £9000. I say this because I have found a similar case where the claimant got this amount of compensation

 

I do not know if there could be others grounds that I can use to obtain permission from the court to issue after the four months deadline or it is better I abandon this claim but this will be regrettable because it was difficult for me to imagine that I had to send my claim form to the defendant's representative and not to the defendant because usually it is like that.

Edited by today

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£300 to £9000 is quite some difference.

 

What is your complaint and why do you think you are entitled to £9000 compensation?

 

It's important because if your claim is only worth a few hundred pounds then an application to extend service will cost you more than the claim is worth, even if you are successful.

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Thee is an issue of breach of the Data Protection Act 1998. I found another case where the claimant suffered less breaches of the Data Protection Act than me and got £9000 compensation

 

According to CPR 7.6 such application can be made without notice so it could cost me less

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Not sure that 7.6 applies as you've already served the Claim Form now.

 

Can you be more specific about the DPA breaches?

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The representative of the lawyer of the defendant invites me to serve it again and this time on him which is evidence that my claim has not been officially served because the first service was defective. However if I can prove for the reasons put I forward in my previous posts that it has been served for example because the defendant's representative has been finally given my claim form by the defendant itself it will be good for me

 

I cannot be more specific about the breach of the Data Protection because a question of confidentiality.Moreover this is irrelevant as far as CPR 6.10 is concerned

Edited by today

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Well you seem to know all the answers already, why are you on here then?

 

And the nature of the DPA breaches are relevant. You somehow think you're claim is worth £9000 (it's probably not) and asked if you should abandon your claim as you've made a mistake in not serving it correctly within limitation. The financial value of your claim is directly related to that.

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. I found a another ('similar' you say) case where the claimant .....got £9000 compensation

 

are you thinking of that Brown v Police case...?


IMO

:-):rant:

 

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Yes even though my case is against the Ministry of Justice but not against the Police

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Yes even though my case is against the Ministry of Justice but not against the Police

ok

how are your circs similar to attract the same level of damages. there were a number of issues, not just the dpa, there apparently;

'...The (county court) award covered both breaches under the DPA and the HRA and a claim for misuse of private information on the basis that the claims arose on the same facts....'

without you being more specific, replies can't be more specific. up to you.

that aside, seems things still firstly depend on whether your claim has been/will be properly served.


IMO

:-):rant:

 

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In this case the female police officer was awarded £9000 only because a breach of confidentiality about where she went on holidays. It seem to me that the breach of confidentiality that I have sustained is more important than that. Even if maybe I do not deserve £9000 this case shows that it is likely that I deserve more than the very small amount I claim initially. However this is not the main issue because the main issue is what can I say in my application form to convince the court to give me permission to serve my claim form after the four months to which it is made reference in CPR 7.5

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It is the main issue.

 

If you're claim is worth £300 then it might not be financially viable to continue as the costs of the application will very likely exceed the amount claimed. If this is the case you might be best to abandon the claim.

 

However, if your claim is worth £9000 then it might be worth the costs of making an application if you're still going to get £8000 for example.

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.... However this is not the main issue because the main issue is what can I say in my application form to convince the court to give me permission to serve my claim form after the four months to which it is made reference in CPR 7.5

i edited my post re being firstly whether your claim gets in. :)


IMO

:-):rant:

 

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I am of the opinion that my claim is also worth £9000 but anyway certainly more than £300. However my claim is worth nothing if I am not able to convince the court to give me permission to serve my claim after the four months deadline. and in order to achieve this I need to know which good arguments to put in my application form

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I would like to know if someone knows others cases similar to the Brown v Police case.

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In the Notice of Issue which was sent to me by the County Court Money Claims Centre along with my claim form it is stated that I have to serve the defendant within 4 months of the date of issue. However it is not stated that I have to serve the claim form on the representative of the defendant. Hence I would like to know if I can use this as evidence to get permission from the court to serve my claim on the representative of the defendant after the four months deadline because I have followed the instructions which were stated in the Notice of Issue when I served the claim form on the defendant and not on its representative

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it seems that your claim was, according to cpr, as you pointed out, not applicable for MCOL. mcol is not for claims against the crown (PD 7E para 5) (even when choosing to serve oneself).

you need to address that. not re the 'four months', and trying to get an extension on that. it seems your claim was wrongly proceeded/issued in the first place (PD7E para 5). (maybe what their solicitor was referring to re reservice)?

Edited by dx100uk
4 to 5..dx

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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In the Notice of Issue which was sent to me by the County Court Money Claims Centre along with my claim form it is stated that I have to serve the defendant within 4 months of the date of issue. However it is not stated that I have to serve the claim form on the representative of the defendant. Hence I would like to know if I can use this as evidence to get permission from the court to serve my claim on the representative of the defendant after the four months deadline because I have followed the instructions which were stated in the Notice of Issue when I served the claim form on the defendant and not on its representative

 

No, that's not a good enough reason for failing to serve correctly in my opinion.

 

The terms Defendant and Defendant's Solicitor are interchangeable. When it says serve on the Defendant (Crown) then you must serve on their Solicitor (Government Legal Department).

 

Was your claim issued via Money Claim Online?

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You say that the term defendant and defendant’s solicitor are interchangeable. However these two terms are not interchangeable in CPR 6.10. Therefore as it stands the contents of the Notice of Issue is misleading

 

I think that the writer of the Notice of Issue could have been more helpful because he makes reference to the CPR when he says that we have to serve the claim form within four months of the date of issue but he should have put forward fully the CPR by saying also that we have to serve on the defendant’s solicitor and not on the defendant because this was also an important piece of information which can make a claimant loses his claim if it is not complied with

 

My claim was not issued on-line

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The Court cannot and will not give you legal advice on this like how to correctly serve proceedings and on whom. You are supposed to know this prior to issuing/serving so I don't think this argument is a good one.

 

Please scan and post the Notice of Issue so we can check, but I suspect that it is just the standard pro forma notice.

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The issue is not whether or not the court can give legal advice but if it provides information it should do this fully and correctly or provide no information at all. Otherwise people will believe the information given even if it is not correct. Instead of stating in the Notice of Issue that I have to serve my claim form within four months of the date of issue on the defendant it should have stated me that I have to serve it on the defendant's representative or tell me nothing and I would have done search about how to serve it. I have simply trusted what was stated in the Notice of Issue and it avers that this information was wrong

 

I cannot send you a copy of the Notice of Issue because it contains confidential information but I think that it is a standard one which I think need to be amended to avoid claimants being misled

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Good luck with that, the standard Notice of Issue is used thousands of times a year and so you'll have to convince the Court they are wrong and misleading.

 

You can easily redact any personal information before posting the Notice of Issue.

  • Haha 1

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