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being struck out? - suing a builder, without legal representation


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Hello

I am suing a builder, without legal representation, so it has been a very steep learning curve!

 

Late November, and most of December 2017 I was ill wilth Flu combined with Shingles - the latter affecting eyesight.

I know this was a stress thing.

 

My question really is that documents should have been exchanged on 14th November 2017,

i attended Defendant's solicitors (partly to keep my costs down) at the correct time and date and saw defendant's Solicitor's assistant - Solicitor was busy!

 

I duly handed over my information, none forthcoming from the other side.

I was not unduly worried as such because I thought perhaps that was how it worked!

 

Around the 5th/6th December I received a large envelope from Defendant's solicitors with paperwork in it,

these being the documents that should have been exchanged before.

 

My only real questionable thing about them was a couple of the items included were from MY information,

which he did'nt have before my visit to exchange!

 

I received a letter on the 8th December,

from the Defendant's Solicitor telling me the case had been "struck out"and enclosing the bill for Defendant's costs!

 

I contacted the CCMCC and was told that I needed to pay £100 to ? (I can't remember the wording).

I sent this off, contacted other party's solicitors and told them i had done this.

I never knew why it was struck out - only defendant's solicitor told me this.

 

I received a letter from CCMCC saying that the actual cost was £255 (!) so I sent that off.

Again speaking to CCMCC it appears that everything is continuing forward so I take it no longer "struck out".

 

Now that I am actually feeling better,

I have been able to think things through a little bit more logically,

a huge amount of time double checking on the internet

- am i too late in requesting this case be "struck out" because of non-compliance by defendant's solicitors?

 

It is entirely my fault that i did not pick up on the "non-compliance" item about exchanging documents

- although the more i do think about it, I now believe it was deliberate because i didn't know any better.

Any advice would be really welcome

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If (as seems likely) you are the claimant (since you are asking about having the case “‘struck out’ because of non-compliance by defendant's solicitors”, then I doubt you want the claim struck out, surely you want it to continue?

 

If you are in fact the defendant and you lose purely because of negligence by your solicitors, then you want wasted costs against them and to persue them for negligence.

 

I think you may have confused yourself with the terminology. How about you say what it is you want as an outcome, avoiding legalese, and the respondents here can provide the legalese for you!

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I am happy to be rid of "legalese".

 

the case was "struck out" (not my language) for reasons that I do not and did not understand,

but I wanted the case to go ahead - I am the claimant.

 

So far, I believe that this case is continuing.

I am seeking redress for disastrous building works.

 

My query about the "struck out" item was,

if the defendant's solicitors did not comply with all the times and dates for things to be done by

- exchanging information,

completing forms etc by specific dates ,

and ceertainly the courts seem to be sticklers for staying within the rules,

then would I not have a case for having this found in my favour,

making the defendant liable,

without a hearing?

 

Does that make sense?

 

This is just a "i wonder if" type of query.

 

he outcome is for me to get back some of the £24k for a bathroom that has leaked since installation,

and a new kitchen that has a damaged ceiling, walls and floor from water damage and a fair bit of re-plastering.

 

Other work was done at the same time which is fine.

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If you had requested an “unless order”* at the time, you might have got their defence struck out (not ‘the case’ struck out)

You can ask now, but it isn’t really worth it given:

a) there is the cost of the application, and

b) given they have now complied, it is very unlikely the court will strike out their defence.

 

* unless order : you ask the Court to issue an order that (without you having to go back to Court) the court will issue judgment in your favour UNLESS they comply with the directions imminently.

 

(The usual format is along the lines of “Unless the defendant do file & serve by , the defence will be struck out and summary judgment issued without a further hearing”)

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Thank you BazzaS.

 

All helpful and in English!

 

I was very late in even noticing the error.

 

I didn't even know there was a difference between getting the defence "struck out" and the case "struck out"!

 

Hopefully I will never have to go this route again for anything,

 

and firmly believe that all is continuing and the end is in sight

- well

- in a couple of months!

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  • 2 months later...

A quick note to add! The case should not have been "struck out" at all. Error on CCMCC part in that all paperwork HAD been sent, by recorded delivery, 15 days before "cut off" date, and the CCMCC mislaid them!

I have had my £255 fee returned to me!

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If this case is still continuing, could you post up a copy of your claim form in PDF format and also copy of the defence.

 

Also, if you feel that it was struck out at some point and then restored – there must be an instruction/order from the court. If you haven't seen these then I suggest that you contact the court and explain to them that you haven't seen anything and you'd like copies.

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hello

There is a hearing on the 26th April (allocated 30 mins) to see if the case should go ahead having been "struck out".

The case was "struck out" because of alleged missing paperwork from me. I appealed that decision and sent the appropriate appeal forms and cheque for £255.

Meanwhile, I found that the paperwork allegedly missing had indeed been sent by me, recorded delivery, well within time constraints, and filed wrongly by the CCMCC - this happens sometimes.

I have been refunded the £255.There really is no reason for the case not to continue

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I am working on using PDF - not very computer literate.

I was informed by defendant's solicitors that case had been struck out - nothing from Court at all.

Should be speaking to CCMCC tomorrow.

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spoke to both local court and CCMCC - the hearing is going ahead. I just think it a bit of a waste of money but I will be attending to be sure that they have correct and up-to-date information!

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just a little more info! Got the date wrong! The hearing is tomorrow morning, not today as I thought! What I have received

today is a copy of the defendant's statement of costs which defendant's solicitors are filing with the Court regarding the hearing-which amounts to £1563.60 !

So, do I need to do anything different than what I was going to do today - i.e. turn up, plead my case if needed, only allocated 30 mins! Do I need to present some form of bill - I have basic costs like paper, postage etc. A lot of my time but defendant's solicitor charging £185.00 an hour! Any advice would be gratefully received

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just a little more info! Got the date wrong! The hearing is tomorrow morning, not today as I thought! What I have received

today is a copy of the defendant's statement of costs which defendant's solicitors are filing with the Court regarding the hearing-which amounts to £1563.60 !

So, do I need to do anything different than what I was going to do today - i.e. turn up, plead my case if needed, only allocated 30 mins! Do I need to present some form of bill - I have basic costs like paper, postage etc. A lot of my time but defendant's solicitor charging £185.00 an hour! Any advice would be gratefully received

 

I note that a while back you were asked to provide a copy of your claim and their defence. I can’t see where you have done do, so there has been no discussion of their defence .....

 

Is tomorrow’s hearing a case management hearing or the actual case being heard?

 

If the case being heard: Have you submitted a witness statement highlighting any errors in their defence? If you want to do so (you’ve said you want to “turn up, plead my case if needed”), if you haven’t provided details in your claim and/or in a witness statement, the other side can ask the judge to ignore anything introduced only at the last minute / “in ambush”.

 

hello

There is a hearing on the 26th April (allocated 30 mins) to see if the case should go ahead having been "struck out".

 

Sounds like a case management hearing, unless they have applied for a summary judgment that your claim has no realistic prospect of success.

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witness statements were provided around October/November 2017., everything I needed to do has been done. As far as I am aware the 30 min hearing is to see if this should continue.

I am the claimant and I want this to go ahead - would that be a case management hearing? If I have read Case Management information correctly, I got the impression that this was not used as much where claimant/defendant have no legal representation?

The wording on the letter is:- Notice of Hearing Application

 

followed by - " The hearing of the claimant's application for appeal against decision to strike out claim will take place at 10:00 AM at ......................couny court. Time Estimate 30 minutes".

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So this is not your case being heard, or a case management conference.

 

Your case was struck out (i.e. closed) by the Court. In your post #8 you said this was because you didn't send in some documents. You then made an application to Court to effectively reverse that decision and reinstate your Case.

 

Please can you tell us what documents it is alleged you didn't send??

 

This is what tomorrows hearing is - "The hearing of the claimant's application for appeal against decision to strike out claim" i.e. to decide whether your case should remain closed or be reinstated.

 

So you need to turn up tomorrow with evidence that you did send whatever documents the Court wanted you to send on time - i.e. the recorded delivery confirmation, signed for confirmation etc. You must tell the Court that the decision to strike out your claim is therefore wrong, as you did not fail to send in the documents.

 

As this is an error by the Court, ask the Judge to reverse the decision to strike out the case.

 

With regards to the Defendant's costs, if they ask for them to be paid by you, you must tell the Judge that the strike out of the case was down to an error of the Court and therefore you must not be penalised for that by paying the Defendant's costs.

 

This response is entirely based on what you said in post #8. If anything in your post #8 is incorrect or incomplete you need to post up here chapter and verse as to what happened leading up to your case being struck out.

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Hello

Well - interesting hearing.

The paperwork involved was the directions questionnaire.

I completed and sent in my completed form about the second week in October 2017. (not recorded delivery). I received notification from the Courts that this needed to be in by ? date.

I re-sent all the information again, this time by recorded delivery, which was received (i.e. signed for) at Salford. It was well within time constraints by about three weeks.

Informed struck out early December. Appealed this decision (but before i knew what paperwork was allegedly missing).

I became concerned that the cheque for the appeal had not yet gone through the bank, so phoned,In January 2018 (can take up to 20 working days.)

 

The aside was, from me, could i be informed what it was that was missing. Told it was the directions questionnaire.

Informed CCMCC that I had indeed sent off the paperwork, twice, second one recorded and signed for.

I then applied for refund of fee (February) because I am on a limited income plus possible to have refund if Courts make a mistake.

I received the refund.

 

The hearing: As I said I received a bill from the defendant's solicitors for the hearing. The defendant, his partner and also company secretary, and his Solicitor were there.

 

I spoke to the Judge and told him that the paperwork had been received by CCMCC, signed for, and it was an error on the CCMCC part - it had been mis-filed or something similar, therefore should not have been "struck out".

I also had with me the counterfol for the refund, which had the case number on it.

The paperwork was shown to the defendant's Solicitor, then the Judge ( complete with receipts).

The Judge's comment was that he needed to think about it over the weekend-it was unusual for CCMCC to refund monies, however they do if a mistake has been made! Which clearly happened in this case.

The defendant's Solicitor then said that he felt that they could not pursue keeping the case struck out when clearly a genuine mistake had been made, by the Courts, and that I had not done anything wrong, therefore I understood that to mean the Defendant's Solicitor was withdrawing from the hearing.

 

My daughter was in the waiting room when we all came out and she told me that the Defendant had a face like a smacked ****. Her words not mine!

 

I am aware that this is not a cause for celebration and seriously want this to go ahead, but I did freel a slight lift when I said the Courts had made an error ( and it does happen) and I could, and did, prove it, and the Defendant's solicitor withdrew.

 

(My grand-daughter's partner is going to help me with the PDF thing)

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Firstly, please could you be more careful about spacing your posts. I've edited your story this time but you should understand that posting almost solid blocks of text makes it extremely difficult for other people to read and it tends to dull their enthusiasm to give you the advice that you need.

 

You say that it's not a cause for celebration – but actually I think you've done extremely well so a big round of applause. You've also learned that although the County Court's are a pretty decent system, they are hopelessly inefficient and lost and mis-filed documents are an extremely common occurrence. You should protect yourself at all times by doublechecking with the courts by telephone a week or so after you send documents off to make sure they have got them. When you do this, you should have implemented the advice in our customer services guide beforehand.

 

I think it is about time now we's new something about the case. We can probably help you a great deal but we don't know anything about the issues involved – what you have claimed or what they have responded with.

 

Scanning material to a PDF file is not at all difficult. If you don't have a scanner then you should go to PC World and buy one for £50 and start scanning. We give hundreds of pounds worth of advice here for free and all we ask is that you have the ordinary cheap equipment to be able to help us to help you as efficiently as possible.

 

Your story here suggest to me that you have now completed a vital stage in the proceedings and you are now ready to go onto the next stage. For that reason I suggest that you start a new thread and even before you have posted the PDF documents, that you tell us the story of what has happened and why you decided to bring the legal action.

 

This will give us a head start. If you can do that today – then it will give us all something to think about why you sort out the scans and the PDFs.

 

New thread please

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Well done. Did the Judge say anything about handing down directions? Diections would be the timetable for the rest of the case leading up to the trial and that is what would normally happen next if the court process the directions questionnaires correctly.

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Please will you start a new thread and simply tell us the story. That would be extremely helpful.

 

Also, are you in England?

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Scanning material to a PDF file is not at all difficult. If you don't have a scanner then you should go to PC World and buy one for £50 and start scanning. We give hundreds of pounds worth of advice here for free and all we ask is that you have the ordinary cheap equipment to be able to help us to help you as efficiently as possible..

 

Save yourself £40+ If you have an iPhone or Android phone, unless you need to scan lots of pages (in which case a scanner is a good idea, provided it has a document feeder and [if needs be] can cope with double-sided originals).

 

I use TurboScan on an iPhone.

http://www.macnn.com/articles/15/02/16/turboscan.turns.your.iphone.into.a.high.quality.portable.scanner/

 

There are similar apps for Android:

https://www.howtogeek.com/166610/who-needs-a-scanner-scan-a-document-to-pdf-with-your-android-phone/

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  • 1 month later...

My sincere apologies for failing to respond sooner-I spent a few days in hospital then recuperated , however quite well now.

I have to supply a standard disclosure of documents to defendants solicitors'. I am reading this to mean just that - not the whole documentation again?

My list is much the same as originally, defendant's has other things added!

Just need to add that Printer(also scanner) has died, so hopefully getting new one monday or tuesday then i can forward you what you thought would be helpful.

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If we knew the value of the claim and what track this has been allocated to would be helpful.

 

 

Andy

We could do with some help from you.

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