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School/MTA Solicitors Schools Fees Claimforms Received


ritesaidfred
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they sent a generic registration form for a place on the school waiting list,  a generic parent contract with I/We at the bottom, a generic form letter for 'offer of place with full fees' and another for 'offer of place with scholarship'

 

All blank and undated, so quite possibly not the version of the contract that would have been signed.

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  • dx100uk changed the title to School/MTA Solicitors Schools Fees Claimforms Received

If you would scan redact and upload a copy of the Notice of Allocation (N157) containing the court directions that would be of great assistance in advising you how to prepare for the next stage.

 

Andy

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Can't attach a photo here for some reason and my OCR can't read the photo I have, but basically it says:


 

Quote

 

District Judge X has considered the statements of case & directions questionnaire and has allocated to small claims track.

 

Warning: you must comply with the terms of this order or your case may be struck out or other sanctions imposed. If you cannot comply you should make formal application before the deadline unless the following paragraph applies.

 

CPR 3.8(4) permits the parties by prior written agreement to extend the time for any step in this Order by up to 28 days as long as it doesn't endanger the hearing date.

 

IT IS ORDERED THAT:

 

1. The matter is allocated to small claims track.

 

2. The case is suitable for mediation, to accept within 7 days of this order.....

 

3.  The parties must inform the court immediately if they settle.

 

4. By 4pm 13 May the parties are to send each other and the court a bundle of documents they intend to rely upon at the trial. The bundle shall contain at least the following documents:

 

* All correspondence, copies of emails, contracts invoices, receipts, etc.

 * Photographs if relied on

* Witness statements from the parties and any other witness whose evidence will be relied upon at trial. A witness statement must be prepared even if witness is attending trial. A witness statement is a document which tells the court what an individual can tell the course about the case. It should be signed if possible and include a statement of truth "I believe the facts...."

 

5. If the parties fail to comply with 4. the court may decided not to take into account any evidence later produced and/or strike out their case.

 

6. No expert evidence is permitted, except by application.

 

7. All original documents must be brought to the trial.

 

8. Take notice that any party affected by this order may apply to have it set aside within 7 days of the order.

 

Date 7 April 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

presumably something along the lines of:

 

Witness statement of ex-wife:

 

I am mother of child X. I am from a foreign country and speak English poorly. My ex-husband took all decisions during the marriage such as the school and managed the finances. I was divorced with decree nisi on date and decree absolute on date and consent order on date. I do not believe that I signed any contract with the school, and therefore cannot be found liable for any breach because I am not party to the contract.

 

I filed a CPR 31.14 request to obtain a copy of the contract on date specifically requesting evidence that I was party to a contract with the claimant, however they supplied only a set of generic documents which could be signed by one or both parents.

 

As I am divorced from the first defendant with a final consent order, I do not accept any kind of liability for contracts signed by him.

 

Prior to the school term in question my (ex-) husband paid the school fees. During the school term in question my daughter did not go to school, and I had to provide lunch for her, the cost of which is included in the school fees. I enclose a variety of exhibits showing that the normal cost of school lunches alone for a private school in the area is £x. My daughter did not attend school at all during the period in question.

 

<statement of truth>

 

Witness statement of me:

 

I am father of child X. I left the UK on date, and was not present during this period. I chose the school in 2007 for my first child Y, and then my second child X, joined later. I think it likely that I signed some paperwork but I am living overseas and do not have any copies of this. A CPR 31.14 request was filed to obtain the contract the claimant purports to rely on, but only blank forms have been provided. It seems unlikely that during the entire period in question the school did not update its paperwork, and I see no reason to accept the blank forms as evidence of a contract.

 

Although I was not in the UK in the period in question, I was told by my child that there was no school during this time. 

 

<statement of truth>

 

Witness statement of child:

 

I went to school A from 2010 to 2020. During the final term we would have expected to sit the Common Entrance exam, attend prize giving, and take part in sporting activities.  None of this happened.

 

<statement of truth>

 

 

 

----

 

Then I have various emails from the school asking for payment. Presumably I include those for completeness' sake. 

 

Do I need to restate my argument about the 'debt collection fees' and interest in my witness statement? I.e. I do not believe that there were such terms in the contract, and if it should be found that there were, I believe they would be in breach of the Unfair Contract Terms regulations, and hence not enforceable.

 

I will also include:

 

a) divorce paperwork (nisi, absolute, consent order)

 

Other things I have is:

 

a) details of hardship bursary from daughter's current school

b) details of hardship bursary from son's university

c) letter from son's last school saying that they had written off the fees on the basis of hardship.

 

I am not sure if it's worthwhile to include this - the school sent an email demanding a reply in 7 days or they would pass it on to debt collectors and I replied on the 8th day;

 

I think they were prepared to delay the payment, but I'm not sure if it's really relevant that we have got hardship bursaries, in that the school suing us obviously isn't obligated to hand out any bursary if it doesn't want to, so it just comes down to contract law I think?

 

Questions then:

 

* case has been allocated to local county court - can we just email the standard court email address with the document bundle, or does it have to be posted or sent to some local email address

 

* given that we are two defendants with one defendant claiming no liability at all, should we make two almost identical bundles duplicating all documents except for the witness statements,  just file a single bundle for the two of us, or file both a joint bundle and separate one (perhaps consisting only of witness statements).

 

* if I send the documents at the last minute by email, but  don't receive anything from the claimant, is it possible for me to directly apply at 4pm to have the case thrown out

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Quote

Questions then:

 

* case has been allocated to local county court - can we just email the standard court email address with the document bundle, or does it have to be posted or sent to some local email address Check with your Local County Court if they will accept electronic submission..but its always best to file hard copies also

 

* given that we are two defendants with one defendant claiming no liability at all, should we make two almost identical bundles duplicating all documents except for the witness statements,  just file a single bundle for the two of us, or file both a joint bundle and separate one (perhaps consisting only of witness statements).

Have both defendants been served Notice of allocation or one between you ?

 

* if I send the documents at the last minute by email, but  don't receive anything from the claimant, is it possible for me to directly apply at 4pm to have the case thrown out...yes if they have failed to file with the court also.

 


Andy

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I've come up with a fairly detailed statement. 

 

it seems to me that I could reasonable argue that the school provided half (or whatever) of the services they were supposed to, so I should pay half.

 

The question is should I just put that sort of reasoning (admission?) in my statement? Or, should I be concentrating on asking them to prove their agreement with me? 

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Appears to me that the school will evidence that there was a contract in place as you paid for several years of schooling.  There is then a period when you were unable to pay the school fees and the argument is about the performance of the contract. Because the school could not provide the education services in the normal way, they will have provided adapted service, with remote teaching being provided using online video and electronically providing course work.

 

 

 

 

 

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Can anyone help me about the issue of ' bundle of documents'

I phoned the court but IDK if it's a Skype thing or a problem on their end but both times my call was cut off after 15 minutes, 2 seconds.

 

I emailed the court email address and got two automated replies.

 

One said:

Quote

 

HOW DO I LODGE DOCUMENTS FOR MY HEARING?

The preferred option is by email. 

Bundles will not be rejected but if they are large, but please send them in 2 or 3 parts.

 

 

The other one had an attachment to it which is this document here:

 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/412868/response/1004542/attach/3/HMCTS use of e mail guidance for stakeholders.pdf


 

Quote

 

What documents can be sent by email? You can send all letters and documents relevant to the case including adoption cases. However, due to the sensitive nature of adoption work the court will only send emails to secure email accounts

 

Please note that court bundles are not part of this process and we will not print them. Some Local Authorities are piloting the use of Cloud-based 'E-bundle' storage solutions that allow all parties involved in a case to view and download the evidence electronically. This is different to the receipt of bundles by email.

 

 

I am not sure what is meant by the bold paragraph

 

My ex has sent me some photos of pages, because she doesn't know how to use the scanner.

 

Do I need to convert these into PDF or something? Or does it not really matter.

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you need to email your WS as a PDF file by 4pm tomorrow to the court 

however what you have put up so far is not a WS and arguing the the school did not provide 'proper' education is not a valid excuse.

 

MCOL is only one way of responding to a claim. 
(AOS, DEFENCE, N180 etc)
.
If you are having problems logging in, or would prefer not to use MCOL, 
you can fax, email or post your response to the Court instead. 

If you send your response by e mail 
please send it to [email protected] 

ensure you quote “Claim number xxx xxx (type of response i'e AOS , Defence, N180,)” in the subject field. 
.

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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however what you have put up so far is not a WS and arguing the the school did not provide 'proper' education is not a valid excuse.

 

Not sure what you mean here?

I've put together a 3-page statement which describes the services that the school would normally provide (various meals, a final examination, etc.), that certain features of the final term were why we chose to stay at the school until Y8 rather than leave after Y6, and that they didn't provide them, and hence I'm claiming breach of contract.

I've noted that they gave a 10% discount (notified ahead of time) on the basis of cutting certain services. 

 

Obviously the judge can decide in the school's favour, but I don't understand what you mean by 'valid' excuse.  I've not paid.

 

I need to give some justification, as I don't think 'I can't afford to pay' is relevant at all, I've said 'we would have left after Y6, but didn't because of these inducements, which have not now been provided, along with failing to provide various elements of the service'. Obviously if the judge decides that nothing I've said is relevant, then so be it. 

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both of those statements are admitting the debt, just that you each don't believe you owe the full claimed amount.

 

it might be better to take advantage of the negotiating time you still left before the hearing to do a consent order each.

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Posted (edited)

My ex-wife is not admitting any debt. She's saying the contract is with me alone. She has filed a fairly simple statement to that effect, while I'm filing a much fuller one discussing the actual services.

 

Currently I just want to make sure that paperwork is filed in time. If the claimant fails to file their paperwork as ordered I would then try to get the case thrown out.

 

If they do file, or I can't get it thrown out then obviously I can see if they are interested in settling in some way, but that's not to the next goal.

Edited by ritesaidfred
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So you accept that you had a contract with the school in your name alone for the period x to y.  However, you state that the school breached the contract for reasons 1,2,3 etc, therefore you do not admit liability for the claim amount stated.

 

This is not a case of a breach of contract meaning you owe zero  but deciding how much you owe based on services provided.

We could do with some help from you.

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Have submitted bundles

 

Would now like to apply to have the case struck out because we have not received a trial bundle from the claimant.

 

What's the best way to do this? It seems that email is not really responded to quickly, but maybe that is the best way?

 

I guess I can write a letter along the lines of:

Application to strike out case:

It was ordered by District Judge X on 7 April 2021, that the parties in the case file a trial bundle by 13 May 2021 at 4pm. It was further ordered that if this was not complied with the case may be struck out. 

While it is provided under CPR 3.8(4) that steps in the Order may be extended up to 28 days with prior written agreement, the claimant has failed to send any kind of correspondence whatsoever, either requesting extension of the time for the steps, or by directly complying with the Order to file a trial bundle.

The defendants have both filed trial bundles as ordered, and therefore the 1st defendant asks that the case is struck out in accordance with CPR 3.4(2(c)), on the basis of the claimant's failure to comply with the Order of 7 April 2021.

Should I just send this to the court? No need to send to the defendant?

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Must be done by way of an application with fee but it wil be pointless making that application on the same day due as they will always allow leniency to a certain degree.

 

Best to check with your court say Monday and see if they filled with them and by which time they may have served you also.

 

Andy

We could do with some help from you.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I spoke to the court previously and they said that the late bundle doesn't allow you to strike the case out, just have the evidence disregarded. So a bit of a dead-end. Anyway, bundle was filed by them.

 

Have received letter about Cloud Video hearing, ordering claimant to pay £335 hearing fee by 15 June.

 

Presumably I would have to pay that if I lose, even if they win less than the full amount claimed.

 

Is there normal practice for that fee? Presumably claimant would hope I pay the full amount and delay payment till the last minute, because once they've paid it, there's no longer any point in settling because it's non-refundable.  Is there some sort of best practice about making an offer of settlement? Send solicitor offer to pay £2k or whatever without prejudice?

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Its normal that the claimant adds the hearing fee to its final costs once the claim has concluded....up until judgment the fee is the claimants responsibility...and none of the defendants concern.

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Ok but what happens if I make the offer, the claimant accepts, and as a result of that they don't pay the hearing fee, which means the case gets struck out, and then I don't actually pay the amount claimed.


Presumably they can get the case restored? Or is there a formal way to make the settlement in this case which is safe for both parties (I'm not planning to not pay up, I guess I just want to get the wording correct of my offer so that I'm bound by it.)

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I should imagine the claimant would want your full liability for the the debt confirmed by you in writing, with the reduced offer having conditional terms and possibly some payment before the date the hearing fee is due.

 

If you then failed to agree with written agreement re liability and failed to make payment before the hearing date, they would just proceed, paying the hearing fee.

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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consent order time?

 

 

dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi

Ex wife and myself both submitted evidence bundles a few weeks ago  with evidence bundle 

Hearing is upcoming soon

I think my wife is not wanting to appear (virtually) because of language issues etc. My daughter I think would not like to either, although she has submitted a witness statement.

 

Claimant has submitted a hearing bundle having already submitted a evidence bundle. Hearing bundle is 145 pages containing both the claimant's evidence and the defendant's evidence.

 

Claimant has added extra evidence in the form of work set/done during the covid period. I don't think this is hugely significant in that my daughter's statement states that they did work, so there is no dispute about that fact, more that the services delivered were not those paid for.

 

Anyway, it seems better for everyone if I deal with the case by myself with the witness statements standing as is.

 

As such:

 

1. Does my ex-wife need to send something formal in to the effect that she's not appearing?

2. Is there any issue with my daughter's statement standing as is without her appearing ?

3. Should I put in my own hearing bundle given that the claimant has already done so? I guess it is not necessary; the only thing I suppose I could have included is the letter from my other child's school writing off unpaid debts following a financial assessment, but I suppose it isn't that important, in that it's fairly obvious to anyone that debts are being written off during covid, so it isn't that useful to show that some other school wrote off their debts, because my statement that 'I thought we might get some financial help from the school, hence not complaining about the service as it would be counterproductive' is just an opinion.

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Quote

1. Does my ex-wife need to send something formal in to the effect that she's not appearing? Yes see CPR 27.9 None attendance and write giving notice.

 

https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part27#27.9

 

2. Is there any issue with my daughter's statement standing as is without her appearing ? Your daughter is no party to the claim unless you named here as a witness in your DQ ?

 

 

3. Should I put in my own hearing bundle given that the claimant has already done so? I guess it is not necessary; the only. Yes  thing I suppose I could have included is the letter from my other child's school writing off unpaid debts following a financial assessment, but I suppose it isn't that important, in that it's fairly obvious to anyone that debts are being written off during covid, so it isn't that useful to show that some other school wrote off their debts, because my statement that 'I thought we might get some financial help from the school, hence not complaining about the service as it would be counterproductive' is just an opinion.

 

We could do with some help from you.

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Did hearing online.

 

1) school couldn't claim debt recovery fees because they presented no evidence that they had incurred any, even though the contract provided for them

 

2) interest was thrown out for reasons not quite clear the contract read 'up to 1.5% per month', I don't think the judge read the 'per month' bit, but anyway disallowed it, and wouldn't allow the statutory interest of 8% but instead only 2%.

 

3) unfortunately the amount claimed was just over £3k which substantially increases the hearing fee, but before the hearing the school wanted the full amount of their claim and in the end were awarded a couple of hundred pounds less than that, even taking into account the hearing fee, so just about worth it anyway

 

4) the claim about not providing services didn't go all that well in that probably I would have had to put that an earlier stage, so if I'd said a year ago 'I think it would be reasonable to pay 75% of the fees', then that might be considered, but as it is the 90% that the school had charged was basically accepted as reasonable on the basis that they still did do lessons online, and the extent to which they didn't provide services was largely outside their control.

 

5) both defendants jointly and severally liable as the claimant provided a copy of my ex-wife's signature, so that was the end of that really.

 

We have 4 weeks to pay or come to an agreement with the claimant. What would be the normal procedure, to offer a lower lump sum to settle? Or to pay £50/month, or whatever?

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Depends if you want the CCJ showing on your file for 6 years.

 

1.Pay it by the stated date...it disappears altogether.. 

2. Pay it monthly by submitting an N245 to the court with fee...shows on your file for 6 years.

 

Andy

We could do with some help from you.

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