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Claims in County Court - England/Wales - timescales


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Assuming a "straightforward" claim against an English/Welsh address in an ideal world


Day 1 - Claim issued

Day 3 - Claim deemed served

Day 17 - Deadline for Defendant to file Defence/Admission or acknowledge

Day 31 - Deadline for Defendant to file Defence if claim acknowledged


Once Defence has been filed, if claim started via MCOL, claim transferred to Claimant's home Court and Allocation Questionnaires sent out, usually to be completed within 2 weeks. Claims over £1,500 have to pay £100 allocation fee.


Once Allocation Questionnaires have been received by the Court, the file is passed up to a District Judge to decide on allocation. As a general rule, claims under £5,000 are allocated to small claims track, £5,000 to £50,000 to fast track and over £50,000 to multi track.


Costs are not usually recoverable by either side in a claim allocated to small claims.


Usually takes 2 to 4 weeks for allocation to be dealt with by Judge, depending where your home Court is - for those unfortunate enough to live in large city, it could take longer!


Assuming claim allocated to small claims track, the normal directions provided for the management of the claim to the small claims hearing are for each side to exchange documents/statements to be relied upon by no later than 14 days before the hearing.


On the day of the hearing, if you get that far without settling, expect to lose half a day attending Court.


Most of all, don't panic - there are plenty of us on here to lend support and please use the Buddy system if you need to - it's does what it says on the tin!

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I think in England its 5 days after issue before its deemed to have been served. Just received my notification back from the court, issue date 1/12/06 deemed served 6/12/06. Got all my dates carefully marked on a big calender so I can keep things moving.

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Sorry, should have said 2 "working" days for service (in the ideal world) so but even then, issuing on 1 December (and should have been posted the same day) should mean deemed served on 5 December. Call the Court to find out why.

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