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The nature of Small Claims


meagain
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Can a Small Claim be upheld in part, or is it all-or-nothing?

 

When I say "upheld in part", if your claim asks for three things, you are only awarded two (e.g. out of charges, interest, and costs, only charges and costs are awarded), or an amount smaller than your claim is awarded.

 

 

Thanks.

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Never give in ... Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. Churchill, 1941

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The amount you are claiming is the amount owed to you.

 

There cannot be any fluctuation in this because, due to the nature of the claim, it is what it is. Money that is owed to you.

 

If along the course of your action you decide to settle for a lesser amount, then that it is up to you, but this is usually done out of court, and in return for the legal action to be dropped.

 

I hope this helps.

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Sadly, it doesn't. What I'm asking is if the court disagrees with some part of the claim, is the whole claim lost, or will I just be awarded the rest?

 

For instance, if I file a claim for:

  • excess charges by a bank
  • interest paid on those charges to that bank
  • charge for filing the claim (claim is around £600, so I'm assuming a cost of around £30)
  • compensation for undue distress caused
  • any "collateral damage"
  • the fabled "Final Judgement" (5b in the PoC template)

and the court decides that I am only entitled to the first three, do I get judgement for the first three, or does my claim fail entirely?

HSBCLloyds TSBcontractual interestNew Tax Creditscoming for you?NTL/Virgin Media

 

Never give in ... Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. Churchill, 1941

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So if (should the case come to court) I include the 5b request in the claim ("a declaration from this honourable court that the term of the contract leading to the application of the charges is unenforceable"), would I put any monetary claim (currently around £600) at risk?

HSBCLloyds TSBcontractual interestNew Tax Creditscoming for you?NTL/Virgin Media

 

Never give in ... Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. Churchill, 1941

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You could do so. In fact, I almost did in my first claim until Bankfodder scared the living daylights out of me about the cost implications of doing so. Seeking that particular declaration would probably move the case off the small claims track and you probably don't want to do that.

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  • 3 weeks later...
meagain, how do you quantify undue distress caused? Thanks.

 

Good question. :-)

 

Pick out a number that would seem reasonable if you were being offered the amount as compensation in addition (and isn't taking the mick - I'm looking at tacking on £50 token for being screwed around every summer for the last 4 years). I would imagine the general principle to restorative justice is that you have the right to be in the position you would otherwise be in, both financially and mentally - however, since they can't retroactively put your mind at rest, they could at least give you something in lieu.

HSBCLloyds TSBcontractual interestNew Tax Creditscoming for you?NTL/Virgin Media

 

Never give in ... Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. Churchill, 1941

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I would be surpirsed if you got damages for stress and inconvenience etc. Our courts are loathe to pluck figures out of the air for such heads of damage in contract cases and where there is no adequate and quantifiable evidence of the damage suffered.

 

The only claims where such payments appear to be made routinely are in claims for ruined holidays - then claimants are awarded sums for loss of enjoyment/distress but then these sums are usually small.

 

I remember one other case where a family paid a fortune for a lovely house. The surveyor they employed had neglected to notice a blumming great crack which showed that the kitchen was actually falling off the side of the house! It had to be propped and closed off as soon as they moved in.

 

They sued. It took 2-3 years for the trial to come on at the high court and they had lived with no kitchen with two young babies for all of this time and had loads of stress/aggravation. They won their main claim in negligence against the surveyor in the high court and were also awarded only £200 each for the stress/inconvenience.

 

But as the claim for charges is a small claim might as well stick it in - nothing to lose I guess :)

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  • 12 years later...

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Never give in ... Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. Churchill, 1941

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