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Darkman

Won Via The Small Claims Court, But Costs Not Paid

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I had to take an organization to the small claims court to get a refund due to me. Initially it dragged on for months. But a few days after issuing a claim they paid up (surprise surprise).

That much is good. However, the naughty buggers didn't pay the £70 court cost. So I have a choice now, drop it and forget it, or chase them for every penny. I'm not sure where I stand with the small claims court either, or what their view will be.

I'm naturally inclined to chase them all the way to hell, frankly. But maybe that's OTT. Any opinions on whether I should drop it or pursue it now?

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They paid back £1350. The court claim was for £1420.

The £70 difference obviously being the court cost.

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You don't usually get legal costs if you win in small claims, but you are entitled to court fees.

If they've admitted liability, you might press ahead with the hearing. They'll cough up before the case is listed.

If you've accepted the sum in the cheque in "full and final settlement" that will bind you as a contract.

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I haven't accepted the payment, or done anything with the claim in the court online. So it's still open. I haven't even worked out yet how to inform the court that a partial payment has been made.

They should have paid the court cost. They'll probably argue they made the payment before seeing the court documents, which makes them appear whiter than white. But it's no coincidence they only paid days after the court issued the claim to them.

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I haven't accepted the payment, or done anything with the claim in the court online. So it's still open. I haven't even worked out yet how to inform the court that a partial payment has been made.

They should have paid the court cost. They'll probably argue they made the payment before seeing the court documents, which makes them appear whiter than white. But it's no coincidence they only paid days after the court issued the claim to them.

Not advising here, but if it were me I'd photocopy the cheque and send the original back to them: "You seem to have missed out £70, please send an updated one by return of post. See you in court. Cheers!"

I'd bet the hassle of reopening a file marked "Settled" will make them hurry up.

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Sounds like an administrative error to me. After all, if they've taken the decision to cough up £1,350, it makes no sense to fannyarse about over an extra £70. I'd just write back pointing out the mistake, and stating that you look forward to receiving a replacement cheque for the correct amount.

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As pointed out above, "in full and final settlement" are the magic words here.

If they don't say that with the cheque, you can accept it as an interim payment.

Write back to them pointing out that proceedings were issued on (date) and you are therefore entitled to reimbursement of your issue fee in accordance with r27.14 CPR

Costs on the small claims track

27.14

(1) This rule applies to any case which has been allocated to the small claims track unless paragraph (5) applies.

(Rules 44.9 and 44.11 make provision in relation to orders for costs made before a claim has been allocated to the small claims track)

(2) The court may not order a party to pay a sum to another party in respect of that other party’s costs, fees and expenses, including those relating to an appeal, except

(a) the fixed costs attributable to issuing the claim which –

(i) are payable under Part 45; or

(ii) would be payable under Part 45 if that Part applied to the claim;

(B) in proceedings which included a claim for an injunction or an order for specific performance a sum not exceeding the amount specified in Practice Direction 27 for legal advice and assistance relating to that claim;

© any court fees paid by that other party;

(d) expenses which a party or witness has reasonably incurred in travelling to and from a hearing or in staying away from home for the purposes of attending a hearing;

(e) a sum not exceeding the amount specified in Practice Direction 27 for any loss of earnings or loss of leave by a party or witness due to attending a hearing or to staying away from home for the purposes of attending a hearing;

(f) a sum not exceeding the amount specified in Practice Direction 27 for an expert’s fees;

(g) such further costs as the court may assess by the summary procedure and order to be paid by a party who has behaved unreasonably; and

(h) the Stage 1 and, where relevant, the Stage 2 fixed costs in rule 45.29 where –

(i) the claim was within the scope of the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents (‘the RTA Protocol’);

(ii) the claimant reasonably believed that the claim was valued at more than the small claims track limit in accordance with paragraph 4.1(4) of the RTA Protocol; and

(iii) the defendant admitted liability under the process set out in the RTA Protocol; but

(iv) the defendant did not pay those Stage 1 and, where relevant, Stage 2 fixed costs.

(3) A party’s rejection of an offer in settlement will not of itself constitute unreasonable behaviour under paragraph (2)(g) but the court may take it into consideration when it is applying the unreasonableness test.

(4) The limits on costs imposed by this rule also apply to any fee or reward for acting on behalf of a party to the proceedings charged by a person exercising a right of audience by virtue of an order under section 11 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 19901 (a lay representative).

(5) Where –

(a) the financial value of a claim exceeds the limit for the small claims track; but

(B) the claim has been allocated to the small claims track in accordance with rule 26.7(3),

the small claims track costs provisions will apply unless the parties agree that the fast track costs provisions are to apply.

(6) Where the parties agree that the fast track costs provisions are to apply, the claim and any appeal will be treated for the purposes of costs as if it were proceeding on the fast track except that trial costs will be in the discretion of the court and will not exceed the amount set out for the value of claim in rule 46.2 (amount of fast track trial costs).

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All I have so far is an email from Worldpay stating a refund has been made to my card. There's been no correspondence from the organization at all, so no statement of final settlement.

It looks like they saw the court claim, and simply clicked "the refund button". Pretty slapdash.

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All I have so far is an email from Worldpay stating a refund has been made to my card. There's been no correspondence from the organization at all, so no statement of final settlement.

It looks like they saw the court claim, and simply clicked "the refund button". Pretty slapdash.

It's been quite a while, but I have some recollection of making refunds through worldpay, in cases like obviously-accidental double-payment.

I don't think there was even the possibility of refunding more than the original payment!

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All I have so far is an email from Worldpay stating a refund has been made to my card. There's been no correspondence from the organization at all, so no statement of final settlement.

It looks like they saw the court claim, and simply clicked "the refund button". Pretty slapdash.

Don't do anything.

If you've paid for the claim to be issued just wait the 14 days and hope they don't file an acknowledgement of service/defence.

There's no extra cost to do this and hopefully you'll get a default judgement. It's then up to the defendant to satisfy the court they've settled the judgement entirely ( including costs of filing the claim) to have the CCJ removed - hope you added interest.

Next course of action depends on if you've got a proper address for them with staff actually present there.

If so you'll need to send the judgement to bailiffs who are authorised sheriffs/high court enforcement officers this costs but they'll recover it plus their own costs. Don't rely on the county court employed bailiffs to collect - you have to go private sector for results. You *must* inform the bailiffs how much of the judgement you've received.

If the defendant does enter a defence I'd cut my losses as there are further fees for a day in court, plus a day wasted in court - unless you fancy a crusade.

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Thanks for the advice.

I think I'll wait for a response to the claim, as you said. Once they respond, and indicate whether they intend to pay the full amount I can take it from there. If they don't respond I suppose I'll request a judgement, which will go in my favour. They've paid an amount, which indicates my claim was correct.

I wouldn't take it as far as bailiffs though. It's a Govt. organization and I don't fancy stirring a hornets nest :ph34r:

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Thanks for the advice.

I think I'll wait for a response to the claim, as you said. Once they respond, and indicate whether they intend to pay the full amount I can take it from there. If they don't respond I suppose I'll request a judgement, which will go in my favour. They've paid an amount, which indicates my claim was correct.

I wouldn't take it as far as bailiffs though. It's a Govt. organization and I don't fancy stirring a hornets nest :ph34r:

If you've done it online the judgement will, I think, just be spewed out automatically to your nearest county court and then just leave it at that. The local county court bailiffs might get your seventy quid/embarrass the other side into paying.

If they lodge a defence don't pursue as you can't use county court claims against the govt willy-nilly and most claims will be thrown out automatically unless it can be shown you've exhausted all channels of complaint or a recognised ombudsman has ruled in your favour and they've not coughed up but even then I think it may still be the high court route.

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  • 334 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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