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man o' the year

Small Claims Court

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I have recently and am still pursuing someone through small claims. It is my first experience of doing so and I am flabbergasted by the inefficieincy of the process. I had the opinion that it would be a straightforward judgement and I would walk away with an order for the other party to repay money owed if successful. Not the case.

Clearly I had to prepare my case and evidence for the first hearing last September and send thsi to the other party and to the court, which I did. To say I was surprised when the judge opened by telling us that he ahd read nothing and he would adjourn for half an hour and go down the road to the coffee shop to read the documents each of us had sent. He really did this as I waited in the sunshine outside and saw him go and return.

He then said he found it too complicated, blaming lack of numbers on teh bottom of some pages and asked us to resubmit corrected documentation for a December hearing. I did so. At this hearing he decided that it was too complicated for him and so we should agree to instruct (and pay for) an independent expert report. This was done and the thord hearing was on Monday. Here I expected judgement - my case is solid and the judge has already said my opponent is barely credible and urged him to accept my conciliatory offer.

No

Turns out he is a procedural judge and will pass this for a final hearing in early July, with a new judge!!

I am still confident of eventual success although have a few niggles but am reluctant to pay for representation as amount is not life changing.

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Of course it's efficient. Well, Relatively.

You'd be looking at the price of a modest house for that many hearings in full court. :ph34r: And since you're evidently not an insider, you'd need to be a regular high-value customer before you could rely on the court to do your bidding.

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You'll get the court fees back but the small claims track makes no award for costs unfortunately. As has been said it's bargain basement court time however frustrating.

If you do get judgment pay the fee and pass it immediately to the High Court for enforcement.

If you were a claiming against a sole trader or private individual they could have asked for direction to the court nearest them which is often used by those in know as a frustration tactic.

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Of course it's efficient. Well, Relatively.

You'd be looking at the price of a modest house for that many hearings in full court. :ph34r: And since you're evidently not an insider, you'd need to be a regular high-value customer before you could rely on the court to do your bidding.

Like with everything, in this country, there's been a huge decline in professionalism and I've often witnessed no attempt to hide matey behaviour between judges and barristers.

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Well, judges and barristers are the same mob. Some might be instructed by clients but their loyalty is to the court.

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Interesting. I was looking at this recently w.r.t to a second hand car deal. Decided it looked far too much of a faff for the money in question and the OP supports that.

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Well, judges and barristers are the same mob. Some might be instructed by clients but their loyalty is to the court.

Their loyalty is mostly to themselves insofar as a lucrative and quiet life for all concerned.

Interesting. I was looking at this recently w.r.t to a second hand car deal. Decided it looked far too much of a faff for the money in question and the OP supports that.

Is it a private individual or a company?

If you push it all the way to a day in court victories can still be very pyrrhic then. You can strike lucky with a default judgement, if the court paperwork to the defendant gets lost in the post or they don't respond. You need to send the judgement straight to the High Court as mentioned earlier.

We have a fair amount of success with problems with online customers using paypal who claim their money back through paypal but return an empty box etc. Using the Land Registry to get their full legal details, to be used on the court served documents, often puts the wind up them.

The bulk of my experience would be from suppliers suing me and, in fairness to the county court system, it isn't all bad. If there's been some issue with some product delivered they don't necessarily uphold terms of sale contract small print. In the vast majority of cases they do just tell the supplier to take the goods back if it's sat in a warehouse unsold and take a generally commonsense approach.

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Their loyalty is mostly to themselves insofar as a lucrative and quiet life for all concerned.

Is it a private individual or a company?

Dealer, hence the consumer rights angle. My conclusion was that unless it was a large chunk of money or personal for some reason then it was way more stress than it was worth. I actually extracted a modest settlement from them with a well written email summary/request which was enough for me to want to move on.

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Take the small claims court judge to small claims court. /helpfulpost

It's not so far-fetched.

I've been helping someone with regard to a child contact issue and he travelled 400 miles for a court hearing only for the judge to tell him when he and everyone else got there that the case could not be heard because a body called CAFCASS, who do background checks in these cases, simply hadn't done their work. And so had to drive 400 miles back home again only to go to another hearing later on.

In such cases you can indeed claim losses from the court.

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Just to finish this one off for sake of completeness.

Represented myself in court yesterday. Hearing from10am until 4:45pm.

Judge was fair and through.

I won and was awarded claim plus costs totalling £10,076.

Just got to get the money now!

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small claims seems like a waste of time, unless you can bring a "hobby" attitude to it.

I nearly said almost that. It has to be a HOBBY, otherwise it's not worth the effort.

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Just to finish this one off for sake of completeness.

Represented myself in court yesterday. Hearing from10am until 4:45pm.

Judge was fair and through.

I won and was awarded claim plus costs totalling £10,076.

Just got to get the money now!

High court ASAP

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High court ASAP

Well Man otY, that's a lot of money, and well done. My previous comment was for the people who buy a bad secondhand toaster, and then complain about it.

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Well Man otY, that's a lot of money, and well done. My previous comment was for the people who buy a bad secondhand toaster, and then complain about it.

4 hearings and travelling 180 miles each way for 3 of them made me wonder whether it was worth it too! But then again travelling expenses were included in award.

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Well done for doing this and seeing it through! I am currently pursuing a negligible amount (less than £300) from Currys/DSG Retail. I have no intention of actually recovering the funds but my goal is to cost them considerably more than the £300, so they effectively make a loss - and it costs me only the court filing fee. So far, assuming their Legal Counsel is on £250 an hour, I reckon it's cost them about £2k.

The SCC / MCOL is pretty useless in my experience, including their pointless arbitration process, so this seems the only feasible way if the claim is less than £1000 or so.

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Well done for doing this and seeing it through! I am currently pursuing a negligible amount (less than £300) from Currys/DSG Retail. I have no intention of actually recovering the funds but my goal is to cost them considerably more than the £300, so they effectively make a loss - and it costs me only the court filing fee. So far, assuming their Legal Counsel is on £250 an hour, I reckon it's cost them about £2k.

The SCC / MCOL is pretty useless in my experience, including their pointless arbitration process, so this seems the only feasible way if the claim is less than £1000 or so.

In a similar way the great gainer from my own case was the independent expert. The procedural judge said it was needed and their eventual fees for a short report (which supported my case) was nearly £6000 for an original claim of about the same amount.

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In a similar way the great gainer from my own case was the independent expert. The procedural judge said it was needed and their eventual fees for a short report (which supported my case) was nearly £6000 for an original claim of about the same amount.

You need to get a cheaper hobby.

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Instructing High Court Enforcement Officers is a hoot. If your judgment debtor doesn't pay up, throw £60 at your chosen provider and wait for the mayhem to start.

Once your opponent gets a visit from the scary men, they usually pay very quickly.

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Instructing High Court Enforcement Officers is a hoot. If your judgment debtor doesn't pay up, throw £60 at your chosen provider and wait for the mayhem to start.

Once your opponent gets a visit from the scary men, they usually pay very quickly.

I know it doesn't stand for much but the other guy is a Tory councilor who has frequent car changes and 3 month foreign holidays and yet pleaded poverty in court for more time to pay. I agreed to until 1st July whereas he wanted until the end of the year!

I assume N323 and a warrant of control and possession is the way forward?

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Instructing High Court Enforcement Officers is a hoot. If your judgment debtor doesn't pay up, throw £60 at your chosen provider and wait for the mayhem to start.

Once your opponent gets a visit from the scary men, they usually pay very quickly.

Whether they're typical or the best examples the debt enforcement guys on CH 5 Can't Pay We'll Take it Away are the absolute model of professionalism. They do everything by the book and continue to be reasonable in the face of aggression and hysteria by the debtors.

They're not scary at all, more like an implacable force that is simply going to take your house / car / WHY.

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