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Posted July 4, 2011 at 10:14AM
Has anyone used this service, or one like it, to initiate and check a small claims court proceeding?
I wish to start a claim against a former landlord, who is unreasonably withholding my security deposit, but I'm not sure how to handle a small claims court claim.
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Posted July 4, 2011 at 12:56PM
Hi not got a clue myself but I believe it costs about £300.
I am thinking of claiming against my Local Council but the price and the lack of knowing exactly who in the council to claim against is putting me off.
I will be interested on the outcome of your enquiry so will so will look out for any tips that you may get.
maybe the £300 may put you off I don't know.
I did have a look at your other thread which the landlord said the fridge was smelly.What did he exspect after 10 weeks with no power.
maybe tell him you are taking him to court first and if no response then go ahead.
Best of luck but be warned even if the court finds in your favour they may still refuse to pay.
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Posted July 4, 2011 at 1:10PM
The cost of Small Claims action depends on the value of the claim, under £300 and the cost is only about £50, which is added to the claim so if you win the only cost is your time. Very small claims can be done online as well, so there need not be a court hearing.
The most serious annoyance about all this is that the Deposit Protection Service was set up to stop all this nonsense, but they can't release my deposit without the landlord's permission, so basically it's just the same as before, with an extra layer of madness thrown into the mix...
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Posted July 4, 2011 at 1:51PM
If you are going to try and make a claim against your council, then contact the council's customer services or legal department for advice.
Depending on the problem, and the council's responses, some people try the Local Government Ombudsman if there is a failure in communications and resolving certain issues. But from my experiences (many) I have found the LGO to be a waste of time and tax-payers money. Your local MP can usually carry a bit of a clout in certain matters, if the council proves stubborn.
Apologies to alan14 for hijacking the thread. Re your other issue, the program I mentioned about landlords in your other thread is on Channel 4 Dispatches at 8.00pm this evening.
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Posted July 4, 2011 at 2:50PM
No worries, I've set the video to record Dispatches as I'll be out...
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Posted July 4, 2011 at 5:16PM
Many years ago we bought a new front door from Magnet and Southern. It fell apart, but they supplied another! This one fell apart even faster, so we used small claims court. What a deceiver! M&S never submitted a defence, so we were told we had won and just come to the verdict hearing. There a pretty little solicitor for M&S turned up and persuaded the judge to overturn the win for us, he agreed and then said that I wouldn't be able to say anything as the paper I had signed - making us the winners - stated that I would not speak at the hearing. As he had just overturned that decision I couldn't see how or why the whole thing - not a part - was not thrown out! Anyway we lost some £300 of our claim due to the solicitor, we have never ever since bought or allowed anything to be bought from M&S and we never will. So be warned when you go into the much vaunted small claims court, it isn't over when they tell you, you have have won until some judge decides and agrees yes you have won and here's how much you are entitled too!! Good luck, I hope you win and get all your cash!
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Posted July 5, 2011 at 9:57AM
Housten. I am puzzled about the document you signed. Did you not read it properly, I would never sign a document with those terms. i have always understood that a judgement in favour of the plaintiff or defendant in the Small Claims Court was final whether a defence was submitted or not. I submitted a claim under the ABTA system which is aery similar and won our case even though it was defended, the defence in that case was full of discrepancies. The case is judged on written submissions and copies of documents. I have never heard of anyone having to attend a post judgement hearing. I read a few years ago in a newspaper that a claim was made against I believe a low cost airline who lost the papers and failed to submit a defence. The claiment won, the defendant failed to pay up and he and then went to the court for a bailifs warrent which was served and the defendant paid up immediately. Obviously cost is involved but if you are sure of your facts it can be a small price to pay to get satisfaction.
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Posted July 5, 2011 at 12:33PM
"it can be a small price to pay to get satisfaction".
Not if the other party knows their way around such matters, it can then become an expensive,physical and mental nightmare.
On one particular small claims court proceeding that I undertook with a central heating company, regarding faulty installation. We were advised at the hearing "to seek out a solution to our differences in private", and on doing so, we returned to the hearing chamber and informed the preceding officer (judge?) as to our mutual agreements. Simple,job done!.
The major problem was, the other party failed in honouring their side of the agreement. Apparently the owner of the business had done similar things in the past, so others had suffered a similar fate to myself. Back to square one, and more headaches, and still no end to resolving the problem with that company. So it really pays to consider the negatives before praising the positives, before considering taking action!.
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Posted July 5, 2011 at 2:05PM
I hope I have your name correct! I do try to copy names when replying, but I am having great difficulties getting them done!
Please note that this is second attempt!! Tried just before 1 pm, but the infamous 'Please Wait' sign kept going, and going........
Anyway, yes I did sign the document - whatever it was - because a court official who looked through the papers said yes they should that M&S should have submitted their defence by 'today', but we have received nothing, so you win, so sign here. What I didn't say earlier was that I signed all our letters under my name and my wife - who didn't want a fuss made at all - signed under her name. We both have middle names so I signed with my christian and middle name and then with her christian, middle and our surname, so it wasn't until virtually the end of the hearing when the judge used my middle name as my surname, to which I protested, that he realised we weren't some couple living together but husband and wife. It was only when I was talking about it later and could think a bit straighter that I realised that, at least I think, we got more than was intended to be allowed to us by the judge. He was letting the pretty solicitor - my wife refuses to let me call her what I wanted to - do what wasn’t supposed to be done and/or allowed because - or so he said - he could vary the rules as it was an informal hearing, and he could do what he liked! Maybe the rules have changed, but we certainly got the thin end of english justice and I advise anyone I know who say they wish to use the small claims court to be very careful indeed. I know I would never trust them again and whilst threatening a company with the court I would do all I could to avoid using it. Just me, perhaps, but we are all conditioned by our experiences!!!
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Posted July 5, 2011 at 6:29PM
"I do try to copy names when replying, but I am having great difficulties getting them done!"
Left click at the end of the name and drag to highlight it. Right click and select 'copy'. Go to the text entry box, right click, and select 'paste'.
You keep referring to a 'pretty little solicitor', but that has nothing whatever to do with it, and it's offensive to both the solicitor and the judge to infer that the way she looked was in some way responsible for a miscarriage of justice. You're misunderstanding the way that the small claims process works.
Judges in small claims procedures have a good deal of license when it comes to the way they run their courts, and the emphasis is on informality. If a judge feels that the administration of justice can be better served by varying a rule he/she has the right to do so.
You may not have received what you felt you were entitled to by way of monetary recompense, but none of us can comment about that - we don't have access to both sites of the story.
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