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How to resolve civil disputes involving small claims.

Sometimes, you find yourself in a dispute with another person or organisation and you cannot reach a resolution. It is important to understand how to resolve civil disputes within the legal administration system.  This is where a third party such as a legal consultant can assist you. The legal consultant can help you prepare a written statement to the other party that might just do the trick.

If the dispute is still not resolved and you are convinced that you were wronged by the other party, the next step would be to submit a claim through the legal system. The administration procedure for this is through an application for a case to be heard at the small claims court.

The small claims court

The small claims court is normally the County Court.  In the County Court, your case is read by legal professionals who work at the Court and not by a solicitor that you have instructed. You have the option to be present at the hearing or not. You can even instruct your solicitor or a legal professional or even a friend to represent you.  The outcomes for your case are decided by the County Court Judge.

If you win, you will be able to claim costs expenses, but you won’t be able to claim expenses for legal professionals.

Before you submit your application, you should gather all necessary evidence concerning your case. These include witness statements, receipts, photographs and any audio-visual recordings. You need to submit these together with your particulars of claim. There will be a cost to submit your application.

You will receive an acknowledgement for your application. After this time, the defendants will have been served with your claim and invited to submit their statement of case i.e., a defence statement. Be sure to check your account to respond to the defence. i.e., clarify your case, or rebut any or all the responses. You will be given a limited amount of time to respond to this. If you do not respond to this within the time specified, your case will be closed. You will then need to apply to reopen the case, but this will be at a non-recoverable cost to you.

What should a particulars of claim include?

The Particulars of Claim is a document where you set out the events that occurred leading to the dispute. The particulars of claim must include:

Summary of the facts that you can later rely on:

  • What compensation you are seeking
  • The interest that you are seeking and the grounds for claiming this
  • What damages are you seeking and the reason for claiming the damages

The dates the events occurred, and any persons involved need to be included in chronological order. You will also need to sign a statement of truth before you submit the particulars of claim.

The defence statement of case

The defendant is served the particulars of claim and invited to submit a defence statement of the case. In their statement, the defence needs to state what allegations are denied and the reasons for the denial, including supporting evidence.

The defendant is entitled to put forward a different version of the events. They are entitled to request proof of any claim for compensation. The defendant may also put forward their own compensation claim supported by proof. In other words, the defence may submit a counter claim. What is important is that the claimant can read and understand the defence to respond to it.

Statement of cases struck out

 Sometimes the claimant and/or defendant finds is difficult to understand the legal administration and its time schedule.

Here are some reasons why a statement of claim can be struck out:

  • No facts or non-substantial facts included in the statement
  • Poorly written or incoherent statement of case
  • Vexatious, frivolous, scurrilous or ill-founded claim
  • Bare denial in defence statement
  • Statement of case does not address allegations

It shouldn’t be that your statement of case is struck out, whether you are a claimant or a defendant.  Legal professionals know and understand how to resolve civil disputes using the legal administration. You can get help with completing coherent and comprehensive particulars of claim or defence statements. Legal professionals are guided by and must follow the civil procedure rules. if you submit a claim scurrilously or incoherently, you risk your claim being struck out. So, before you submit your claim, contact Finest Law to discuss your case.


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