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STARTING A COURT ACTION When no resolution has been found to a clients dispute despite all the steps taken

n in the protocol phase, or any attempts made with ADR to settle the dispute , or a client is faced with an intransigent opponent- if your client wishes to proceed to seek justice , litigation is now the last option.

HIGH COURT Once you have determined that the High Court is appropriate court , you must identify which division is appropriate. Usually this will be the Queens Bench Division unless the claim involves Chancery business. You must then decide in which location to issue the claim. The High Court sits not only in London but also in Regional District Registries.

COUNTY COURT Once you have determined that the County Court is the appropriate court, you must decide in which location to issue the claim. Almost all County Court claims must be sent to be issued centrally in Northampton County Court rather than at a local County Court. This follows the creation of the County Court Money Claims Centre ((CCMCC), which is designated to streamline the administrative process of issuing relatively modest value claims (less than 100,000).

MASS ISSUE OF CLAIMS Claim forms may be issued in bulk in debt recovery claims , claims being brought by credit card companies or mobile phone companies may be issued electronically at the Claim Production Centre. The provisions are set down in PD 7C.

MONEY CLAIM ONLINE A claimant may start an action electronically at the Money Claim Online website ,www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. A claim issued her enables a party to view the progress of an action electronically. If a defence or part admission is filed the action will be transferred to the defendants home court . Again the claims are issued in the Northampton County Court, are restricted to specified sum claims not exceeding 100,000 and are subject to the further restrictions detailed in PD 7E.

What are the consequences of issuing in the wrong court?

Proceedings started in the wrong County Court may under r30.2(2) be: -transferred to the County Court in which they ought to have been started:

-continued in the County Court in which they have been started (subject to any statutory requirement preventing this); or Struck out. If proceedings have been started in the High Court which should have been started in the County Court and vice versa , the claim will normally be transferred to the correct court and the claimant will usually be required to pay the costs of the transfer, although by s40 (1) CCA 1984 the claim may be struck out and the claimant asked to re-start. Striking out is inappropriate for bona fide mistakes.

DRAFTING A CLAIM FORM PART 7 The CCMCC will issue proceedings for a designated money claim which is defined in CPR r2.3(1) as any claim which is : -started in a County Court under Part 7 -only a claim for either or both a specified amount of money or an unspecified amount of money; and Not a claim for which special procedures are provided under CPR. Specified amount of money effectively means a damages claim where the court is asked to assess the amount of damages claim where the court is asked to assess the amount of damages payable to the claimant. This would include claims for breach of contract (Other than straightforward debt claims) and claims for damages for personal injury.

FORM N1 CLAIM FORM The rules on the contents of statements of case generally are set out at Part 16. The essential requirements of a claim form, form N1(for which see doc 6(a) and 8 of the Appendix) will be examined . These documents should be consulted when going through the guide below.

COMPLETING CLAIM FORM IF IN THE High Court , the claim form must also state the division (Queens Bench or Chancery)and District Registry (e.g Silverbridge District Registry) where appropriate. Parties (and if in a different capacity, such as a litigation friend or proposal representative of an estate, then specify the capacity) should generally be named, but in exceptional cases it is enough to sue persons unknown provided there is information to identify the defendant (Bloomsbury Publishing Group Ltd v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2003]. CLAIM NO/ISSUE DATE - Court will complete CLAIMANTS DETAILS must include postcode DEFENDANTS DETAILS must include postcode BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF CLAIM concise statement, remedy (damages) PARTIES ADULT full name and title CHILD litigation friend (no conflict) Eg Harry Smith by his mother and litigation friend Caroline Smith BUSINESS

- sole trader with business/trading name eg Kirsty Wetherill T/A Kirstys Kitchens T/A = trading as partnership name partners and business/trading name - limited company check Companies House, use Registered Office address (R/O address

STATEMENT OF VALUE R16.2(1)(C) STATES that where the claimant is making a claim for money , the claim must contain a statement of value (i.e how much he expects to recover). A money claim is a claim for a debt or claim for a specified sum , and also a claim for damages. An indication as to the value of the claim will assist the court in case management (e.g in allocating the case to the appropriate court and track.

How is Value calculated R16.3(6) reflects para 9 HCCCCJO 1991 , stating that when calculating how much he expects to recover (I.e value of the claim), the claimant must disregard: A) interest (conversely , interest is included when calculating the court fee) B)costs; C)any potential finding of contributory negligence; D)any potential counterclaim ,defence or set off; E) any potential payments the defendant may have to make out of any award to the claimant under Social Security (Recovery of Benefits )Act 1997 2) What must be specified in a statement of value? By r16 .3 (2) ,a statement of value must state: a)the amount of money claimed (where the claim is for a specified sum) ; or b) where the claim is for an unspecified amount to be assessed by the court , that he expects to recover: i) not more than 10,000 (which would be suitable for the small claims track for non personal injury / housing disrepair claims) ii) more than 10 000 but not more than 25 000 (suitable for the fast track); iii) more than 25 000 (suitable for the multi track or c) that he cannot say how much he expects to recover this is likely where the damages may be potentially large, such as in a defamation claim where the damages could be awarded by a jury. PREFERRED COURT FOR HEARINGS The claim form must indicate the claimants preferred court for hearings . All County Court designated money claims must be issued in the Northampton County Court Later in the court process, the court process, the court will decide where to transfer the case. In deciding your preferred court for hearings , you are likely to take into account the court to give evidence , should the need arise. Human Rights Act 1998

A box must be ticked on the reverse side of the claim form indicating whether the claim includes any issues under the Human Rights Act 1998. Statement of Truth

A claim form must be verified with a declaration by or on behalf of the claimant that the facts set out in the form are true. If the statement is to be signed by the claimant himself , the consequences of signing the form without possessing a belief as to the truth of the facts stated should be explained (namely, contempt of court which may lead to committal proceedings , as well as having the claim struck out.

CALCULATE INTEREST ON SPECIFIED SUM Sum due 15,500 At 8% From 29 January 2013 To 14 November 2013 ANSWER 15,500 X 8% = 1240 pa 365 = 3.39 per day 29 Jan to 14 Nov = 289 days 289 X 3.39 = 979.71 AMOUNT CLAIMED = 16,479.71 ISSUING THE CLAIM FORM (PHOTOCOPY PAGE 177) FLOW CHART

R7.2(1) states that proceedings are started when the court issues a claim form at the request of the claimant. The claim form N! is issued by the claimant taking or sending to the court : Appropriate copies of the completed claim form(one for the court , one for each defendant and one for himself) Court issue fee. If the claimant is publicly funded , the top copy of the CLS funding certificate , and appropriate copies of notice of issue; Where the claimant is a child or protected party , the certificate of suitability , form N235 (see doc 25 of the Appendix) If the claimant entered into a funding arrangement such as a CFA before 1 April 2013 form 251 (with copies for all parties). This is not required for funding arrangements entered into from 1 April 2013 onwards because success fees and ATE insurance premiums cannot be recovered from the defendant .

PROCESSING BY THE COURT

Once the claim form is received , the court will check that it is in order and require one form to be signed by the person issuing it . The claim form is then date stamped and sealed and a claim number written in the top right corner. A Notice of Issue (form N205A, Document 28 of the Appendix) will be sent to the claimant. For the Purpose of the Limitation Act 1980 a claim is brought and time will stop running when the claimant delivers the claim form , fee to the court office (Barnes v St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council) 2007

TIME LIMIT FOR SERVICE OF CLAIM Period of Validity Once the claim form is issued (i.e the date on which it is sealed by the court), it must be served on the defendant within four calendar months after issue (or six months where it is to be served out of the jurisdiction :r7.5. The parties may agree to extend the life of a claim form , but this will only be effective if recorded in writing , typically by an exchange of letters: r 2.11 and Thomas v Home Office. Where the claimant serves the particulars of claim separately from the claim form, he must , within seven days of service , file a copy of the particulars , together with a certificate of service with the court. Eg: a month means a calendar month. So a claim form issued on 7 August 2008 must be served , within the jurisdiction, on or before 7 December 2008 (four calendar months, excluding the date issue).

SERVICE OF THE CLAIM FORM There are detailed rules in CPR setting out the methods which can be used to serve court documents and the date upon which the documents are deemed to be served. SERVICE OF THE CLAIM FORM The methods of service that may be used are set out in the amended CPR r7.5. STEP REQUIRED Posting leaving with delivering to or collection by the relevant service provider Delivering to or leaving the document at the relevant place Competing the relevant step required by r 6.5(3) Completing the transmission of the fax Sending the email or other electronic transmission

METHOD OF SERVICE First class post, document exchange or other service which provides for delivery on the next business day. Delivery of the document to or leaving it at the relevant place. Personal Service under r6.5 Fax Other Electronic Method

EXAMPLE Date CF issued 14 November 2013 Must be served by 14 March 2014 Post CF on 14 March 2014 (Friday) deemed service on 18 March 2014 (Tuesday) Can a party seek clarification of any aspect of a claim . PART 18 (example page 159) Clarification of a part of claim or defence ca be done by seeking a request for further information under provisions pf Part 18. Part 18 covers a situation where a partys case may not have been made clear or explained in sufficient detail in his statement if case. One way to remedy this is to make a request for further information . The rule subject to any rule of law or procedure to the contrary enables a party to make a request of another party for : a) clarification of any matter which is in dispute in the proceedings , and b)additional information in relation to any such matter. A defendant who wishes to make an application for further information is not thereby given is successfully made for additional AMENDMENT OF STATEMENT ADD PARTIES by Application EG if Def blames a third party After Limitation limited circumstances will be allowed BEFORE SERVICE r.17.1(1) AFTER SERVICE r.17.1 by Consent or with Courts permission r.1.1 overriding objective COSTS CONSEQUENCES Underline red, then green Further statement of truth