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Small claims court counterclaim...HELP!

(8 Posts)
jiminyCrick Mon 01-Oct-12 18:44:27

Hello, without going into too much detail, I have filed a claim in the small claims court for breach of verbal contract, and the supply of a faulty product.

The company I am dealing with claimed on their defence that were filing a counterclaim for defamation/slander.

1.they claimed I had made comments to a business they deal with to no longer deal with them [this is not true] I spoke to the business in question and they confirmed that this is not true.

2. they are claiming comments made online are defamatory, even though they are all true.

My problems are

1.Defamation cases can only be heard in High court. I think they may be using scare tactics to get me to stop
2. When I spoke to the court they said no counterclaim had actually been filed
3. I know they have had the same issues in the past, and scare away the people complaining, and when it does go to court, they lie.

I cannot get a replacement/refund on the item as it was specifically bought for a certain occasion and cannot be used again.
I have five witnesses who were with me when all of the issues happened.
Do I have to file my defence and reply to counterclaim with the allocation questionnaire? Will it harm me if I do?

Much thanks guys!

mumblechum1 Tue 02-Oct-12 04:25:21

If the defendant doesn't file a counterclaim, nothing happens.

If they do, then you file a defence to their counterclaim when the court orders you to do so.

Sounds to me like they are panicking a bit; I would not sweat about a counterclaim unless and until you see it in black and white.

AuntLucyInPeru Tue 02-Oct-12 06:19:47

They'll need to show a loss of profit resulting from your comments. Almost impossible to do - you'll be fine smile

jiminyCrick Tue 02-Oct-12 10:15:42

Mumblechum1- they have mentioned it in their defence (which isn't particularly official, ie, doesn't have a statemnt of truth etc) But when I spoke to the court, nothing as yet had been filed

AuntLucy: I think they would really struggle to show loss of earnings, they would have to say how many clients, who were about to sign on the dotted line, didn't, because of my comments, and I don't think that's possible! Is that correct?

I think they are trying to scare me away, they assume in my position I cannot afford to defend a slander claim, [which I couldn't] however, they cuoldn't afford to bring one forward, and the amount of evidence that i've got is obscene! the amount they have is pitiful.

OK, so just to double check: I file my allocation questionnaire now, and witness statements and reply to defence & counterclaim afterwards when the court orders it?

jiminyCrick Wed 07-Nov-12 10:20:47

hello, me again.

Ok, so we have mediation this week, and they call me to tell me that they WILL be suing me for slander.(in the high courts)

They claim they have a number of signed statements from lost clients because of what I said, and they are also claiming that I made some spoken comments, of which there is no evidence and I think would be hearsay anyway.

They have not filed yet, but I think they will wait until I either drop my case, or see if they win/lose the small claims.

I spoke to my solicitor who basically laughed and said it sounded like they had no evidence whatsoever and that he certainly would never advise someone to take it any further( on their behalf). As he pointed out, we are talking about a few comments on a website, which were removed when they requested them to be, but actually, they didn't request to remove them straight away, they left them there for a while.

The solicitor thinks I should stick to my guns, carry on with small claims, and deal with the slander case when we get to it. They reckon that it wouldn't get much further than one letter, but that will still cost me roughly £1000, which I don't have!

What would you do in my position? It's very easy for others to say she doesn't have a case, but as we all know, slander is very expensive to bring about, and very expensive to defend, and if I did lost, the results could be crippling. I would have to sell my house.

Realistically, what would you do?

Collaborate Wed 07-Nov-12 10:38:00

Trust the advice of your solicitor. No point paying for advice if you then don't follow it.

They haven't formally raised the slander issue yet. A solicitor is unlikely to do so as well given the cost and the unlikely nature of their claim.

jiminyCrick Wed 07-Nov-12 10:55:08

Ok, thank you. Can the decsion be up to the solicitor? even if the solicitor thinks it is an unlikely case, could the claimant push it anyway?

I know that what my solicitor says makes sense, but I am scared. I am not one to back down, and I know they are trying to scare me away, but it's a pretty big deal! Does anyone have any experience of slander cases?

CaroleService Mon 12-Nov-12 13:09:10

Even if they lost clients because of what you said, if it was TRUE, it doesn't matter.

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