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Small claims court query

(7 Posts)
lalalonglegs Fri 28-Dec-12 10:39:40

I want to sue someone through the small claims court but what happens if he just returns the form "addressee unknown" when they are sent to him? Is there any way the S C Court has a way of investigating the validity of the address I give for the defendant?

ItsRainingOutside Fri 28-Dec-12 14:12:24

The forms need to be actually proven as served on the individual. If he returns as addresses unknown, it will be up to you to prove he lives at the address. If he just ignores it, however, the claim will be issued in your favor. It can take months to sue someone through small claims so be prepared for a long ride if they put obstacles (legal or otherwise) in your way. Good luck.

nickymanchester Fri 28-Dec-12 14:31:17

It doesn't matter if he claims not to have received it.

As long as you send it to his last known address then the claim has been served on him.

Once you have done this, if he does not respond in time then you can claim judgement in default. In other words, you win automatically.

At this point the other side may well apply to have the judgement set aside and be relisted, claiming that they never received the claim form. All this means is that they can no longer just bury their head in the sand and have got to deal with the issue.

However, a lot of people don't do this - largely as they are unaware that they can - and just pay up at this stage.

One thing to be aware of with county court claims, if the debtor doesn't pay off his own back then it's up to you to actually get your money.

There are a number of things you can do. One possible thing to think about, if the total amount owing is at least £600, is to get a High Court Enforcement Officer involved. These aren't bailiffs, they actually have a lot more powers than bailiffs.

ItsRainingOutside Fri 28-Dec-12 14:39:27

Just been through a similar situation. Defendant claimed they didn't receive the forms so judgement was set aside and I had to start the claim all over again. £395 x 2 as it's for £20k. The legal system is on the side of the defendants and there are lots they can do to make your life difficult. Don't give up though. I didn't for 2 years and was awarded my £20k + costs + compensation of £40,000. Worth it in the end!

Snazzynewyear Fri 29-Mar-13 21:37:51

Hi, just reviving this as it relates to a query I have. I am contemplating going through the small claims court to get back money I lent to an ex-friend, but I know they've moved house since then and don't have their new address. I do have a work address for them and the old home address. Can I still use the small claims court, under the circumstances?

Boomboomboomboom Sun 31-Mar-13 19:36:16

you can personally serve the court papers on them if you do not know their last known address. although all money claims now have to be issued on line your local county court office may be helpful

bizzybee1234 Wed 03-Apr-13 14:06:54

You can also instruct a tracing agent on a "no find no fee" basis. It is better if you can find the debtor as you will need to know his/her whereabouts to enforce any judgment you obtain against them. it also gives them no excuse whatsoever to set aside judgment.

@Snazzynewyear - use a tracing agent. Even if you serve personally you still need to know their address to put on the claim form. Last known address is OK but not ideal for the reasons outlined above

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