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to think this guy doesn't actually have a case against me?

(18 Posts)
sconebonjovi Tue 21-Jun-16 15:55:27

Posting here for traffic, and because I know lots of you are knowledgeable!

I have been threatened with being taken to small claims court by somebody and I need some advice.

The other party and I are both market traders (I serve drinks, he serves food). In March he approached me with a proposal to work together at some events this summer. He said that he was making his applications for all upcoming events with provision for drinks service, and would I like to be involved?

I said I was interested, and he sent through some dates. No fee or schedule of payment was ever agreed. Between this first meeting and the first scheduled event I met with him to discuss not pursuing the proposal. He pressured me into continuing, based on taking the first event as a trial run.

The first event was not a success, and I pulled out of it at the midway point, something that at the time he did not contest. He said that as it was a trial run it was not an issue, but that there were things that he was not happy with about how we worked. As it was such a failure both commercially and interpersonally, I was under the impression that we would not be continuing.

Since then, we have met again. He put a new proposal to me for the rest of the dates. I have rejected it, in writing, and offered to find a replacement drinks vendor to work with him. I haven't been able to confirm the other vendor as of yet. He is now threatening to take me to court to recover £500 of costs which he claims were derived from making the bookings with me in mind on the basis that I am in breach of a verbal agreement. At no point previous to contacting me today has he mentioned this figure. We did discuss the fact that there would potentially be outlay involved on his part, but no costs were agreed with me and I do not consider us to have a binding agreement. We have nothing in writing, and on none of our previous meetings did he mention the figure he is contesting. Aibu to think his case unlikely to have any merit?

AgnetaTheViking Tue 21-Jun-16 16:01:05

I've watched enough Judge Rinder to hazard that he doesn't stand a chance. He would have to prove that he had a contract with you and that the terms were clear.

YouAreMyRain Tue 21-Jun-16 16:01:41

I have no legal or business experience at all but for what it's worth, he sounds like he is panicking and trying it on.

BumbleNova Tue 21-Jun-16 16:05:01

Nope - he is bluffing. hold your ground. You agreed nothing and have no liability.

sconebonjovi Tue 21-Jun-16 16:14:21

Thanks. My instinct is that he is bluffing, but I'm a little concerned as I have very little legal knowledge, and can't afford a solicitor of my own!

AdjustableWench Tue 21-Jun-16 16:18:00

I wonder what evidence he would present to the court in support of his claim that you owe him money.

It doesn't sound like much of a case to me.

GarlicSteak Tue 21-Jun-16 16:20:21

Agreed. Tell him to bring it on.

PolaroidsFromTheBeyond Tue 21-Jun-16 16:23:17

Nobody has a solicitor at a small claims hearing. Everybody represents themselves. It's not like a criminal or even magistrate court and is quite low key. If he does take action then the court will write to you and ask you for a statement and evidence. You will then need to turn up on the appointed day to go through your evidence in person.

But it sounds like he's bluffing. If he does takes you to court, it doesn't seem like he has a leg to stand on so there isn't anything to be massively worried about.

myownprivateidaho Tue 21-Jun-16 16:30:04

Yeah, I'd say he has no chance.

myownprivateidaho Tue 21-Jun-16 16:32:04

And don't hire a solicitor since you can't get your legal costs paid if you win in the small claims court. If he goes through with it, seek free advice from the cab or local law advisory service. Even if you don't have legal advice it sounds like you'd be fine to show up and tell the truth.

228agreenend Tue 21-Jun-16 16:44:19

We took someone through the Small claims court, and won. It was all,done online, through Money Claim Online.

We didn't actually set foot inside a court, or speak to a solicitor. Literally, we submitted out claim, the people had a chance to put their case across (which they did at the 11th hour), and then the verdict was given (in our favour). It was all straight forward and not complicated.

If you explain what you have mentioned above, then you should be fine.

We have no legal knowledge either.

cherrypepsimax Tue 21-Jun-16 16:51:38

we've issued a claim via the website PP mentioned and won both times, got paid in full, never had to provide evidence at all, because the other parties did not contest it. It will cost him to do that, so if you do get notification of that he has, then make sure you respond or could automatically be found in his favour!

Lovewineandchocs Tue 21-Jun-16 19:55:39

No case at all. There would only be a case if he acted to his detriment due to reliance upon a statement by you, which you later went back on. None of this happened-no agreement was made, a "trial run" took place, after which both parties had misgivings. You put in writing that you wouldn't be working on any further events with him. Therefore you made no such statement upon which he could purport to have relied-therefore no breach of contract and no case to answer <bangs gavel>. Yes, do make sure you respond though or a decree could be granted in your absence.

228agreenend Tue 21-Jun-16 20:23:35

Forgot to add, if he does make a claim through the website, he will have to pay an initial fee. If he wins, and you loose, you will,have to pay this cost. Therefore, make sure you respond. Have you any copies of the letters you sent him, proof of posting etc?

sconebonjovi Tue 21-Jun-16 20:40:05

Thanks all! No, no letters, and basically no correspondence of any kind, just a few emails arranging to meet and discuss his proposal, and an email from me confirming that no, I would not be doing it. All very very casual up until this point!

honeylulu Tue 21-Jun-16 20:43:46

I'm a solicitor and he is talking shit. Just keep a detailed record similar to what you've written here. Save any emails/text messages in case he tries it on.Bet he doesn't!

honeylulu Tue 21-Jun-16 20:46:03

Oh meant to say. If he does issue and serve legal proceedings make sure you complete and return the defence form contesting all of the claim. Otherwise your silence is deemed acceptance and he can get judgment in default.

sconebonjovi Wed 22-Jun-16 09:20:03

Thank you honeylulu, that's really reassured me!

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