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advice please -being taken to small claims

(23 Posts)
BiggerAndBadder Mon 08-Aug-11 12:18:55

just been advised if i dont pay money that i dont think i am liable to pay i will be taken to small claims court - should i reply to the email i have been sent saying why i dont think i am liable and why? or wait until i get taken? would it be seen in the court (never been so dont know what is involved) as better to explain in advance?
if anyone wants full info in pm to better assess the situation - not too complex! i will explain!

poppysweetie Mon 08-Aug-11 12:22:40

I wouldnt reply in writing, I would contact them by phone to see if it can be resolved at all, but am guessing not as if it could be resolved they wouldnt be taking court action. The court papers are not seen by a Judge until further down the line, once you submit a defence and/or counterclaim.

Collaborate Mon 08-Aug-11 12:32:19

No harm to state your defence at this stage.

BiggerAndBadder Mon 08-Aug-11 12:33:29

if i lose do i pay their costs as well?

Collaborate Mon 08-Aug-11 12:50:12

Only the court fee.

BiggerAndBadder Mon 08-Aug-11 12:53:41

do you think i have a chance?

regarding 3 courses that i didnt request and having left they are asking for cost of these back.

no agreement to pay back if i leave was in place

it ws a case of ' i think you should do this course' do you want to - didnt request them.

value is £220

grumpypants Mon 08-Aug-11 12:58:41

does yr contract say that the cost of training will be recouped if you leave within x period of time - that's pretty std?

grumpypants Mon 08-Aug-11 12:59:31

was the training available to all, or just to you to further your knowledge?

BiggerAndBadder Mon 08-Aug-11 13:03:49

it isnt work related - a sport club - my daughter - now 18. was updated coaching, safeguarding and judging courses. she was a competitor herself and also helped with the younger athletes. It was expected and she has left to join a rival club. The costs were met partly with fundraising and partly from the club.

BiggerAndBadder Mon 08-Aug-11 13:04:37

it was not just her - half a dozen others. another couple of them have also left, and been asked for costs back too.

LIZS Mon 08-Aug-11 13:08:56

Has the rivalry caused ill feeling ? If it is of benefit to the new role then maybe new club would meet some of the cost ?

BiggerAndBadder Mon 08-Aug-11 13:10:32

i'm sure it is to do with ill feeling.
in the new role she probably wont be coaching- concentrating on her own training.

SoupDragon Mon 08-Aug-11 13:14:01

Ill feeling and the fact that they've wasted precious funds training someone in a role to benefit the club who then left.

If there was nothing written stating that costs would have to be repaid in the event of her leaving, I would imagine they'd struggle to claim but I can see their point.

Severin Mon 08-Aug-11 13:17:00

If you lose you will have to pay their costs. Are you sure you are not liable? If not, then you will have to make a 'statement of truth' at some point, and then a court will decide who is in the right. The loser has to pay costs to the other side.

Email correspondence where you state your case can be used in court. Be careful what you say and try and get them to admit things that might help your case, and save the emails as a text file if they help your case.

I found the court fair, won, but then the company who owed me the money closed that business and started another exactly the same, so I got virtually nothing.

Collaborate Mon 08-Aug-11 13:20:47

On what you say I think they can't get their money back. Unless it's in the contract of employment.

prh47bridge Mon 08-Aug-11 13:57:49

I agree with Collaborate - on what you have posted I don't think they will get their money back.

And Severin is wrong on costs. If you lose in the small claims track you will not have to pay their legal costs other than the court fee.

limitedperiodonly Mon 08-Aug-11 14:18:33

Wait until you get a summons. You might not get one. No idea whether you're liable to pay anything back.

If you get a summons, you can contact the court and ask for a short extension to complete your defence.

The claimant will have to state how much you owe and why they think you do. You just respond to that saying whether you want to contest it, pay in full or make a part admission (paying part of it).

If you want to contest it, send in your defence on time. Keep a copy. It's an idea to send recorded delivery so you have proof of posting. Courts are pretty good but sometimes things go astray in a busy building.

You might get another form from the court called an Allocation Questionnaire asking to what 'track' it should be allocated. If you get one give them a call and they'll tell you. Do remember to send the Allocation Questionnaire back though.

If the claimant wants to continue there'll be a hearing that you must attend otherwise you'll lose if the other side turns up. I think in your circumstances it has to be in the court nearest to you.

Whichever side loses has to pay the other's costs. So if you lost you'd have to pay the amount claimed, claimant's court fee which used to be about £50 for that amount, and any solicitor's costs. IIRCC neither side can claim costs for taking time off work to attend or travel expenses, but I may be wrong.

Legal costs should be in proportion to the sum owed or a judge will ask why and depending on the answer will decide whether or not to grant them.

Collaborate Mon 08-Aug-11 14:58:18

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE listen to prh47bridge and me over costs. No one can either claim from the other side their own legal fees or be required to contribute to the other side's legal fees in the small claims court.

poppysweetie Mon 08-Aug-11 15:36:17

You will not have to pay costs as £220 will be allocated to small claims track. You would have to pay court fee and interest if you lost, interest runs at 8percent from the date the money became due.

poppysweetie Mon 08-Aug-11 15:37:18

And you wont have to write a statement of truth, its claimant that does that in the claim form, you have to compile a defence.

limitedperiodonly Mon 08-Aug-11 16:42:26

OP I think we can all agree that there's nothing to be scared of in going to the small claims court. You probably won't even get a summons.

If you do, just because they say you owe them money, doesn't mean you do. Even if the court does find against you, you don't have much to lose so don't worry about it.

Collaborate can we PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE agree that we're all trying to help here rather than score points?

I was awarded costs of about £200 at a case management conference for something that started life in the small claims court and should have stayed there. Not legal fees, but other costs to do with the claimant's timewasting through breach of a procedural rule.

The judge also invited both sides to submit legal costs. They were both rejected.

Maybe he did that was because it was a CMC to decide on the track. Maybe it was because the claimant made costs an issue by requesting it be moved to a track where costs would definitely have been live.

Or maybe he wanted to make a point about unreasonable litigants wasting time and money - the court's I mean - not the hapless defendant because the £200 did not cover my costs or anxiety. I don't know. But it does happen and I know that because it happened to me.

She dropped it soon after so that was that. Because the small claims court is so cheap for litigants and costs are awarded in exceptional circumstances only, and then not in punishing amounts, it is quite a good way for people who want to harass you to be able make your life hell. IME, of course. I had three failed summonses from this person. Can't see a way round it though.

Collaborate Mon 08-Aug-11 17:07:30

limitedperiodonly: I'm not trying to score points. Wrong advice could have lead OP to decide to pay up, fearing the consequences of having to pay legal costs if they win. I won't apologise for correcting you. I am always happy to be corrected if necessary.

limitedperiodonly Mon 08-Aug-11 17:28:36

That's fine collaborate. Not asking for an apology. I don't want the OP to fail either.

Legal matters aren't my job. I talked about my experience in the small claims court. I have no idea why the judge came to that decision.

All I wanted to do was explain what I wrote when it appeared that my experience was being questioned. I'm not making it up.

Anyway, fainites smile.

Good luck, OP.

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