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Nicola-mod
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Hello. I am trying to take a man who has not paid me for some

Customer Question

Hello. I am trying to take a man who has not paid me for some work I did for him to the small claims court (two separate claims). However, part way through the process (while trying to serve a third party debt order) I realised that the flat number on both the claims forms I had submitted was incorrect. I wrote a letter to the court to explain this.

I've received two letters today that I have to respond to today (have been given 7 days to respond but have been away). One letter is a General Form of Judgement or Order and says that my judgement is "set aside". That the claim is stayed and I can apply to have the order set aside or varied (or stayed). I have no idea what this means and googling isn't providing any answers!

The second letter says that the judgement is an invalid judgement and should be set aside. That I any application to amend the claim form mush be made by formal N244 application supported by a statement of truth. I've looked at the N244 form and am not clear how to proceed.

Obviously, I'd like to continue pursuing the man for my money. I'd really appreciate any guidance on best next steps.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Max Lowry replied 3 years ago.

Max Lowry :

Hi, welcome to Just Answer. I will help you with your question.

Max Lowry :

What the court appears to be saying, is that the claim form was not properly served in the first place (went to the wrong address), and therefore the judgement obtained (I assume, by default) must be set aside for that reason.

Max Lowry :

Is inviting you to make an application, if you wish, to change the address on the claim form, and then serve the paperwork at the proper address.

JACUSTOMER-u1kjcxi2- :

Okay, so what do I do now?

Max Lowry :

Well, the strange thing is, you do not normally have to make an application to change the address in the claim form.

Max Lowry :

If you serve the paperwork at the correct address, and then apply for judgement in default 14 days after that (assuming no acknowledgment of service is filed) that would be sufficient, even if the claim form has an incorrect address.

Max Lowry :

But, if the original claim form was improperly served (sent the wrong address), it is correct to say that it must be set aside.

Max Lowry :

The sensible thing to do is to serve the claim form upon the defendant at the correct address. Then, once you've done that, lodge a certificate of service with the court, confirming that it has now been properly served.

JACUSTOMER-u1kjcxi2- :

So where does that leave me? The court says I can apply to have the order, currently "set aside" to "set aside" "varied" or "stayed". I don't know what these things mean and whether I should

Max Lowry :

The court is saying that you have the opportunity to challenge the order that it has made, in your absence.

Max Lowry :

To be honest, if you have served at the wrong address, I doubt that the court would set aside the order it has now made. The general statement about setting aside must be included on orders that the court makes without the parties being present. It is standard wording.

JACUSTOMER-u1kjcxi2- :

I was trying to delete my last comment. Do you mean I should serve a brand new claim to the defendant at the correct address? My amended claim has been rejected..

Max Lowry :

The claim has been stayed because you have not properly served. You do not need to issue a new claim, stayed simply meets "put on hold".

JACUSTOMER-u1kjcxi2- :

And the court seems to be expecting some sort of response via an N244 application supported by a statement of truth - but I am not clear what I should be filing this form in for or what wording to use.

Max Lowry :

So once you properly serve the documents, you can continue in the normal way. That is why you lodge a certificate of service with the court, to confirm that service has been properly effected. You will need that certificate when you apply for judgement in default.

JACUSTOMER-u1kjcxi2- :

AGain, meant to delete that not post..

Max Lowry :

I don't think it is. The Court is saying that you can apply to set aside its order, if you think it appropriate to do so.

JACUSTOMER-u1kjcxi2- :

Thank you. Please tell me what steps to take.

JACUSTOMER-u1kjcxi2- :

i.e. how to do I "properly serve the documents" - this is very unclear to me.

JACUSTOMER-u1kjcxi2- :

And what is a certificate of service?

Max Lowry :

You can set the documents in many ways, but the most common, is to send them via first class post to the usual or last name residential address of the defendant, if the defendant is an individual.

JACUSTOMER-u1kjcxi2- :

this is very unhelpful. I thought the court serves the docments to the defendant, not me.

Max Lowry :

The standard certificate of service form is in the link for you: http://hmctscourtfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=459

Max Lowry :

The court does serve documents, and it has done it for you once, but will not keep doing it for you. It will serve it the first time, after that, it's down to you.

JACUSTOMER-u1kjcxi2- :

thank you. As I said, when I looked at the N244 form it was unclear to me what the purpose is. It clearly says "what order are you asking the court to make and why" surely this is aimed at the court and not the defendant?

Max Lowry :

That is a standard application form. It is a form which you would complete and send to the court if you are making an application.

JACUSTOMER-u1kjcxi2- :

That was the form that came up in the link you just sent me?

Max Lowry :

Yes.

JACUSTOMER-u1kjcxi2- :

So you haven't answered my question... Do I serve the N244 form to the court or the defendant. the wording on the document implies it gets sent to the court. You are telling me to serve to the defendant directly.

Max Lowry :

Why have you rated bad service?

Max Lowry :

The N244 is sent to the Court *and* to the Defendant.

Max Lowry :

And nowhere in this thread do I tell you, as you seem to think I did, that you need to serve only on the defendant.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola

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