We were the defendants.
At the hearing the judge asked 'had I received a letter from the claimant dated October 2013'. I said I had but I simply had forgotten to respond to it. The Judge said I should have replied and therefore the case was 'dismissed' - she did not listen the the actual defence or circumstances of the case and that was that. I wanted to note that I did respond to the claimants demand but to a reminder letter dated February 2012.
I think it unfair the judge makes this dismissal without actually hearing the defences case.
I then posted a defence response (form N244) to the county court.
The circumstances of the case I have copied below but basically I did not pay for shoddy decorating work the builder did for me (which I had to repair at a later date) and he is claiming for an unpaid invoice sent to me for approximately £500.
Sent o the Court as our initial defence
"We will be contesting this case on the grounds that the work was not carried out according to the verbal arrangement made with Mr Lassalle. Photographic evidence can be provided as proof as well as written receipt for repair that had to be made to correct the work Mr Lassalle had managed to do.
19th Sept 2012 Mr Lassalle was given instructions to paint in 2 colours a living room in a stripped design. This follows a design which is already present. He was also asked to paint the ceiling (2 coats) and to fix the ceiling rose, to varnish shelves, paint the skirting boards and the doors to the living room. I also asked for a plug to be repaired. He knew the job he was expected to do as I had already explained this before to him when he painted my bathroom. On the 19th I came back from work at 3pm and he had completed one coat of paint to the ceiling - only. I had texted him this day to ask what he had done. He replied he did not have the tools to do the job and he did not know anything about having to re-paint stripe effects onto the walls (despite me having clearly told him twice before and the stripes being clearly visible). Also that day he left me without light having disconnected the living room light without warning me. On the 20th he returned to resume work but after coming home I saw that the stripes were not even and very poorly applied and the newly applied paint was peeling off. Paint had dripped also onto my plugs and electric cables - he had left a mess. Please see continuation sheet enclosed"....
We have not asked the judge for leave of appeal - we did not know that was an option or told that was an option.