Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
may I ask if the judgement of the court at the hearing you missed was communicated to you please?
Yes it was.
Thanks. Did you pay the judgment amount by the time specified in the court order - I am guessing not from what you say. If not may I ask if there was a reason you did not?
I actually offered to pay at £10 per month as I thought the court action was unreasonable and then I decided that I would not pay, until I found out that it was on my credit file.
Thank you. Finally do you feel you have grounds to challenge the court order and would consider doing so?
I think there are grounds. I wasn't aware that making a claim could be turned against me. I definitely want to do so.
Thanks - what sum was involved?
The sum I originally paid was £794.44 then the court added £340 for costs. Total of £1134.44. Bearing in mind that I had originally paid the amount to the Council which I was claiming.
because the decision was given at a hearing rather than a default judgement, you cannot apply to have the judgement set aside but rather must appeal the judgement.
OK. What would this involve?
Appeals are dealt with under rule 52 of the civil procedure rules. Ideally you should have sought permission from the County Court during the hearing to appeal the judgement but were obviously not there to do so. If you did not, you would need to make your application directly to the Court of Appeal using an appellant's notice. The Court of Appeal form you require is form N164. You will need to explain the reason you are late in appealing
In order to succeed, you need to identify a significant error of procedure or alternatively that the decision is demonstrably wrong on the law or the facts. The usual test for this is that although you may disagree with the judge's decision if objectively the district judge could properly have come to the conclusion he did on the above basis on the evidence presented, the appeal is likely to fail.
you have 21 days from the date of the judgement to lodge an appeal and as you were beyond this timeframe, you will need to explain to the court why you are late and why the court should extend the time limit. This is in addition to the above requirements in order to obtain permission to appeal.
you will appreciate there are two relatively significant hurdles to overcome in order to lodge an appeal, particularly the delay but also the question of showing why the previous judgement was wrong in law. if you believe you can satisfy these two requirements, then you may wish to consider proceeding with an appeal against the judgement
OK. Thanks. I wasn't advised that I could appeal. I have the original documents. In any event it all seems like a great deal of trouble and probably expense. Thanks again.