Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
What is it you would like to know about the County Court Judgment please?
My wife was sued in the county court by the management company of the group of flats claiming approximately £7000.00 because my wife did not pay them the service charges for 3 years.. My wife could not receive the court summons in time due to mail problems and when we learnt about the claim it was already late and the court ordered my wife to pay the money to the claimant. This was a default judgement and I applied to the court to set the previous judgement orders aside and re-hear the case because my wife had authentic reasons for not paying to the management company. The court, in its next hearing , set the previous judgement aside and the case hearing was re-started. But in the meantime the solicitor of the claimant sent a letter to my wife's mortgagee bank that they should pay on behalf of my wife an amount of nearly £7000.00 ( referring to the bank the judgement orders of the county court) or otherwise the management company will re-occupy the flat. So this bank saw their interest into danger and they quickly paid the claimed money to the claimant. It is notable that the claimant did not refund that amount to the bank when the county court set the previous judgement aside after our representation. So they are still holding the amount. Now the court has delivered the judgement recently and it is worded exactly as below:
jUDGEMENT ORDER: "CLAIM BE DISMISSED. THE DEFENDENT PAY THE COSTS OF £ 3200.00"
Upon receiving this judgement I asked the solicitor of the claimant to pay back the bank all the amount he received previously but he denied to pay and he says that the judgement is delivered against me, and it is my wife who should pay the cost as written in the court order (amount £ 3200.00).
Is the mortgage from the bank in both names?
No, it's only in the name of my wife. I am acting as a representative of my wife into the court. So when I use the word "I" it means my wife's representative in this case.
The defendant name on the claim, is that you or your wife? I understood it to be your wife?
yes, the defendant is my wife, and I am acting as her rep.
Are you on Court record as acting?
I dont understand when you say that the Solicitor refuses and 'says the Judgment is delivered against you'?
My wife is not very conversant in English language and I am helping her.
Ok - but on what basis does the Solicitor say the Judgment is against you?
As I understand it and correct me if I am wrong £7000 paid by bank, CCJ got for £3200 and therefore £3800 due to a refund?
Yes, he says I do not understand this judgement. I should seek a solicitor's advice. Perhaps he is deriving the result from the judgement order because the judge has put the burden of coswts all upon my wife.
But I still dont understand - how is the Solicitor saying the Judgment is against you when you are not named as Defendant?
Sorry, when I say he always a names my wife when he saysv it is against you. He knows my wife is not writing anything. It is me writing on behalf of my wife.
So when he says anything it is actually my wife addressed.
If the Judgment debt was for £3200 and you have paid £7000 via the bank, then you are entitled to £3800 back, assuming there are no other arreaars
You are not entitled to the £7000 back.
But just the difference.
But in any event that payment should be forwarded to the BANK to credit BACK to your account.
Does that answer the question for you?
No he was paid by my wife's mortgagee an amount of £ 7000.00 for the money his cloient claimed at that time on account of un-paid service charges for 3 years. but now he wants £ 3200.00 as the cost of legal expenswes.
But the CCJ was that in relation to the SAME debt?
The debt was collected by them already from the bank on behalf of my wife. Now he wants legal expenses of £ 3200.00 as a cost of case. The court order says my wife (the defendant) pay this cost.
So the debt of £7000 has been paid
And you and them agree this?
To me it is not clear why the judge ordered that the defendant pay the cost while she dismissed the claimant's claim.
OK - if the debt was £7000 and that has been paid, you can forget that
Where a claim is brought, a side can ask for costs.
This is in addition to the debt claimed
Therefore if the claim was paid but the other side are seeking £3200 in costs, then these are payable
This is because the Judge has ordered costs
So in theory its £7000 for the debt PLUS £3200 in legal costs making a total of £10,200
If £7000 has been paid by the bank then the costs are £3200 as orderd
So which claim the judge has dismisswed...???
The arrears claim
He has dismissed it because the £7000 has been paid by the bank
BUT - there was a legal cost in bringing proceedings which is £3200 which is payable
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
If that claim has been dismissed the claimant has no right to keep the money taken from the bank.
Yes they can - if it is paid
If I bring a claim against you for £10,000 and before we get to trial its paid
Technically the claim has been dismissed because it has been paid
The Judge can not order you to pay £10,000 if it has been paid
The claim is dismissed and just costs are payable
If you owed the £7000 then this has been paid
If there was no claim the Solicitor would NOT have got costs
But he did.
This means there must have been a claim and it was paid
Can I clarify anything else?
The judge set aside the previous order and the case was started from square one. Which means, the claimant had no right to keep the money which they received from the bank. Do you see my point....???
Setting the order aside means we are back to start the case afresh.
But the Judge did not order that the money be returned.
If you owed the arrears then it was payable.
Because you were in arrears there were costs because they had to issue proceedings.
You can't expect to have money owing in arrears returned sadly.
If it was a debt then it was payable.
No, the amount was not payable unless judge dismisses our defence points.
No - you do not understand the process.
I assume you did not counter claim.
Therefore there would only be a claim from the claimant against the defendant.
If there was no claim whatsover the Court would NOT have ordered costs against you
The Court did award costs against you.
The rule is the losing party pays the other sides costs
Even though the claim was dismissed because it had been paid - you lost
You are ordered to pay costs - this means you lost.
Yes, we had no counter claim. The money was not my wife's right. It was to be returned not to my wife but the bank needed it back.
The Judge awarded costs against you - this means you lost.
Regardless of whether or not the Judgment debt had already been paid.
I am sorry but this is what the Civil Procedure Rules say
BUT THE JUDGE DISMISSED THE CLAIMANT'S CLAIM. WHICH MEANS CLAIMANT WAS AT FAULT.
(a) the general rule is that the unsuccessful party will be ordered to pay the costs of the successful party
If that was the case then the Judge would NOT have ordered costs AGAINST you
If the other party LOST then costs would NOT have been awarded against you
I am very sorry but these are the Court rules
If you lose you pay costs
The fact you were awarded to pay costs means that you lost
You can appeal the decision by all means but I would advise you not to
I think the decision is clear, costs against you = you lost
You can appeal on the basis the Judge was wrong, but you will need to seek permission to appeal
You would need to complete a form for this which is at:
You can't apply to set aside because there has been a hearing - it must be an appeal which you need permission
This is confusing. Why nthe judge made a decision against the claimant on one side, and on the other dside she passed the costs to be paid by the defendant. To me logic does not work.
But that is the Court Order. You have costs AGAINST you.
You can only appeal against this by completing form
You need to ask permission to appeal.
If this is refused on paper you can ask for an oral hearing
If this is refused then you can only appeal to the Court of appeal.
But if you think the decision is wrong, this is what you must do
Logically the decision makes no sense to me. Can I make an application for re-hearing....??
No - it must be an appeal
If you attended you can't ask for a rehearing - it HAS to be an appeal
I WAS LEGAL REP OF MY WIFE. ON THE LAST HEARING I APPLIED TO THE JUDGE VTO POSTPONE THE HEARING BECAUSE I WAS SUFFERING FROM STROKE. THE JUDGE VDISMISSED MY APPLICATION AND CONTINUED THE HEARING. MYWIFE WAS SITTING THERE IN THE COURT ASKING THE JUDGE TO POSTPONE THE HEARING BECAUSE SHE WAS UNABLE TO SPEAK ENGLISH AND ARGUE THE CASE.
But you can ONLY appeal
There was a hearing.
If the decision was made on paper you could ask for a re-hearing
But you attended so it MUST be an appeal
Can I clarify anything else for you about the question?
I STILL NEED TO GET CLARIFICATION WHAT CLAIM WAS DISMISSED BY THE JUDGE....???
PLEASE ANSWER THIS QUESTION, ALEX.
Because it looks like the bank paid
If there was as a debt and it is paid - the claim technically goes as it is satisfied (so dismissed) but they are still entitled to costs
That is why
IF THE BANK PAID THE CLAIMANT SHOULD HAVE WITHDRAWN THE CLAIM
Because they are entitled to seek their costs from the Court
Which they did,
In the sum of £3,200
Without that Court Order they could not have gotten cost
OKJ ALEX. THANKS A LOT FOR YOUR ANSWERS. I WILL FILL UP THE RATING NOW IN YOUR FAVOUR.
Thank you. I wish you all the best with this
If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.
Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.
Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/