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Ask Ash Your Own Question

Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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hi,I issued a claim through money claim online against husband

Customer Question

hi,I issued a claim through money claim online against husband and wife tenants (jointly and severally liable in the AST, wife was the lead tenant) She was defendant 1 and submitted a defence within the timescales, he was defendant 2 and failed to do so; I requested judgment against him which was issued. His solicitor lodge an appeal and request to set aside the judgment based on inexperience of the moneyclaimonline system and lack of understanding of the timelines. The case was transferred to the local county court who sent a letter advising the appeal hearing date (28/5/14) This was followed by a letter from the county court advising of notice of change (change of solicitor) the court reference number was correct though it said the case was me vs her (not him as defendant 2) I went to court on friday to submit some documents; nothing was said at this time. I have just received a letter from the court dated 23/5/14 stating that the proper officer passed judgment for the defendant (Her) and I am to pay. I was unaware of any hearing date (post is particularly unreliable and often not received) How can there have been a hearing for the claim in court given that a judgment was issued against one of the defendants and a hearing to set this judgment aside has yet to be heard? is there anything I can do to appeal the judgment against me in this case?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts : 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.
Alex Watts : Are you the claimant or defendant please?
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

hi, please could you advise?

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

the claimant

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

in my post it does explain that the wife and husband are defendants 1 & 2.

Alex Watts : Yes but it wasn't clear. At what stage are proceedings?
Alex Watts : Judgment was entered?
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

ah, ok sorry.

Alex Watts : There was an applcation to set aide?
Alex Watts : Was there a hearing for that?
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

the only correspondence i had from court was for the hearing to set aside the default judgment against the husband as he didnt enter a defence

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

the date is 28th may for that

Alex Watts : ok, then that is right,
Alex Watts : So judgment against one person and a hearing for set aside for another.
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

there was a letter from court dated 19th may stating a notice of change as they changed solicitors (this stated the right court reference but said it was me vs her!

Alex Watts : But when it says you have to pay, most nderatand that?
Alex Watts : i don't understand that sorry
Alex Watts : Yes is judgment entered already against husband?
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

then i got a letter on saturday morning from court, dated 23rd may, stating that the proper office had made judgment against me and i had to oay

Alex Watts : Then judgment set aside application with wife?
Alex Watts : What exactly does it say?
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

the husband GB didnt enter a defence, i requested judgment on 22/4 through money claim online and it was issued on 23/4. the case was transferred to the local court on 30/4.

Alex Watts : ok
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

their first solicitor submitted a request to set aside judgment based on his lack of experience of MCOL and not understanding the timelines. the appeal hearing for this was set for 28/5. some of the correspondence confuses defendant 1 & 2. the husband GB is defendant 2, the wife, KB is defendant 1

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

the letter yesterday states the claim reference and that the proper officer has found in favour of the defendant

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

it was dated 23rd may. i havent had ANYTHING from court other than the hearing date for the appeal against the defualt judgment

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

the letter yesterday states the claim reference and that it was me vs KB and that the proper officer has found in favour of the defendant and that i must pay

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

their solicitors letters kept confusing defendant 1 & 2 in correspondence, I dont know if this has happened with court as well, but how can there have been a hearing (which i knew nothing about!) when there has been a judgment issued against GB already and this is still awaiting an appeal hearing?

Alex Watts : Ok
Alex Watts : i think the court just have it mixed up the names.
Alex Watts : As a claimant you would never have to pay unless a judge ordered it
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

but the appeal hearing isnt until 28th which is next week, so how could the proper officer have made a judgment against me?

Alex Watts : I think it's just a mistake.
Alex Watts : exacltly it's a
Alex Watts : mit
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

and the letter dates 23rd states that the proper officer has made a judgment against me

Alex Watts : mistake
Alex Watts : so write to the court Tuesday or call
Alex Watts : Clarify the position
Alex Watts : Its just a mistake.
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

I'm going to go in. what i dont understand is can there have been a hearing against KB last week without my knowldge

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

if there was, what can i do?

Alex Watts : its just a mistake
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

and so what do i do, as there is now a judgment against me?

Alex Watts : It's a mistake.
Alex Watts : Apply to the court to set aside.
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

how do i do that, and what will happen about the appeal hearing on weds?

Alex Watts : go to the hearing
Alex Watts : Apply now to set ask
Alex Watts : Apply to aside using form n244
Alex Watts : and see if the court will hear on Thursday too
Alex Watts : I think its just a mistake
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

their grounds for appeal were that the solcitor didnt understand the MCOL process (had no experience of them) and that their client had a strong chance of winning their case.

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

will this impact their chance of setting aside judgment???

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

how can there have been a hearing when they are jointly and severally liable and there was a judgment against him already?

Alex Watts : Bur go
Alex Watts : But go
Alex Watts : Ok that's not an excuse.
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :


will this impact their chance of setting aside judgment???







how can there have been a hearing when they are jointly and severally liable and there was a judgment against him already?



Alex Watts : But there are a two d
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

?

Alex Watts : Defendanta
Alex Watts : They are not joint in proceedings.
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

yes. they are husband and wife, who were tenants in my rental property, both named on the assured shorthold tenancy and therefore jointly and severally liable

Alex Watts : You need to get judgment separately
Alex Watts : Yes but they have a right to contest it.
Alex Watts : But they are likely to fai.
Alex Watts : fail
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

i'm confused now. They are joint tenants so how can they be treated separatley by the court? and how can they contest that?

Alex Watts : The court will always treat them separate.
Alex Watts : But they are likely to fail when contesting.
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

so there could (and it seems there was) a hearing against her last week?

Alex Watts : ok
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

which i need to contest now. How will this affect the appeal hearing??

Alex Watts : it won't in any way
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

they have a solicitor who has said they will pursue me for costs which are over £2k already.

Alex Watts : Whats the value of claim?
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

mine is for £8 damages. i was ordered to pay her £4.5 plus£100 costs.so how do i get the judgment against me (which was for defendant 1, her) overturned at appeal?

Alex Watts : ok
Alex Watts : But the fact the solicitor didn't know procedure is no
Alex Watts : defene
Alex Watts : defence
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything?
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

thats what i think, but I'm losing faith over all this.

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

yes please

Alex Watts : Dont worry
Alex Watts : they have no defence.
Alex Watts : If they were tenants they are liable.
Alex Watts : But they have a right to contest in court.
Alex Watts : Whether they win is a different matter
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

thats for the appeal weds. How do i get this judgment against me overturned?
I didnt get any correspondence to notify me of a court date

Alex Watts : You need to apply to the court to set that aside as I have said.
Alex Watts : You need to complete form n244 and ask that it be heard at the same time
Alex Watts : does that help?
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

ok- and what grounds are there to do that which would stand a good chance of success??

Alex Watts : I am sure that's just a mistake
Alex Watts : Its a mistake by the court about judgment against you so don't worty
Alex Watts : Worry
Alex Watts : Their defence is likely to fail.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

based on what? you have said the court is treating them as separate people. given that you said not knowing the MCOL online process is not a defence for them, why would me not having received any postal correspondence they might have sent about a hearing last week be an acceptable defence?

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

why do you think it is a mistake????

Alex Watts : Because as a claimant you can't have judgment against you.
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

???

Alex Watts : Its a mistake and I would suggest writing to the court and having it set aside as I has mentioned above.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

she counter claimed in her defence, that is the £4.5k i was ordered to pay

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

plus £100 costs

Alex Watts : Did you file a defence to the counter claim?
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

yes

Alex Watts : ok.
Alex Watts : as I said its clear
Alex Watts : mistake.
Alex Watts : If you file a defence the next step is a trial.
Alex Watts : So it's a mistake. Apply to set aside
Alex Watts : The form is here
Alex Watts : http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n244-eng.pdf
Alex Watts : Does that help ?
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

isnt that what happened last week in my absence?

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

what if the court didnt get my defence to the counter claim?

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

or i didnt know about the date last week

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

if the trial was what happened last week and the proper officer made their judgment, what grounds do i have to appeal on this n244 notice??

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

?

Alex Watts : Because you didn't know about it. In any event there wasn't a proper hearing before a judge.
Alex Watts : It was before a court officer.
Alex Watts : Its just a mistake.
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

so a proper officer isnt a judge??

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

is this a bit like a default judgment because i wasnt there?

Alex Watts : No.
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

why would a court officer make a judgment rather than a judge?

Alex Watts : exactly.
Alex Watts : The court would give what is called directions for a trial and you would know about it a month before any hearing
Alex Watts : So it's a mistake.
Alex Watts : Apply to set aside on the basis you filed a defence.
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

ah ok. another question.

Alex Watts : You were not told about the hearing and it wasn't before a judge.
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

thanks. before you came on to chat, I was googling in desperation and found some info about more than one defendant and default judgments; http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part12 point 12.8

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

i know you said the court treats them separately, but if I have had a judgment against him issued, does this info mean that the case against her shouldnt go ahead as they are jointly and severally liable?

Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?
JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

that is unless the judgment against him is set aside next week

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

can i ask about the court information about counter claim and defence please?

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

i didnt get anything from court about that other than from her solicitors dated 29/4 advising of her defence and counter claim. It doesnt give any indiciation about when I needed to respond.

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

I responded to her solicitors and court via email (not sure of the date)

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

are there timelines i needed to have submitted my defence to her counter claim by??

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

?

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

i didnt get anything from court about that other than from her solicitors dated 29/4 advising of her defence and counter claim. It doesnt give any indiciation about when I needed to respond.

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

I responded to her solicitors and court via email (not sure of the date)

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

what would happen if I hadnt responded to her counter claim/defence?

JACUSTOMER-x3ho4dan- :

?

Alex Watts : You would have been given an allocation directions from the court and then a trial date.
Alex Watts : This is a mistake as I have said and you need to apply to set aside using form n244 which I have given above.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?
Alex Watts : If not might I ask you to rate my service. If the system won't let you rate please let me know.
Alex Watts : If you need more help hit reply.

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