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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi there, Cutting a long story short, a bookmaker frivolously

Customer Question

Hi there,

Cutting a long story short, a bookmaker frivolously tried to get me to cough up £1,000 for a wager that was not mine. He employed a debt collector to recover this debt.

Moving forwards in time, they issued a claim against me in the county court. I was compliant the whole way and they weren't. Unsurprisingly, the debt collection company (the Claimant on the forms) 'discontinued' the case because they had seen my evidence bundle and know that firstly, I never placed this wager and secondly, that my evidence supports my cause. To date, they never produced any evidence or really complied with the court at any time.

I have asked the debt collection company (the claimant) for my reasonable costs back: photocopying, postage, legal fees (£25 fee for a legal question in here funnily enough) and the day and a half of lost earnings it too me (self employed) to defend this claim properly. It all amounts to £200 is.

My query is:

(1) Can I ask the Claimant (the debt collection agency) to cover my reasonable costs? I've asked for my costs and detailed what they are. They are trying to palm me off to claim from their client, the bookmaker.

(2) Can the bookmaker essentially employ someone else to recover this frivolous debt and possibly go to court all over again?

Many thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** 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 as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

If they discontinued the claim the rule is they pay your reasonable legal costs

Alex Watts :

The bookmaker can't employ someone else for the debt.

Alex Watts :

This is because you can not re-litigate on matters - it would be an abuse of process

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Thanks Alex much appreciated.

Alex Watts :

Happy to help

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question might I invite you to rate my answer

Customer:

The Claimant was the debt collector. The debt collector's client was the bookmaker.

Alex Watts :

If the system wont let you please do say

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Alex Watts :

It can't be taken to Court again

Customer:

who do I ask for costs? The Claimant (debt collector) or their client (the bookmaker)?

Alex Watts :

You ask the Claimant.

Alex Watts :

Always the Claimant

Customer:

exactly what i thought. The Claimant has referred me to the client citing it's nothing to do with them. They've refused to discuss it again

Alex Watts :

They can't change their mind - they should not have named themselves as Claiamnt

Customer:

do i ask the court to get on their back or is it best to write them a 'letter before action' before putting in a small claims?

Alex Watts :

Write a letter before action and if no joy apply to Court for an order for costs

Customer:

thanks Alex, does that 'apply for an order for costs' have a name, like N180 for example? And is there a fee?

Alex Watts :

You would apply using form N244 and yes there is a fee but if you get the order then this application fee is added to the claim

Customer:

because the claimant is now ignoring my request for costs, is there a term for this? Abuse of process for example? Just so I can be more persuasive if it gets that far

Alex Watts :

http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part38

Alex Watts :

See rule 38.6

Customer:

and lastly, my understanding is that the CLIENT has employed another party to recover this alleged wager. Is there anything i can do other tell them to bugger off? I imagine they are putting this on my credit profile as a 'defaukt'

Customer:

default*

Alex Watts :

Sadly no.

Alex Watts :

Please also bear in mind you asked for low detail and low urgency, so time spent is limited here today

Customer:

really? even if they are updating my credit profile with a default notice?

Alex Watts :

Then that is a matter for separate court action

Customer:

brilliant - you are a mega star. Thanks Alex :-)

Alex Watts :

All the best

Alex Watts :

Please remember to rate before you go today

Customer:

thank you :-) I'm rating you now

Ash and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Alex,


 


So sorry to come back to you but had to query something you said.


 


I refer you to rule 38.6, part 3 where it says:


"This rule does not apply to claims allocated to the small claims track."


 


It would appear that under this rule, I can't ask for costs. Is there another rule that applies to the 'smalls claims tack'?


 


Thanks


 


Zak


 


 

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
It's only a small claim if it was allocated. If it was then costs are not recoverable by either party in any event.

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