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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Good afternoon, I wonder if you can help? I am trying to find

Resolved Question:

Good afternoon, I wonder if you can help? I am trying to find information on rulings for a Judge to defer a hearing in the event of insufficient time to read the correspondence put before him. Recently I attended a hearing whereby the Judge who heard the case, had just been told he was hearing it, therefore not reading the file before my coming in. It transpired that the Judge had clearly, in my opinion not read the file as he made an assumption, and when challenged didn't like being told the case presented should stand as in fact the local council had made an offer, however, he told me to put the information away, and accept that he wasn't having any of it!!! Please help. Chloe

NB Also, the Judge advised me I would be liable for the othersides cost, however, it was put to the discretion of the barrister acting for the other side, that I didn't pay, if I agreed to Strike out the claim!!!

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, 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 : Was the claim allocated to track please?
Customer:

Hello Alex,

Alex Watts : Hello
Customer:

Yes, it went through small claims initially, and ended at small claims, I was told basically to agree to strike out, or I would be liable for the other sides costs also!! I have now since read online that a claim of upto £15K you don't pay the other sides costs? The concern I have is the conduct obviously of the Judge, who is a district Judge, and was extremely, I believe biased, he hadn't read the papers, and refused when I gave him the opportunity to view a letter from the local authority stating they agreed to pay, he refused it, and told me to put it away

Alex Watts : Ok. Can you confirm whether it was actually allocated, I assume so.
Alex Watts : This hearing, what was it for, the application to strike out a.
Alex Watts : ?
Customer:

Hi Alex, yes it was allocated and heard at Peterborough county court on the 27th june, the hearing I understood was to put across why I felt it had to be heard, and I believe the judge, didn't consider, or even give me good opportunity to put over an argument, it was very one sided

Alex Watts : Was it the trial or an application made by the other side?
Customer:

sorry I don't understand that question, I understood if Im reading your question correctly, it was hearing to proceed the claim

Alex Watts :

Yes, was it at trial where the Judge heard evidence and you submitted statements?

Alex Watts :

If so was the case dismissed?

Customer:

Hello Alex, I believe the judge should have heard evidence, however, it was very one sided to him speaking, and he directly told me I was basically speaking rubbish by stating the Local authority had said they'd offered to pay child care costs, when I went to present him the papers, and relevant letter stating that they had said they would pay, he directly told me to put them away, didn't for a minute believe, and went on about payments, how it should be expected that family should step into help look after a child, who albeit should have been in full time primary school, and that my claim was not a claim he was willing to make a president of...however, the authority stating they would pay in writing, surely is in turn a contract, they never made stipulations of what was rightly expected, and then the judge kept going on about inland revenue, however, the amount would have been less than any amount or figure for tax purposes, he assumed I was well over and above the tax figure bracket, didn't even consider that I could have put the invoices I submitted at the request of the LA through a business!!!

Customer:

obviously though, the question is, where do I find the rules on a judge deferring a case based on the grounds that he/she potentially had insufficient time to preview all the correspondence and supporting evidence

Alex Watts :

I need to know was it a final hearing or an application hearing?

Customer:

I believe it might have been an application hearing to proceed with my original small claim

Alex Watts :

Can you check? You should have the Court order listing it for a hearing

Customer:

it was a case management conference which took place

Alex Watts :

Ok - at the CMC was your case struck out or was it set down for trial?

Customer:

struck out on the grounds that he refused to set a president, and told me I would suffer further loss by pursuing, and that unless the barrister present for the other side instructed so, I would be liable for the costs right there and then

Alex Watts :

Who refused to set a precedent?

Alex Watts :

Did the Judge find that you had acted unreasonably?

Alex Watts :

Did you receive a notice of track order from the Court?

Customer:

the judge, he'd said that if he accepted my claim for payment, it would mean he was setting a president of payment for other families in similar/same situation to bring claim against the council, however, the council had put in writing to me that they'd pay costs, and went back on this hence my pursuance to the small claims

Alex Watts :

So you pursued costs as a small claim?

Customer:

obviously having little to no legal back ground, I wasn't aware that they actually fell foul of their contract, and at most what I should have stated in my representations was that they were in breach of contract by writing saying they would pay the costs having made no stipulations

Customer:

yes

Alex Watts :

But HAD the matter been allocated to track - did you get an Order from the Court saying it was allocated to track?

Customer:

no

Customer:

I felt forced that I had to agree there and then to it being struck out,

Alex Watts :

Ok - and this new small claim was struck out?

Alex Watts :

At a CMC?

Customer:

yes

Alex Watts :

Because you agreed for it to be struck out, or the Judge decided that?

Customer:

I wasn't given much choice I don't think, I felt totally forced into agreeing that they struck it out, the judge had already made his mind up this wasn't going anywhere, and told me if I proceeded it would cost me heavily, and already I think in his mind summed up that this was a route I perhaps couldn't afford!!

Alex Watts :

In short you agreed for it to be struck out?

Customer:

I was told to go out of his chambers and give my decision to the barrister, and that he would draw up a strike out

Alex Watts :

Ok - now I have the background you want to know should the Judge have read the entire file for a CMC?

Customer: Yes that's correct
Alex Watts :

Ok - It is quite normal for a Judge to be passed a file just before the parties go in

Alex Watts :

A CMC is just that a CMC. If it were a trial it would be different

Alex Watts :

But the Judge does not need to have read the whole file before the parties go in

Alex Watts :

The Judge is generally there to timetable the case.

Alex Watts :

The Judge is likely to have read the pleadings and any case summary

Alex Watts :

But as this is not the trial, the Judge is not expected to have an in depth understanding.

Alex Watts :

Indeed even if it were a trial, generally with a small claim Judges only read it 10 min before the parties go in

Alex Watts :

That is quite normal and due to listing pressues.

Alex Watts :

* pressures *

Alex Watts :

As for costs

Alex Watts :

If a matter has NOT been allocated then notwithstanding it may be a small claim value, unless its been allocated then the costs rules of a small claim do not apply

Alex Watts :

The matter MUST have been allocated for costs rules to apply

Alex Watts :

Just for information the small claims limit is £10,000

Alex Watts :

But if the claim is struck out before allocation then the other side can ask for costs

Alex Watts :

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

Alex Watts :

I would have said you could have appealed but if you consented to the strike out sadly any appeal would fail

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Hi Alex,

Customer:

thank you for your help, sorry my lap top froze earlier.

Alex Watts : No problem, if this answers your question might I invite you to rate my answer.
Alex Watts : If the system won't let you please do say,
Alex Watts : If you need more help please click reply.
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