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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69268
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi, I'm being taken to County court in November, basically

Customer Question

Hi, I'm being taken to County court in November, basically a guy drove into me (honestly) and now wants me to pay the costs of damage to his car.
Im happy to go to court, but i've had letters (I deem threatening) asking for the costs paid to him, or I face a custodial sentence if I dont pay him. He also wants me to pay the court fees + witness fees to him. Should I report this to the court?
I also will lose £300 for a days work, will I get that back?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

Has he issued proceedings yet?

Has he involoved solicitors or insurers?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo,

Yes proceedings are under way. I have submitted my defence letter to the court, we are at the stage where we can resolve this before we go to court. I guess that is what he is trying to do now.

He has not involved insurers, I don't know if he has a solicitor.

I think his method is to be threatening so this doesnt go to court.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
My suggestion is simply to either ignore his correspondence and let the court decide the issue based upon your evidence and his evidence ought to write back to him to say that you have no offer to make and that he should stop writing to you. I cannot see that it would make any difference if you mentioned it to the court
If this goes to court and you win, you can ask for your expenses for the day and the judge will decide whether £300 is reasonable or not based upon your job.
Once he has issued proceedings he should stop writing to you except with regard to reasonable offers to settle.
Although he has not involved insurers you may want to consider reporting this matter to your own insurers (you have to report the accident anyway) to get them to deal with this claim as a fraudulent claim.
Whether you win or lose will depend on the evidence and any witness statements you present to the court along with, also, details of the damage to each vehicle and the point of contact.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69268
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo,

Thank you for this, and your prompt reply.

The latest letter from the Claimant, is asking for more money than orignially asked for (apologies this is at home, and I am at work so dont have exact figures), the initial claim was for approx £480 (plus interest), but the latest letter is asking for more (approx £600) which includes the Court Fees, and his witness fees.

1. I thought bringing this to the court's attention would highlight Claimant dishonesty? He cant ask me to pay him the Court fees that won't exist him I pay him to stop court proceedings?

I intend to get my wife, who was a passenger at the time, to write a witness statement, but she wont be coming to court as she is unwell.

2. Will this help if she's not in court? Will it be beneficial to get a doctor's note explaining Jody's illness?

3. Would a character witness statement help my case?

4. If I decide to not go to court, and just submit all my evidence (justice does not always prevail, and I'd lose as additional £300 wages), how far will that go against my case?

You probably hear this a lot, but I didn't do anything wrong.

Many thanks.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I will look at this now.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Do remember that if your wife is writing a witness statement it must contain a statement of truth. "I believe that the contents of this witness statement are true" and it must be signed and dated. It will not have as much weight as an independent witness statement but it is better than nothing. It would also be really useful if she could go to court because judges like to see people face-to-face to get an impression about their credibility.
Getting a doctors note explaining her illness is useful but does not get round the fact that it would not be possible to cross examine her.
With regard to character witnesses, to be honest they are of little, if any value.
If you decide not to go to court and just submit all your evidence, it is highly likely that the judge would simply award the full amount of money (the higher amount) to the claimant.
I appreciate that you didn't do anything wrong and I appreciate this is a spurious claim but remember that the judge only has your version of events and the other person's version of events and has to make a decision on that basis. Unfortunately, you were the only 2 people there.
With regard to the increased amount that the claimant is asking for, he could probably explain that by saying that he asked the 1st amount based upon an estimate and eventually when they looked at the job they realised it would cost more. For that reason, it may not be as powerful a tool to discredit his evidence as you may think.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for this information Jo.

Unfortunately my wife is in depression at the moment so wont be able to attend the hearing.

I will attend as per your mail.

Regarding your point that Claimant may have underestimate costs, he initially sent me full receipt of work done, and parts (totaling £483 Initial Claim) .

The latest letter from the Claimant details fully what he expects my payment to him to cover:

£483 Initial Claim

£35 Court Fees (Initial Summons)

£55 Hearing Fee

£50 Witness Summons

£20 Witness Expenses

He finishes his letter as follows;

'I urge you to make full and final payment within the next seven days, thus averting the need to move to a formal hearing, this will incur additional costs and the possibility of you receiving a custodial sentence'

Do you consider this threatening, and worth raising with the court?

Your thoughts are appreciated.



Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, its a threat with no basis.
I wouldn't raise it with the court though. Just ignore it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thanks for your help Jo

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile

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