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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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My wife and I are currently being subjected to a course of

Customer Question

My wife and I are currently being subjected to a course of conduct by our neighbour amounting to harassment contrary to the Protection of Harassment Act 1997. This has been happening since November 2014. The police issued the neighbour with an harassment notice which was breached. On breach, the neighbour was arrested. Mrs H received a conditional caution, and Mr H has been charged under the Act and due to appear in court. We would like to pursue a civil claim in accordance with s.3 PHA 1997 for anxiety and financial loss. Please can you advise: (a) which claim form is to be used, (b) whether there has been an apprehended breach of s.1, (c) whether the Part 8 Procedure applies for this claim, and (d) what evidence should be accompanied to the claim (given that the neighbour has already been through the criminal system)?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.
Customer:

Hi thanks for your question.

Customer:

My name is***** can answer this for you.

Customer:

In answer to your questions:

Customer:

(a) You would use an N1 Claim Form: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/forms

Customer:

(b) Your question says there has been harassment, so if this is the case, then yes

Customer:

(c) This is unlikely to be suitable for the Part 8 procedure as there may be disputes about facts - this is more likely a Part 7 procedure if factual disputes exist

Customer:

(d) You would not need to do a witness statement with the claim form if you're doing it as a Part 7 Claim.

Customer:

You only send evidence with the claim form in a part 8 claim - which is not likely to be.

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

Thank you.

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

May I quickly comment on your answer to (c)?

Customer:

Sure

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

Part 65 of the CPR states the following:

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

Section 5, 65.28

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :
65.28 Claims under section 3 of the 1997 Act

A claim under section 3 of the 1997 Act –

(a) shall be subject to the Part 8 procedure; and
Customer:

Yes, I know.

Customer:

But, Part 8 itself states that the Rules or PD's may require or permit the use of the Part 8 Procedure.

Customer:

It doesnot require he Part 8 procedure to be used, but permits it.

Customer:

If you have a dispute on fact though, the Court will likely just give directions to treat it is as Part 7 Claim.

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

So if our neighbour is convicted of a s1 offence under the Act, there would be no dispute of facts?

Customer:

Are you seeking an urgent injunction?

Customer:

Oh sorry .... I didn't realise they'd been convicted?

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

We are asking the Court to issue a restraining order

Customer:

If they have been convicted, then you're right, you don't have to prove the same facts again on which they've been convicted.

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

Mr H hasnt been convicted as yet but is due to appear in court on 26 January. The police have a substantial amount of CCTV evidence and Mr H has already admitted to some of the harassment incidents during police interview.

Customer:

In which case, I would agree, Part 8.

Customer:

If you have admissions on harassment incidents (or a conviction) then I agree, Part 8 is more useful because it'll be brought before the Court much quicker.

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

OK, one final question please, do I simply refer to the conviction on the claim form as evidence without having to state the string of incidents etc?

Customer:

In which case you'd need a witness statement with your claim form.

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

Can you act in a legal capacity for me in drafting/checking the claim on a private fee basis?

Customer:

If you have a conviction of harassment by the time you plead, then yes, you can just refer to that without needing more. However, it's good practice to set out the background, so the Court can see what it's faced with.

Customer:

I'm afraid I can't ... But there are lots of firms out that there that would do this for you. Sorry!

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

That's a pity

Customer:

I know :(

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

I had a silly quote of £2000 from one lawyer

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

I have an LLB (Hons) so I know a little about law but not the drafting side

Customer:

That's silly too - that's too much for a claim form and particulars of claim. I would have thought more like £750 plus VAT at the most.

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

I struggle with the claim/practice aspects

Customer:

Yes, better to get a solicitor to do it if you can, as you say.

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

Am I allowed to ask a couple of further questions?

Customer:

sure

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

A claim for anxiety - how is this quantified in the claim?

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

and finally, if we put this claim in now, and in a few months results additional financial loss as a result of the harassment, can er put in an additional claim for financial loss?

Customer:

It's a little of a finger in the air approach for obvious reasons. Usually, the courts are very conservative though. I would have thought £3000 or so was probably the most you'd get in most run of the mill claims but it all depends on the detailed facts. Just leave the value blank and ask the court to assess it.

Customer:

You can amend to include additional losses, but if you can, try to plead as much loss as you know you've suffered now.

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

I've read that a conviction for harassment by neighbours can decrease the value of our home as it has to be declared to any potential buyers so this could be a future claim after the initial claim?

Customer:

That's true ... it depends on your buyer obvviously, but potentially, yes, this is right.

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

Can we claim court/legal costs from our neighbour to cover the cost of the claim?

Customer:

Yes, if you win, the court has a discretion to award costs and it usually does.

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

I promise not to ask any more questions

Customer:

Lol :) That's okay!

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

so we can put in more than one claim?

Customer:

You can ask the Court to adjourn the financial remedies element whilst you get the injunction now. Otherwise, you fall into procedural traps about claims being "res judicata" or an abuse of process.

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

Ok thank you so much for your help -its a very difficult time for us both at the moment

Customer:

It sounds like it - especially if you're thinking of doing this claim. But, sometimes, you need to do these things and you'll get through it, you just need conviction.

Customer:

I hope it goes as expected for you, I really do.

JACUSTOMER-zdlky9ij- :

Thank you and I will give you an excellent rating

Customer:

Thank yoU!

tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience: 11 years experience of general practice.
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