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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Small Claims Court Advice

Resolved Question:

On 08 Feb 15, I agreed to sell a car to King Street Breakers, and that we wished to retain certain parts, notably the engine, for which we had a buyer and the means to remove the engine from the vehicle and the KSB site.  Though no actual price was agreed it was agreed that the price would mutually acceptable.

On 09 Feb 15, the car was duly delivered but subsequent calls made to agree to collect parts or agree a price were dismissed. After some delay, we were notified the engine had been removed against the initial agreement and was available for collection. KSB reneged on the agreement made to agree a price for the car and continue to prevent our access to it to collect parts or indeed remove it.

When our parties arrived to collect the engine, they were intimidated and were charged £380 for the engine, which was paid under protest.  Part of this intimidation was that the car had been lifted on top of the shipping container which acted as the site office (we have a photo).

On inspection, the engine was found to be incomplete missing the ECU and turbo. The lack of ECU renders the engine  inoperable. The engine was a 1.4Tfsi – not just a 1.4 – the turbo forms part of the engine.

My question is what grounds to I have pursue this through the small claims court? As it stands we are £380 down with no car and only part engine. Does the Theft Act apply - if not what perhaps?

I seek: either return of the car, our asset, complete and as delivered and the improper charge of £380.00 or £1500 covering the cost of replacement engine parts (including ECU, turbos etc) and other parts identified on 08 Feb 15.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : For now please let me know the cost of a used replacement ?
Customer:

Hello, the car would be written off - but it was a special edition model and as such many parts are sought after (we had a buyer for the engine that day). Our aim was to details the parts we sought and then agree a price for the remainder. By way of values, a replacement ECU for the engine is £600 - this was one of pieces removed from the engine before it then 'sold' back to us.

Alex Watts :

Yes, so the cost of replacing like for like would be what please?

Customer:

Alex, in terms of parts we identified: ECU £600, ECU software £200, turbo £200, manifold £150. Other parts that we identified included: boot lid, £200, rear bumper £200, light clusters with finishing £150.

Customer:

Thanks, JT

Alex Watts : You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy
Alex Watts : If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
Alex Watts : The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
Alex Watts : If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Alex Watts : Can I clairfy anything for you about this today please?
Customer:

Alex, thanks. 1. Is this contrary to the Theft Act (or other?) - or am I simply seeking to cover my loss - if covering losses - what is the term - Compensation? 2. What standing does the verbal agreement made on 08 Feb 15 have - in that it was verbal only and that we agreed to a mutually agreeable price? 3. How do I present the claim in the small claim court process - (in which I only have 1080 characters) - where should the emphasis be? Do I refer to verbal agreement (hence 2 above). 4 what is the likely defence to be and how can I mitigate for this? 5. Can I recover the £380 paid under protest - if so how should this be presented?

Customer:

Alex, thanks but my question was what grounds to I have pursue this through the small claims court? As it stands we are £380 down with no car and only part engine. Does the Theft Act apply - if not what perhaps?. Specifically: 1. Is this contrary to the Theft Act (or other?) - or am I simply seeking to cover my loss - if covering losses - what is the term - Compensation? 2. What standing does the verbal agreement made on 08 Feb 15 have - in that it was verbal only and that we agreed to a mutually agreeable price? 3. How do I present the claim in the small claim court process - (in which I only have 1080 characters) - where should the emphasis be? Do I refer to verbal agreement (hence 2 above). 4 what is the likely defence to be and how can I mitigate for this? 5. Can I recover the £380 paid under protest - if so how should this be presented?

Alex Watts :

Its not theft, it would be breach of contract.

Alex Watts :

Theft is a criminal act and you can't pursue that through the County Court

Alex Watts :

A verbal agreement is legally binding

Alex Watts :

You just issue brief details of the claim. If the matter is defended and goes to trial then you can file a witness statement which can be detailed.

Alex Watts :

I don't know what the defence is because I do not know what they are going to say

Alex Watts :

Yes you can recover the £380 by simply saying it was under protest.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you?

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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