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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34236
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Can I appeal a county court order made nearly 18 months ago?

Customer Question

Can I appeal against a county court order made nearly 18 months ago? At that time I didn't know that I could appeal as I had no legal representation.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What was the nature of the Order - what was it about?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The order was to dismiss my application to set aside a CCJ (money claim).

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Why do you believe you had grounds to appeal?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

There was a judgement registered against me for a debt which was in fact a limited company debt. The CCJ was registered in default as the court notices were being sent to an address that was not my residence address, it was a property I had rented out, so I never received any court notifications. Anyhow, the creditor got a CCJ registered against me.

They then applied to court and got a charge on my property.

They then applied for an order for sale.

By that time I had moved into the property myself and so I received the court notice for a hearing to deal with the order for sale application.

I then applied to the court to set aside the judgement on the basis of the above mentioned arguments.

But after submitting this application, I went to the hearing which was meant to deal with the application for the order for sale.

At the hearing I told the judge that I had applied for the judgement to be set aside.

The judge straight-away asked me what were going to be my arguments for my application to set aside the judgement.

I told him that I was expecting a separate hearing to deal with my application and so had not come prepared with my notes and arguments.

The judge then gave the order to dismiss my application to set aside the judgement and granted the order for sale of the property by the creditor.

I feel that I was not given a fair chance and my application to set aside the judgement was not carefully considered and was dismissed without even allowing me to present my arguments to the case. So I want to appeal against that order. Can I?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Has the house now been sold?
What was your actual defence?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, I was ordered to pay off the debt in instalments over two years or the house would be sold.I never had a chance to submit the defence. There should've been a hearing to deal with me application to set aside the judgement and for that hearing I was planning to submit my defence.

But the judge decided to deal with my application to set aside the judgement at the application for sale hearing. I was totally unprepared for this and so panicked and could not give my arguments as I had none of my notes and info with me.

I feel that I have not been given a fair chance to defend my case.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HI
I appreciate that - but still need to know - what was the defence to the claim?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK, let me give a bit of background about the nature of the debt. I used to work for a company (Limited liability company) in senior management (I was not a director though). The company was in financial trouble so I went to see a firm of insolvency practitioners and instructed them to liquidate the company. They issued an invoice which was payable by the company and not me personally. However, the invoice was never paid. This is the outstanding debt and the insolvency practitioner is the creditor. I am not liable as it was a company debt and I never gave a personal guarantee. This explanation was going to be my defence.But I never got an opportunity to submit this defence to the court.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Did you give that account to the Judge at the hearing?
On what basis did YOU give the instructions to liquidate the company?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, I was never given the opportunity to give this account to the judge.

I don't remember exactly (as this happened in 2009) but the insolvency practitioner told me that I could instruct them.

Also, I don't understand that if their invoice wasn't paid, why did they continue the work?

According to their regulator, the invoice should have been paid by the company, and the insolvency practitioner should've taken the money from the company's assets.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Just to check - at the hHearing you did attend, you were asked what the Defence to the Claim was but you did NOT give the above details.
May I ask why not?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I just panicked as I was not expecting the judge to deal with my application to set aside the judgement at the hearing. I was advised by the court clerk that there would be a separate hearing to deal with my application. I was in process of preparing for the hearing and had prepared notes and evidence, but did not have this info with me at the application for sale hearing. I said to the judge that I am in the process of preparing a defence. As I said, I panicked and the judge probably though that I did not have a defence and ordered to dismiss my application. I do not believe that it is my liability so the judgement has to be cancelled. Can I appeal now or is it too late?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
It is not impossible - but just to check you gave the court NO defence at all because you were unprepared - you didn't give an alternative one at that time?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, I just said that I was in process of preparing a defence and was seeking legal advice.I think that the judge did not believe me. But, I was telling the truth. That's why I need another opportunity. It's only fair I think. As far as I'm concerned, the first hearing wasn't fair as I was not advised that my application to set aside the judgement would also be dealt with on the same day!

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You clearly do have a possible defence to the claim, and equally clearly you were not given a proper chance to have it considered by the courts.
On that basis you can apply for leave to appeal out of time.
However before you begin you must prepare your written defence as this will need to be submitted as part of the Appeal process.
This is because one of the factors in deciding whether or not to grant leave to appeal will be whether or not your defence has a valid chance of success
The form is here
http://www.jordanpublishing.co.uk/system/redactor_assets/documents/733/N161.pdf
You will need to give a coherent explanation for the 18 months delay.
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That is great. I'll put everything in writing and submit my appeal application to the court. I'm really happy with the way you have dealt with my question. Just one little clarification before we close this question.

The creditor is now threatening me with eviction and has issued an eviction notice. (All this for a company debt of £4,000!!!).

Will any such action be stayed until my appeal request has been dealt with? Do I need to submit a separate application for this?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That is great. I'll put everything in writing and submit my appeal application to the court. I'm really happy with the way you have dealt with my question. Just one little clarification before we close this question.


The creditor is now threatening me with eviction and has issued an eviction notice. (All this for a company debt of £4,000!!!).

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
No i am afraid you will have to make a separate application for a Stay of the Eviction Notice
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I completed my appeal application N161 over the weekend and took it to the county court this morning, but they told me that I had to submit it to the High Court. So I went to the High Court to submit it. But the clerk told me that I had to submit it to the county court for the attention of the Circuit Judge. I'm confused. What should I do?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The appeal is indeed to a Circuit Judge!
Clare