Dear JustAnswer, This is a follow up to a previous question made with your operative solicitor StuartJ in early May but that came out on my other account that is on a different email address. I am a defendant in a Small Claims process scheduled for 31st July. The Judge issued the Notice of Allocation in March with a deadline for the claimant to pay the hearing fee of 7th April and to serve & file copy by 20th April. In both cases the claimant did not pay or serve&file his copy in time. The court instead of having the "hearing removed from the list" allowed his firm to pay a week late with a cheque that was at first not filled in correctly, which was sent back to the firm, and then further allowed the firm's secretary (i.e. not exactly the claimant himself) to email some rough PDFs of our correspondence without any witness statement. Please note I am a self-employed musician and the claimant is a large and prestigious firm of structural engineers with their own "debt recovery department". I again wrote to the Court on April 22nd asking if the case was to be struck out as per the rules or not, and did not receive a written response. After calling them up on numerous occasions the Judge has now at last issued a "General Form of Judgement Order" giving the claimant another 2 weeks to file a witness statement to accompany his PDFs of emails (which anyway I had already submitted as part of my very detailed defence). Under a heading called CPR 3.3(5) the judge has also given both parties the right to have "set the order aside, varied or stayed" within 7 days of service of this order. My issue is as follows: ...the claimant has now had almost 2 months to carefully study my deposition and all my attached evidence and if he does write a witness statement he will have the extremely unfair advantage, potentially, of it being perfectly targeted. In other words there is a clear imbalance in the level of "disclosure" weighted in favour of the claimant who, by taking the benefit of the court's waiving of the rules, has cleverly engineered himself into a position where he will able to make arguments based on my own deposition that I may be unable to counter in the hearing itself due to my not being allowed to add further evidence or bring in expert witnesses etc.. In short the whole thing seems to be very unfair. What is your advice - to write to the Judge and point this imbalance out, or to wait and see if the claimant is going to make a move? The problem is that I only have 7 days and if I don't take this opportunity I may not get another one. Also, I don't want to annoy the Judge with my naive expectations of court procedures and justice. The sum involved is £900... Yours sincerely, ***** *****
Thanks for your help.
This is now the second time I have been unable to get an answer. StuartJ was dealing with this and I paid him, so this question is actually very simple
Please can you cancel my 1-week free trial for £38pcm and confirm