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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I recently purchased a house and after completion discovered

Customer Question

I recently purchased a house and after completion discovered that the estate agent had lied and withheld a number of issues. I have been trying to resolve this with them as it resulted in significant actual costs to me in making repairs (all documented), all to no avail as they refused to respond. I then wrote a letter before action which was also ignored, as have been my requests for information/documentation. Faced with no alternative I began a MCOL (small claim). I have just received their 'defence' and it is a couple of lines that simply denies my claim in it's entirety but provides no explanation, reason, evidence or actual defence. We now have to return the Directions Questionaire. I am confused where to go from here as they have provided nothing to support their denial of my claim, nor any reason, and sensible mediation (if it were agreed to) is impossible as they have not given me any understanding of their case. Isn't their a requirement to 'exchange information'?. My suspicion is that they are acting like this as they have no case and hope to scare me with the legal terminology, but obviously I cannot be sure and so am confused as to how to progress.
My question is can I a) ask the judge to make a specific direction that they need to provide the answers/documentation I have requested. Without it I cannot fully understand all the facts and have no idea if they have a case (or if they won't provide the docs as it confirms my position or b) as the judge to make a specific direction that a full defence needs to be provided (if the next thing is simply the exchange of witness statement I'll never have known what/if they have a case) and/or c) ask the court to make a judgement due to lack of evidence. Or is there an alternative you'd suggest? Any help would be much appreciated.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 8 months ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I can wait another day or two, thanks.
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 8 months ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.In their denial to they put their version of events please?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No, it's simply a denial basically saying 'didn't do a, b, and deny everything else in particulars'. No reason or explanation.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Ok. You can put in the DQ: "The Defendant has failed to full plead the defence and is in breach of CPR 16.5. As such the Court is invited to strike out the defence and enter Judgment for the Claimant".a) ask the judge to make a specific direction that they need to provide the answers/documentationYou can ask for specific disclosure but that does not apply to a small claim. You only need to submit documents on which you seek to rely upon.b) as the judge to make a specific direction that a full defence needs to be providedSee above what you need to put in the DQc) ask the court to make a judgement due to lack of evidence.See above.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Alex, I'll try that thank you. I thought that it might be possible to make such a request, although I assume it's a long shot. I'll let you know if anything comes of it.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Please. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, otherwise the site does not credit me for the time spent with you.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Thanks in advance and good luck! Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Alex, sorry I was travelling yesterday and at an event so not on line. I've just looked at the DQ and there is nowhere obvious to make a statement, can you suggest where it should go and/or should it be on a separate piece of paper.Also, as it's MCOL the 'additional particulars' I sent to the defendant have not yet been sent to MCOL (I understand they are sent to the court when it is transferred). Should I include these so that the court knows what it is they have not provided a defence to?And, one thing that they do state is that 'they replied to my letter before action', they actually didn't (or they did but all that letter said was 'we have nothing to add to this matter and it is closed'. Should I also include that?I think my question here is am I seeking to prove that there is not a full defence, OR is the 'defence' that they sent to court consisting of merely a list of denials enough for the court to make a ruling on?Many thanks for this, and sorry, once I've clarified this I'll make sure I do the rating straightaway! (or as soon as I can get back on line later today!)
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Ah, thats because on Form N181 there is a space, but you have form N180.yes, just put it on a piece of paper.You are requesting as per my wording that D provides a fully pleaded defence or that the claim is struck out.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
I hope that helps! Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Should I include the attachments as mentioned? Will that help, or muddy the request?
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
It would mussy, you dont need those at this stage
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
* muddy *
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
If I could ask you to rate before you to today please, otherwise the site does not credit me for the time spent with you. Thanks
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I'm sorry but I'm not understanding this, what do you mean 'at this stage'?
As far as I can see this is a long shot, not including documents that lead to the 'next stage', confirm that. What am I trying to achieve by this?
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
You need to put this in because it would be referred to a Judge. If the Judge doesnt make an order for a fully pleaded defence, the next stage is a formal application.But you dont make that yet.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi AlexI'd really like to rate you excellent, but I'm struggling to see how this is a full answer as I'd requested. I'm going to send a piece of paper with those words, but I'm not sure what is the possible outcome, nor what is the 'next stage' that you refer to. Can you elaborate. I will write those words, what is the likely outcome, what do you think it will achieve. Will the court acknowledge it. If they make no ruling on it what is this 'next stage' that you refer to? Many thanks
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
I gave you the exact wording you need to use and the rule to which the Judge will be referred to. That is a full answer but I will repeat it again in case you can not scroll to the top of this question and see what I posted on 22/3/16 at 06:13"The Defendant has failed to full plead the defence and is in breach of CPR 16.5. As such the Court is invited to strike out the defence and enter Judgment for the Claimant".a) ask the judge to make a specific direction that they need to provide the answers/documentationYou can ask for specific disclosure but that does not apply to a small claim. You only need to submit documents on which you seek to rely upon.b) as the judge to make a specific direction that a full defence needs to be providedIf that does not work the NEXT STAGE is when the DQ's are sent back and the case is allocated. Once its allocated then you can make a formal application but that will cost you £155 in an application fee.The court wont acknowledge the return of your DQ but when you get the Notice of allocation then you can be sure the DQ's are back in and the Judge has read it, because in the allocation order it will say: Upon District Judge xxxx considering the papersCan I clarify anything else for you?Alex

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