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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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This is a question about how much information to put before

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This is a question about how much information to put before Judge at a hearing of an Application for Striking Out.
I am a litigant in person. I have a fast track claim against a company for Housing Disrepair [of communal areas of a block of flats where I have two leasehold properties. The Company denies disrepair but were forced by the Local Authority under the Housing Acts to make repairs; the police even boarded up the property at one point.] This is all possibly irrelevant now.
Briefly, I have followed EVERY step of the litigation properly...Notification Letter, Letter of Claim under the Pre-Action Protocol, Claim Form, Particulars of Claim. Defendant submitted Defence, I submitted Reply and Defence to Counterclaim. A 3 way CMC eventually transpired; the Judge set it for Fast Track, all dates for Witness Statement, Disclosure, Listing Questionnaires, Trial Period etc ALL THIS was verbally agreed AND Defendant's solicitor was ordered to send in the perfected order for Directions. It was not received by the Court. A reminder was sent. No response. The Judge ordered the Defendant's Solicitor to attend Court. He did not attend. [I think the Defendant and his solicitor know they have no real defence but probably thought I would give up long before now] The Judge then 'suggested' I apply for Summary Judgement, but revised this 'advice' to Striking Out under 3.4(2)(c) ie. for non compliance with a court order.
I made an application for such an order, there is to be a hearing on 13 May 2016. Only 30 mins has been set by the Judge for the hearing.
I am now preparing the Skeleton Argument for the Judge to read. My question is this: This is NOT a mini-trial BUT do I set out ALL the facts...ie the Lease...the 5 years of disrepair...all the correspondence...my lost rent....my witness statements...AND the subsequent non-compliance issues ie a FULL BUNDLE with a brief top-page skeleton....or do I write my skeleton and confine it SOLELY to the issue of non-compliance with Court Orders etc. ie. a much smaller set of papers. I don't want to aggravate the Judge with a huge lever arch file when the 'striking out' is a simple matter that the Defendant has ignored the Judge.
At this moment, I intend the Skeleton Argument to be a simple chronology from Pre-protocol to hearing; a very brief description of the Claim; a list of the Defendant's failures to respond to Pre-Action Protocol, letters, failure to respond to suggested ADR; failure to file Witness Statements; failure to Disclose etc etc right up to the Defendant's failure to attend Court under a Judge's direct Order. I shall finish by asking Court to consider an Order under my application, OR its own initiative, to strike out ALL the Defendant's Statement of Claim. Leaving me free to go for Summary Judgement by a further Application. Phew! Thats It! In a nutshell: how much info do I put before the Judge?? ALL of it or just 'litigation' issues?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.How long is the matter listed for please?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
30 minutes
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hello...do you understand my question? Its basically: how much information do I take to the Hearing...do I give Judge everything...or do I keep it REALLY simple ie just refer to the failure of the Defendants to conduct the litigation.
I'm concerned the Judge will turn round and say: 'What are the facts in this Case? When did you do 'so and so'? Where is your bundle?
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Yes I understand this. Have you filed a witness statement and included any evidence?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Yes...absolutely everything...everything...disclosure witness statements pre-trial checklist...Trial Fee paid...for the main claim. As for this particular Application...yes a witness statement, outlining the failures of 'litigation' by the Defendant [from not responding to Pre-Action Protocol, not responding to offers of ADR etc right up to not attending at Judge's direct Order...I included that information in witness statement [about a side of A4 paper] with Statement of Truth on Application Notice
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
This is my Application Statement!
1.0 Pusuant to a Case Conference Meeting, by telephone, on 6 November 2015, the Defendant's solicitor, Mr Paul Ireland, was ordered to file the agreed Draft Directions. Despite a letter from the Court on February 2016, Mr Ireland did not comply.2.0 On 12 February 2016, on its own initiative, the Court ordered that, unless Mr Ireland filed the perfected Directions by 4.00pm on 19 February 2016, he was to attend before District Judge Forrester at 10.00am on 29 February 2016 to explain such default. Mr. Ireland did not comply.3.0 Pursuant to CPR Part 3: The Court's Case Management Powers, r3.4(2) states :
The court may strike out a statement of case if it appears to the court that -
(c) that there has been a failure to comply with a rule, practice direction or court order.4.0 In support of this application, the Court is respectfully ***** ***** consider further evidence relating to the Defendant's conduct of the litigation.4.1 The Defendant failed to comply with Practice Direction - Pre-Action Conduct & Protocols -The Claimants issued a Letter of Claim on 25 February 2015 under the Pre-Action Protocol for Housing Disrepair; the Defendant did not respond.4.2 The Defendant has failed to consider Alternative Dispute Resolution both at Pre-Action
stage and during the litigation. An Order for Stay was issued on 21 July 2015 in
order that the parties could reach settlement; the Defendant did not respond.4.3 The Defendant failed to comply with Civil Procedure Rule part 31: Disclosure Inspection of
Documents and the requirements of Practice Direction 31A: Disclosure & Inspection -
At the Case Conference Meeting of 6 November 2015 it was agreed that Standard
Disclosure would take place by 4.00pm on 4 December 2015. The Claimants duly filed and
served copies of the Standard Disclosure N265; the Defendant did not comply.4.4 The Defendant failed to comply with Civil Procedure Rule part 32: Evidence and the
requirements of Practice Direction 32: Evidence -
At the Case Conference Meeting of 6 November 2015 it was agreed that Witness
Statements together with an updated Schedule of Loss should be filed and
simultaneously exchanged by 4.00pm on 15 January 2016. The Claimants duly filed and
served the Witness Statements and Schedule of Loss; the Defendant did not comply.4.5 The Defendant failed to comply with Civil Procedure Rule part 28: The Fast Track, in
particular r28.5 Pre- trial Checklist [Listing Questionnaire] -
At the Case Conference Meeting of 6 November 2015 it was agreed that the Listing
Questionnaires should be filed by the parties by 4.00pm on 12 February 2016. The
Claimants duly filed their Listing Questionnaires Form N170, with the Listing Fee;
the Defendant did not comply.4.6 The Claimants therefore consider that the Defendant has failed to comply with Civil
Procedure Rule part 1 - Overriding Objective, in particular r1.3 being the duty of the
parties to help the court further the overriding objective.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
That is a fairly accurate picture of the Defendant's conduct of the litigation but does not touch upon the Claim issues itself. Will the conduct of the litigation be all the Judge wants to see...if it is then my 'Skeleton Argument' is basically the same as the Witness Statement!
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Not clear if you received this copy of my Application Witness Statement:1.0 Pursuant to a Case Conference Meeting, by telephone, on 6 November 2015, the Defendant's solicitor, Mr Paul Ireland, was ordered to file the agreed Draft Directions. Despite a letter from the Court on February 2016, Mr Ireland did not comply.2.0 On 12 February 2016, on its own initiative, the Court ordered that, unless Mr Ireland filed the perfected Directions by 4.00pm on 19 February 2016, he was to attend before District Judge Forrester at 10.00am on 29 February 2016 to explain such default. Mr. Ireland did not comply.3.0 Pursuant to CPR Part 3: The Court's Case Management Powers, r3.4(2) states :
The court may strike out a statement of case if it appears to the court that -
(c) that there has been a failure to comply with a rule, practice direction or court order.4.0 In support of this application, the Court is respectfully ***** ***** consider further evidence relating to the Defendant's conduct of the litigation.4.1 The Defendant failed to comply with Practice Direction - Pre-Action Conduct & Protocols -The Claimants issued a Letter of Claim on 25 February 2015 under the Pre-Action Protocol for Housing Disrepair; the Defendant did not respond.4.2 The Defendant has failed to consider Alternative Dispute Resolution both at Pre-Action
stage and during the litigation. An Order for Stay was issued on 21 July 2015 in
order that the parties could reach settlement; the Defendant did not respond.4.3 The Defendant failed to comply with Civil Procedure Rule part 31: Disclosure Inspection of
Documents and the requirements of Practice Direction 31A: Disclosure & Inspection -
At the Case Conference Meeting of 6 November 2015 it was agreed that Standard
Disclosure would take place by 4.00pm on 4 December 2015. The Claimants duly filed and
served copies of the Standard Disclosure N265; the Defendant did not comply.4.4 The Defendant failed to comply with Civil Procedure Rule part 32: Evidence and the
requirements of Practice Direction 32: Evidence -
At the Case Conference Meeting of 6 November 2015 it was agreed that Witness
Statements together with an updated Schedule of Loss should be filed and
simultaneously exchanged by 4.00pm on 15 January 2016. The Claimants duly filed and
served the Witness Statements and Schedule of Loss; the Defendant did not comply.4.5 The Defendant failed to comply with Civil Procedure Rule part 28: The Fast Track, in
particular r28.5 Pre- trial Checklist [Listing Questionnaire] -
At the Case Conference Meeting of 6 November 2015 it was agreed that the Listing
Questionnaires should be filed by the parties by 4.00pm on 12 February 2016. The
Claimants duly filed their Listing Questionnaires Form N170, with the Listing Fee;
the Defendant did not comply.4.6 The Claimants therefore consider that the Defendant has failed to comply with Civil
Procedure Rule part 1 - Overriding Objective, in particular r1.3 being the duty of the
parties to help the court further the overriding objective.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Was the Defendant ever subject to an unless order?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Yes....He did not submit his Directions Questionairre at first...only after he received a 7 day Unless Order.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I'm not sure if you are receiving all my communications...they don't appear in the 'boxes' at my end !
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Ok - you need to be concise and to the point. The statement you have is fairly straight forward and as such I think is long enough.You need to remember you will have around 10 mins to make submissions, 10 mins for the Defendant, Judgment 5 mins and 5 mins to deal with costs. So you need to keep to the point.If they have breached an unless order they actually need to apply for relief from sanctions under CPR 3.9.If they didnt file a DQ then the order provides an unless order which says the defence will be automatically struck out.So technically they have no defence so its not a strike out you are applying for - its Judgment.It cant be struck out because there is no defence.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No, you have misunderstood.A long way back...before the CMC they were served an Unless Order to serve a DQ. They subsequently submitted a DQ.After that there was a telephone Case Conference Meeting: everthing was agreed for further directions...all the times/dates right up to the trial window. The Defendant's solicitor was ordered, verbally on the phone, to draft the perfected order. That was the last time the Defendant or his solicitor has been in contact. Absolutely nothing since.Over the next few weeks I complied with Disclosure, Witness Statements, Pre-Trial Checklist, paid the Trial Fee etc. The Defendant and his Solicitor have done nothing. Eventually the Judge ordered that the Defendant's Solicitor attend to 'explain himself'. There was no 'unless' sanction. No response was ever received. The Judge then wrote to me to state that, because the Solicitor has not attended, I might like to proceed for judgement. I have taken his 'advice' and followed the non-compliance route of striking out.I note your comments though. So..final question.....do I really need a Skeleton Argument on the day?
[ It would really say little more than the Judge already knows from my Application Witness Statement....or should I give a Chronology of the Claim at least]
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I understand what you said...but please understand... there is a Defence and Counterclaim....its just the Defendant and his Solicitor have actually totally stopped doing anything since the CMC ...we've now passed the Trial Dates...and striking out is the only option.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Ok - I see. Yes I would do a skeleton because you will only have 10 minutes. You can set out your position on what grounds you rely on. Chronology is always helpful because the Judge doesnt havent to trawl through the papers.But yes, strike out if there has been non compliance.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Yes, absolutely, I was a bit worried that I had gone under the wrong provision...but strike out under 3.4(2)(c)...for not complying with Court order ? [plus other poor conduct]Ok, will do brief skeleton with grounds, perhaps expand on importance of non-compliance with Pre-Action Protocol...do a Chronology...and a summary of what Order I am asking Judge for?If I get Strike Out...I think I follow up with Application for Default Judgement ..is it 3.5 or something?Just clarify and were done here! Thanks.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
You dont need to go on about importance of compliance the Judge knows this. Its in the overriding objective and was recently added.Just set out what the non compliance is.You cant get default Judgment because a defence has been filed. You are asking for strike out, that is all you need to do. You may not be able to get Judgment straight away because you may still have to prove your claim.Just because there is no defence does not mean you automatically get Judgment.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Aha...so I still go through a further Summary Judgement stage...where I have to present the whole bundle? Isn't that what the trial was for...which I have already paid for...D I ask the Judge if the trial can go ahead after strike out of the Defence...or do I put in an Application for Summary Judgement N244 ?I'm confident of Strike Out but now not sure how that gets me any further on! I thought it would be very easy from that point on!Oh well, one step at a time
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
When you attend Court because of the application you can ask the Judge to strike out the defence and enter Judgment. The Judge may or may not do it, it really depends on the Judge!Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Oh I see..at the Hearing for the Strike Out Application itself....right...yes...he may agree...I think that might be his intention...he mentioned applying for 'judgement' and then subsequently prompted the 'non-compliance' strike out route...I can see why now! He could add the Judgement to the Strike Out. I will ask for it verbally then?Thanks for everything.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Yes thats right.If I could invite you to rate my answer before you go today please, otherwise the site does not credit me for the time spent with you today. Thanks and good luck. Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Ok will do, and thanks again.

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