Has there been any court order for directions that each party is supposed to provide the other with all the documents they intend to rely on by a particular date? Have you provided the other side with your documents?
What would you like to know about this?
Judges in Small Claims Court tend to be not as pedantic with this as they are in other courts, fast-track and multitrack.
It is only 5 days to the hearing and I don’t know whether that’s enough time for you to consider and take any legal advice on the documentation. Of course they may have no documentation!
I will tell you that depending on the amount of documentation, the judge may give you 10 minutes to consider it. You need to chase them for the documentation to try to get it out of them and tell them that if they don’t let you have it by return, you will be asking the judge to strike out their claim.
If you get to court and they haven’t supplied the documentation or they supplied it really late, you can then show that correspondence to the judge and asked them to strike out the claim or adjourn it for but to award costs and expenses in your favour on the grounds of their unreasonable behaviour.
There is another issue here seems rather odd. You are the defendant in this action and yet you are travelling down to Northampton. Normally, any defended claim be transferred to the defendant’s home court particularly if the claimant is a huge company.
This is a claim which has been issued in the bulk centre at Northampton, there would not normally be hearing there. I use certain therefore that the hearing you are going to on 11 October is in actual fact the trial hearing?
Can I clarify any points arising from this for you?
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If you have asked for the contract with your signature, and they haven’t provided, the chances are that the case will be thrown out.
This should automatically have been transferred to your home court. If it wasn’t, you should have asked for it to be. Probably too late now but make sure that if there are any in the future, as you are the defendant, it’s transferred to your local court.
If you do, be careful with Rhyl County Court because the paperwork is confusing. Rhyl and Llandudno actually come under the same court and I have had clients get caught out when the hearing was in Llandudno but from the paperwork it appeared that it was in Rhyl unless you read the very small print. Academic in this case.
There is no harm in doing all of that.
You could always ask for an adjournment to have it transferred to Rhyl although it’s unlikely to be granted at this late time
The only time that it would remain in the claimant’s home court is of it was undefended or if the claimant was also a business or limited company and even then, depending on the nature of the business, it can still be possible to get it transferred to the defendant’s home court.
Worst case scenario is that it goes ahead. Middle-of-the-road, adjournment. Best, ***** *****
I typed the above before reading the second post.
That is good news because if the claimant doesn’t comply with the order they could well get struck out. However what does concern me is that the order says “and the defendant has filed no witness statement”. Get that done now. It’s basically just the background, make sure that you put the headings and the court reference at the top and entitle the document Witness Statement of Defendant and then put a statement of truth at the end, “the Defendant believes that the contents of this Witness statement are true” and then sign and date it. Send it to both the court immediately and the claimant.
The reference to “for the court to make unless orders” means, that the court cannot make an “unless order” which is an order which is literally what it says, that unless the claimant does something by a particular date, their claim is struck out.
Thank you. That basically means that he is going to allow them to present any documentation on the day or present their case verbally. That doesn’t help you but what they will have done is alienating the judge by ignoring his orders. The last thing you want to do is alienate a judge.
Thank you. The witness statement does add a lot of information but what it doesn’t say is what the claimant is actually claiming in respect of. Presumably, there claim will say something in that respect. It’s not certain whether it’s in respect of the earlier original 28 phones all the later 8 phones.
Whether they can rely on your contract, that you supplied, or not, would depend on whether there is a dispute over the contents of the contract. There is an argument that the statute Consumer Credit Act says that they cannot pursue the debt until they have supplied a copy of the agreement. They can do that because they can simply produce your copy. They don’t have to produce the original.
On a slightly different note, it is good practice to always number the paragraphs in a witness statement because it makes it easier to refer to in court and correspondence.
What you also haven’t said in your witness statement is why the cancellation fee (which you have cleverly pointed out is called a Penalty) is not payable in your opinion. You haven’t mentioned anything about giving notice.
That’s good news. Make sure that you pursue them for your costs and expenses.