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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have been to a hearing in court recently where I feel I was

Customer Question

I have been to a hearing in court recently where I feel I was coerced into settling my counterclaim against my landlord.
The Judge told me that i could face £250,000 legal fees and lose my home and told me that the case would not be heard until the latter part of this year. He also said that he could not dump it on another court easily and it would not stick in the high court as it is not big enough for the TCC. He advised the claimant's counsel that this case would need 6 days in court and not 4. He told my wife that no one would give me a cheque and that I was in effect the claimant so it would be in my best interest to settle. He did not touch on Liability and my wife even mentioned that the area of damage is in the common parts forming the landlord's responsibility.

Obviously, being a litigant in person, I panicked and whilst my wife wished to speak and object the Judge having heard that on offer had been made (actually two had been made but both wide apart in value) he did not ask regarding both offers and the claimant obviously only informed him of the latter which was very poor and we had not accepted this when it was offered the previous week. The judge then asked my husband if he would accept this offer and my husband did not reply so the judge consecutively asked him a further two times at which point he answered yes but under duress.

He then advised us all to go outside to discuss settlement and at this point the claimant would not negotiate a more reasonable offer and therefore my husband agreed to sign a consent form against my wishes.

Can we reverse this? Can a litigant be asked to sign a consent form without having the possibility to request time for legal advice?
My wife said to the judge that the offer could be considered and dealt with via correspondence but the judge answered that would cause further costs. Should a judge not be impartial and just advise rather than cause panic where a litigant becomes anxious, because my husband was anxious in there and worried that if he did not comply it would go against him in the judges ruling.

Please help he has accepted an offer which will not help him and after 30 years of working never being in debt he will need to declare himself bankrupt.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : When was the hearing please?
JACUSTOMER-vpdxzusz- :

14 jan 2014