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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10401
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I have taken someone to court over an injury they caused to

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I have taken someone to court over an injury they caused to my dog. Long story but so far my case looks strong.
The person has admitted she caused the injury but denies she is responsible for the vet bills but this is besides the point.
I filled out my money collection form online and the lady had filed a defense. We both appear to have received our Directions Questionnaire (N180). The accompanying 'notice of proposed allocation to the small claims track' letter states clearly the following:
"You must by XX XX 2016 complete the Small Claims Directions Questionnaire (Form N180) and file it with the court office XXX and serve copies on all other parties."
I filed my DQ on time and I also hand delivered a copy to the defendant too. However we are 10 days passed the deadline and I have not received the defendant's copy. I have a very good CCTV camera that can prove no one has delivered a letter to me.
As this puts me at a disadvantage, what can I do here to apply some pressure? Could I stand a chance in having her defense struck out? What should I be doing?
Many thanks

It’s unlikely that the claim would be struck out for failing to file a Directions Questionnaire. What would happen is that the court would make directions of its own volition. It’s more important that the claimant files the questionnaire than the defendant.

You could always write to the defendant and say that unless you receive the direction questionnaire by a particular date, you will fly to court to have the claim struck out and if that fails, then you could make the application but it’s more likely that the court would make an order that unless it was filed by a certain date it would be struck out. I still think it’s unlikely.

There is not that much on a directions questionnaire and hence, it’s unlikely that the court would think that you would put to such disadvantage that it would prejudice your case.

By all means make the application but don’t bank on it succeeding. Sorry.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for coming back to me.

Should I write to the court to tell them or should write directly to the defendant?

Does applying for her defence to be struck out cost money?

The application for the defence to be struck out is £55 of the top of my head.

You should write to the defendant until the defendant that unless the DQ is returned to you in the court by a particular date, you will be applying to court to have that claim struck out.

Copy the court in the letter, “for information only”.

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