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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I need an advise about the following: London, this happened

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Good morning. I need an advise about the following:
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: London
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: this happened in June. My partner bike was damage by someone. Police got involved and we have a crime reference number. Offender has admitted the charges. Police officer asked my partner for the estimate cost of damage and he obviously did not know what it will cost and said £400. The actual cost of the repair from BMW for £7000. We need to claim this money from an offender. The problem here that we can't get his details. Ploice does not disclose 3d party information and refuse to claim it from an offender by sending him new compensation form (he already paid £400) the question is how we can obtain offender details in order to start civil proceedings? Thank, Olga
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I think its enough for now - thanks

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Good morning. Do you need more details about the case?

To trace this person you can try http://www.bnhassociates.com which is a tracing agency run by ex-Police. They have a high success rate. I attach their document for you to consider. You can add their fee to the repair costs.

Once you have the details of the offender, I would recommend that you send them a formal letter before action to demand payment within 14 days and say that if they do not pay you, you will issue county court proceedings against them. See attached template as an example of what to say. Please let me know if you cannot see the letter which I have uploaded. You will need to tailor this letter to your situation.

You will need to register at http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you. The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site. Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case.

You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee of £410 (based on a £7000 claim) (details of the money claim fees are listed here at page 5: http://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees) and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment. The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim.

If you win then once you have the CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days. You can also enforce the CCJ with the county court bailiffs or transfer the debt to the High Court for a small additional fee assuming the total amount owed is at least £600 and you can use the high court enforcement officers who have greater powers than county court bailiffs. The transfer fee is added on to the debt and payable by the defendant.

There are other enforcement methods which I can help with, including bank account freeze, charging order on their property (and then apply to force a sale), apply to summons them to court for questioning, all of which can ensure you are actually repaid the money.

You may find they just pay you after receiving the letter before action – hopefully they will want to avoid litigation.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

JimLawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thanks for your reply. if we want to trace the details of an offender ourselves - what do we need to do?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Police is refusing to give us 3d party details

If you want to do it yourself it would be a case of looking on social medial, checking the 192.com website, doing a Google search to see if they are employed by anyone - things like that. The BNH fee is not too high from memory so may be worth asking them to trace them

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
sorry i did not ask for phone call

If no one calls you then you will not be charged for it. However, the call request is open to all experts - if you want to cancel the call then please send an email to *****@******.***.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Ok thanks
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Can i just ask the last question regarding the above?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
If we use this tracing agency and then file a small court claim - how will we prove to the judge that the guy did it?
And where we have his details from if police did not disclose it?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Are you still here?

The Police would have a police report which you can obtain - there is a fee for that which you can add to the claim

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
We have asked for the report and they sent it to us - the details of the offender are in black. they say that we don't disclose 3d party information
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
that is the question? If police does not disclose the details - what is the legal way of obtaining this info?

It's the fact the accident is stated in the police report that would prove the offender caused the damage. You would sue them and they would have to respond to court proceedings to either admit or deny the accident. If there is CCTV footage then obtain a copy of that. Once you issue the claim you can make an application to the court for a third party disclosure order - from the Police - that the Police disclose the report.

The offender also admitted the charges so you can use that as evidence.

The original question was how do you trace this individual and I answered that. You now want to know how to prove the case against him which is a different question but I have added to my existing answer which will hopefully give you an idea.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Its still the same question - how to obtain details of the offender in order to file a court claim

I have said how to trace them though in my answer. Was there anything unclear about the answer?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
you've only suggested the one root- hiring a tracing agency.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I just want to confirm that your advise id that the only way to trace an offender is to hire a PI or tracing agency. And there is no other way we can do it? Like writing to other agencies? or to different police department?

I also said social media, try 192.com, try a Google search if he is employed, etc.

The Police have his details but you cannot force them to give you the details - although if you know which criminal court the case went to then you can find out his name. Once you have the name then it makes it easier to trace him

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Ok :) Thanks for your answers.

The offender has data protection rights though. If he was driving a vehicle at the time and you knew his registration number then it would be much easier (the reg number would be in the Police report) then you can apply to DVLA for the owner name and address - they will give it out because of the accident