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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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How can I amend my original claim so that it alleges a claim

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How can I amend my original claim so that it alleges a claim in defamation and not harassment? I note CPR 17 in this regard. I do have a draft statement of claim in defamation.Now that my claim is being transferred, must I follow the pre-trial protocol for defamation and provide the defendant a letter of claim? If so, when would I need to do that considering my claim is being transferred to the High Court and I do not know when that transfer will be effectuated?Would I have to succeed on the entire claim in order to get her to retract and apologize? In other words, could the Court award me two of my requested remedies and not award me any monetary damages if it found I didn’t successfully prove damages?Finally, if I send an email to the Gee Street Courthouse notifying them that I wish to withdraw, I assume I can do that but that the original judge / magistrate would draft an order for costs. But I do not know – do you have a feel for how he may perceive a late withdrawal?

A claim for harassment is made under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 - so the usual remedy is an injunction to stop the harassment. You could also sue for damages if the harassment has caused injury (psychological injuries for example). To issue a claim for harassment it is the Part 8 procedure (N208 claim form). The court would not allocate it to the small claims track as it is a complicated case and the small claims track would not be sufficient to deal with it.

If the claim has been transferred, directions should be made which would include you to file updated particulars of claim and the defendant to then file a defence. After that the court would list a case management conference (CMC) to consider directions to determine how the claim will run.

The remedy would be an apology and retraction of the statement - damages may follow if the court sees it to be justified (if you can prove financial loss due to the harm to your reputation). These are difficult cases to prove hence why they are not small claims and lawyers are usually required.

If no defence has been sent in by the other side, they are not entitled to costs (as they haven't yet defended the claim). So yes, file notice of discontinuance if that is the case - an email will not suffice - it has to the N279 form which I uploaded earlier.

Thanks

JimLawyer and 5 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thx very much!

No problem, and let me know if you have further questions.

Have a good evening

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Hello again Jim, you've been very helpful thus far. Thx.


- I have now confirmed my claim has been transferred to the High Court but it was an action in harassment; the defendant argued that it should have been filed in the High Court as an action in defamation. I get that...understood. I understand from your last response that I would have the opportunity to file updated particulars of claim (to articulate a claim in defamation)
- alternatively, if I discontinue now, can they still come after me for costs? I know that their application to strike went with my claim and they sent over some type of accounting of costs (£4,500) which seems astronomical considering it was originally in small claims court.

Hi there, yes you should be given the opportunity to prepare and file amended particulars. If you discontinue now it depends if the defendant has filed a defence yet - if so they will have incurred costs for their defence so you would need to ask them whether they would "without prejudice", accept a drop hands offer where both parties walk away with each bearing their own costs.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
ok thx