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Hello, this is Jim and I am a dual-qualified lawyer (UK and Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you this evening.
Have you now started the small claim. Or due to do so?.
Thanks, you can refer the court to their conduct - now that court proceedings have been issued they should not be referring to the dispute on social media. They need to file a defence (and if they want to make a counter claim, they file the counter claim at the same time). If their defence has no merit then you can make an application to strike out the defence which is possible and I have the forms required if you want those.
Would you like more information on the court process or the dispute in question?
OK, how long it takes depends on the value and complexity. You refer to a small claim to this would be one usually with a value of up to £10K. They would take at most 6 months to finish (with there being a court hearing). You do not need a lawyer for a small claim - the court makes it easy enough for a litigant in person to deal with without a solicitor.
The defence - once that arrives the court sends you an N180 directions questionnaire (copy attached so you can see what it looks like). This is filled in and returned - the court then gives you dates (directions) which is usually exchange of evidence and a final hearing date. You can attend the final hearing and do it yourself or if you prefer you can use an advocate (their fee is not recoverable though). In fairness you shouldn't need an advocate as these cases are easy and the judge will just ask a few questions at the hearing to allow them to make a decision. If you win, the defendant has 14 days to pay the CCJ - if they fail to do so you can use enforcement methods (court bailiffs, bank account freeze, etc). After 30 days of it being unpaid it gets registered with credit agencies.
**Important** - IF THE DEFENDANT DOES MAKE A COUNTER CLAIM AGAINST YOU, ENSURE THAT YOU FILE A REPLY TO DEFENCE AND COUNTER CLAIM AT THE SAME TIME AS THE N180 DIRECTIONS QUESTIONNAIRE.
You would need to wait for the defence to arrive (and counter claim if they make one). You could then come back to the site if you wanted for further guidance. If the defence has not merit then you could apply to strike it out (you win the case early if this succeeds).
You can disregard that last attachment - I will find a more suitable one for you if you need one.
I hope this helps – if you can please give a positive rating by clicking 5 stars (at the top of your screen), I can answer any follow up questions at no extra charge and I will be credited for helping you today.
Yes, if she wins her counter claim then your claim would be dismissed but you'd have to pay her counter claim.
Does this help?
Potentially they could, yes. The more likely scenario is either your claim wins and the defence/counter claim is dismissed, or you lose and their defence succeeds - whether their counter claim also succeeds depends if they can prove their claim or not. As the claimant the burden is on them to prove their case on the balance of probabilities.
Yes, so that causes them a problem. It will come down to evidence and whose evidence the judge prefers.