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NewExpertAS4920
NewExpertAS4920, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 53
Experience:  -
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I am seeking legal advice in how to respond to civil claim,

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I am seeking legal advice in how to respond to civil claim
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Uk
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Responded to the claim explaining why I denied all accusations. I now have received a second letter with evidence attached.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Hi. Are you in England or Wales?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
England
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
File attached (SVQL5ZZ)
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I have attached a copy of the latest letter. I am not a smoker. I have never smoked in my life so to be accused of smoking in a hotel room came as a total shock
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Here is the first letter I received on 7th May
You would need to respond to the letter with supporting evidence. You can also ask them to provide photographic evidence of their allegations.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
What could be supporting evidence? This is an utter absurd! I am not a smoker. Whatever evidence they have it is not mine
That's fine. You need to specify that on your response. The burden is on them to prove it was you.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
During my stay in yhe room there was no smoking. When I left the room, I left it as i found it on arrival. The only thing in the bathroom were used towels on the floor.
Also the claim amount is quite small. It maybe that they may not even issue a claim.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
It is not about money, it is about principles. I cannot admit to something which I have not done
You should do a detailed response providing them all the details of how the room was looked when you left. And then ask them to provide evidence that no one else entered the room after your departure.
I understand. Hence I'm advising you to ask them for evidence and prove that it was you. The fact that the room was booked in your name is ***** ***** to prove it was you who did it. It could be one of their staff or another visitor who may have entered this room when they saw it was empty.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Here is my initial respond I sent to them on 10th May. What else should I add?Good afternoon,I am writing in response to the letter - notice of civil claim- I have received from CRS.I, myself, stayed at Travelodge London Hackney in March. It was not my first stay at Hackney nor the first time at a Travelodge hotel. I have been a loyal customer for a couple of years and have always valued high professionalism of staff, cleanliness of the rooms, and an incredible value for money. I was absolutely shocked when I read the letter. For a non-smoker who is completely against smoking, it was distressing to see that I had been accused of breaching terms and conditions by smoking in the room and/or wrongful interference with goods during my stay at Travelodge last March. I understand that when I made a booking we formed a contract and I agreed to be bound by their terms and conditions; I never breached the terms of the contract.I booked a room for one night only on Friday 20th March. I arrived and checked in shortly after 1500hours on Friday 20th and checked out at around 1100hours on Saturday 21st March. While leaving the room on the 21st, I  was asked by a member of the cleaning team who was attending to one of the rooms nearby whether I was checking out and what room I  had stayed in. At the reception, I was greeted by the hotel manager ( I cannot remember his name but he was wearing a hotel manager badge) and handed the card in. He asked me how my stay had been to which I replied: " great as always".I can assure you that during my stay between Friday 20th and the morning of Sat 21st, there was absolutely no smoking nor any wrongful interference with goods in my room; I am not a smoker. I have never smoked in my entire life and if the matter proceeds to court, I will produce witnesses to attest to the fact and would be willing to undergo any test you like to prove it.The letter states that the incident was discovered on 22nd March. I believe you have your facts mixed up because the day you referred to is the day after I checked out and therefore you should re-address your correspondence to whoever was in the room on the day. As I have already mentioned , I checked out at 11am on Sat 21st. I deny liability and cannot take any responsibility for anything that happened in the room between my departure on the Sat and the time the incident was discovered the following day - Sunday 22nd March.I categorically deny the allegations in the claim. I have no intention of paying anything whatsoever and look forward, under the circumstances, to receiving your substantial apology by return.Yours sincerely,MK ZielinskaSent from Samsung tablet.
That was a good response. In your second response you need to focus on evidence. And raise allegations such as, that it could be their staff or some other visitor who may have entered after see the room empty. Ask them to check their CCTV camera that maybe in the corridor. You should also state that should they take this matter further you will rigoursly defend the claim and that they will be liable for all the legal costs that you may incur which without doubt will exceed the amount of their claim.
I hope the above helps. I'd appreciate if you could please give me a 5 * rating and accept my answer.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Ok. Thank you. I know I should focus on evidence but what evidence I have? It is just my word against theirs! I did not take any photographs before leaving the room. I was honest and provided a detailed response to their claim in the first instance. It is ridiculous that I have to prove my innocence. How do I do that? I feel I have already given them evidence. I extremely appreciate your suggestions and will make sure they are included in my response. Would you be happy to help me reply to the claim?
Your statement is your evidence. The burden is on them to prove it was you and not anyone else.They have not yet lodged a claim. It is only a notice of claim. Unfortunately I can only provide limited assistance via justanswer. I'm glad I was able to answer your query. Please kindly rate my answer.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I understand it. There is only limited assistance available via this virtual platform. What is the difference between a notice of claim and lodging a claim? How likely are they going to do it? If it goes to court , what are my chances? I have already given them my detailed statement or evidence when I responded to the first letter. How more detailed should I be? I stayed in Travelodge on 20th March and they did not send me the notice of claim until 7th May! The first letter clearly states that " the incident was discovered on 22nd March". The second letter states that it was discovered on the 21st and reported to the head office on 22nd ". Why sth so important as a breach in terms and conditions had to wait till the following day to be reported? Can I question their credibility based on the conflicting information? A member of housekeeping team saw me leaving the room. It could be anyone - a member of staff or someone else. I did not smoke in the room. I havd never smoked in my life!
As stated above as the amount of claim is quite small it is unlikely they will pursue it further considering their legal fees will cost them more. In any event you should respond in a way pushing the blame on them and demand evidence. You can of course question their credibility. You can also emphasise that you have never smoked and that you are offended by their allegations as they have not provided you with any evidence that it was you etc.
NewExpertAS4920 and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** the time you have spent today advising and helping with my enquiry. I appreciate it and will rate your assistance, if course. Could I contact you if I have any further questions regarding this?
Of course you can contact me whenever you like.
May I kindly ask is there any reason for not giving me a 5 star rating?
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Of course, you can. My rating is based on how I felt you dealt with my enquiry. When you picked up my question, you did not introduce yourself, did not say anything about years of experience and expertise in your profession. I even do not know your name. All I know is your number- NewExpertAS4920. I understand that this platform have a stringent verification process and this is the only reason I did not ask for a different expert. You also did not address some of my questions. I feel that no matter how trivial some of them might have sounded to you, they should have been answered because they were important to me. I also understand that ratings are crucial and I would have rated your assistance without being prompted. Despite the above, I extremely value your professional advice and thank you for your time.
Thank you so much for the feedback. Your comments are noted which will assist greatly in improving my service. Best wishes.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you for being so understanding. I have drafted my response now. Would you be prepared to have a look at if before I send it?
Of course
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you.I would like to respond to your letter dated 21st May.  I appreciate that you approached your client to clarify the date of the incident discovery. Regardless of whether it was discovered on 22nd March (  as stated in the letter dated 5th May) or 21st March ( as in the letter dated 21st May), the fact is that the incident occured after I had left the room. This piece of information does not change my statement in any way and I would like to reiterate that whilst I occupied the room between checking in after 3pm on Friday 20th March and checking out shortly before 11 am on Saturday 21st March, there was absolutely no smoking in the room. I am not a smoker; I have never smoked in my life and feel extremely offended by your Client's allegations as they have not provided me with any evidence that it was me.The evidence detailed in your letter dated 21st May, does not confirm I did it.   Do you have any evidence to prove it was me? I did not do it. I vacated the room shortly before 11am on 21st March - the only thing left in the bathroom were used towels on the floor.The fact that the room was booked in my name is ***** ***** to prove it was me who did it. It could be one of their staff or another visitor who may have entered this room when they saw it was empty.As stated in my response dated 10th May, a member of staff saw me leaving the room. The incident must have happened after my departure and it could have been any one who was in the room after I left. Can I ask your Client to provide evidence that no one else entered the room after my departure?Could your Client check their cctv camera that maybe in the corridor? Can they provide any photographic evidence of their allegations and, more importantly, any photographic evidence that I did it?I  would also like to inform you that should you take this matter further I  will rigorously defend the claim and that your Client will be liable for all the legal costs that I may incur which without doubt will exceed the amount of the claim.Your sincerely
The response is well drafted. I can see you've implemented all my suggestions. You may just want to add one for sentence at the end saying:
'I look forward to hearing from you within 7 days with the requested evidence to support your clients case.'
One more sentence* (apologies for the typing error)
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you for checking the draft letter and , most importantly, for your feedback. Your comments are greatly appreciated and give me confidence that I am not missing any detail in my response. It makes absolute sense to add the sentence you have suggested and I will do it. I highly value your expertise and yes, I have implemented your suggestions. I feel you have gone above and beyond to help me and I sincerely ***** ***** I just wish I have given them enough evidence to prove it was not me.
No problem at all. It has been my pleasure. I wish you best of luck. Please do get in touch if i can assist again in the future. Best wishes, Anu.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** you for your support. If this proceeds to Court, what sort of evidence will I have to give? Will I have to bring witnesses who could prove I do not smoke?
This matter is unlikely to proceed that far. But if it does, it is for them to prove it was you as opposed to your having to prove it wasn't you. If needed, you could ask someone who knows you well for at least 2 years, to be your witness and to give a statement in your favour.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Anu, thank you so much for your professional opinion on this. It gives me strength and confidence to defend this claim no matter what. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
It's been my pleasure ūüėä
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you.