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JimLawyer
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My elderly parents are being taken to small claims court by

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My elderly parents are being taken to small claims court by a land owner for work on a driveway, which wasn't discussed. Now he want £2500 of them.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: They are doing it tmw. The letter from him was hand posted by him on 21st may 20. Giving us 7 days to pay. That was the first communication from him regarding any costs he wanted reimbursement from us. HeHowever the invoice he has submitted to the courts show a date of 25th february! Also on his letter to my parents he has requested payments for clearing ditto hes on his land that affected the drive and also
JA: Where is the land located?
Customer: Sorry sent to soon. The farmer has never discussed doing any work that he may want payments for with my parents he has just done the work and then asked for the money. My parents have an easement over his land and they are responsible for maintaining taing the track. However the farmer moved the track took away the use of a cattle grid and put one of three gates up this reducing the ease of access. The farmer then narrowed the driveway and put a 2tonnd restriction sign on the gate. Again reducing ability of use particularly to on more than one occasion delaying an ambulance who had had to communicate back and too the call centre as the ambulance was over two tonne. As an indication as to the type of man we are dealing with when my father I formed him the sign had caused delay in emergency assistance he shrugged his shoulder and walked away. My parents had an out of court settlement where he agreed to change the sign...however it now states there is subsidence and anyone using the drive must proceed with extreme caution. He was also advised to widen the drive back to its original width. Which he did. My parents are not responsible for any ditches on his land. He has previously complemented them on the maintenance they have done on the drive..however when they repaired a few pot holes a few years ago he came along a dig the repairs out without notice. My parents have photographs of the Ditch that clearly shows the farmer has deliberately blocked it with logs to create flooding to the area...this damaging the surface.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Did it come through

Hello, this is Jim, a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you this evening.

A letter before action for a claim like this requires 30 days to pay, not 7. That is the first issue. It also sounds like there is no basis for their claim - as a claimant, the onus is on them to prove their claim on the balance of probabilities.

Is he due to issue the claim shortly? Have you replied to his letter?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thankyou...my parents recieved the court paperwork on Wednesday only a few days after the 7 days which was very quick...but I think because he has dated his invoice for february the court have issued the paperwork. Thinking he issued the invoice to them in february which he did not.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can we call you in the morning late on if possible when we will be with my parents

Thanks, ***** ***** will have sent a response pack - that has to be filled in and returned to the court as soon as possible. There is a section to allow you to defend the claim. I can't take a call i'm afraid - I am online tomorrow afternoon and all of Sunday if that suits?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Thank you. Can we contact you on line should we have any further questions. I think for my parents sanity they want it dealt with asap..so we will try to get everything done tomorrow. Thank you so very much for your help. Hopefully they will sleep tonight with the knowledge you have shared.

Yes, I am locked to this question so when you are ready, just reply and I will be notifed - we can then continue the question.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. Hope you are well. I have a couple more questions if you could possibly help. As father has had the letter from the doctor due to age and diabetes and is classed as vulnerable can they request the the hearing take place via telephone, also the farmer has on previous occasions demonstrated a threatening behaviour they a both a little fearful of being in such close proximity to him mum is 76 and is also self isolating.2 , The claim form has both parents names on the front page but the subsequent pages then are individual to mum and another pack to dad is this just still one claim and do they put the same financial details down for each. As they are the same other than state and private pensions. My parents are not being both taken to court for the full amount each.? Is the financial information request on the forms essentialThe invoice the farmer has issued clearly states on the top Sent on 25/02/20. This is a lie as it was delivered to their post box by hand on 20th may some 3 months later? There is no reference to any previous request and as you state 30 days is the legal requirement??
Thankyou

Hi, thanks - yes, any party can ask for the hearing to take place by telephone. Or you can ask an advocate to do it for you - http://www.lpc-law.co.uk is one such agency who provides advocates. More and more hearings are taking place remotely so I do not see a problem. If there is one claim number, but two defendants (your parents) then it is one claim only. The financial information on forms is if you admit the claim but can't pay it in full and want to pay by installments.

30 days is a period of time laid down by the pre action protocol for debt claims - if this notice is not given then the court will take a dim view, as it sees litigation as a last resort. You can argue he gets no costs (the issue fee, hearing fee, etc) if he wins, due to his conduct.

I hope this helps? If I have answered the question would you kindly leave me a 5 star rating (at the top of your screen), any follow up questions are welcomed.

Many thanks,

Jim

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