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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12888
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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My neighbour said my cat attacked their dog and they want

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My neighbour said my cat attacked their dog and they want half the vets bill
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Derby UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None. They just put a letter through my door
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: They habr no proof and there are multiple black cats in the neighborhood

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

first of all, there is no legislation in the UK to cover cats in this situation, only to dogs - see the attached link and "common law duty of care" : ​https://www.cats.org.uk/media/1024/eg13_cats_and_the_law.pdf

There is also the issue that they have no solid evidence your cat was to blame.

If the owner does sue, you will receive court documents (a response pack) which you must complete and return to the court. It is a tick box exercise for the most part and there is a short section to write a defence which is easy enough though please feel free to come back to this site if you need any more help. A claim will also take 9-12 months to be decided at court. If you lost then you would get 14 days to pay the judgment before the claimant can enforce the order, and 30 days to pay in full before it is registered with credit agencies. The claimant cannot recover legal costs if they win, in a claim under £10K (a small claim), all they can claim are the court fees and interest.

If the claim has no merit (and my view is their claim would have no merit) then you have an option (after your defence is filed) to apply to strike the claim out. The court will consider an application if the claim has no merit, or is misconceived. The application costs £255 but this is recoverable if your application succeeds. If you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits then you can ask the court to waive the court fee. If you won the application, the claim is struck out.

The hearing (if the case gets that far) is likely to be held remotely, it's you, a district judge (who is a practising solicitor or barrister) and someone from the claimant company. The Judge decides and if you lost, you get 14 days to pay the sum. If paid in full within 30 days then nothing goes on your credit record. But certainly I think you would succeed in a defence, just to be clear.

I can assist you going forwards if it gets to the point they issue a claim.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thank you for your swift and efficient reply. Do I contact the neighbours and tell them this or leave it as they are known trouble makers
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
I cannot afford to call but thank you for the information given

To be honest I would not reply to them. If they send you a letter before action then you should reply to that but that's it. If they do that then reply and deny liability.

If they are likely to cause trouble then you should ask the Police for help on the 101 number. If the Police can't then you could apply to the local county court for a civil injunction.

However, before you do this, send the neighbour a cease and desist letter to warn them of your intentions unless they stop (and give them 7 days to stop their conduct). A template “cease and desist” letter is available at https://www.lawdepot.co.uk/

If you go to the search box in the top right corner of the site, it will bring up a list - you want the "general" letter.

You can use your own letter if you wish - it just has to make it clear this is a cease and desist letter, that you demand they stop their conduct, and that if they do not within 7 days you will apply to the court for the injunction and seek your costs.

That letter may well be enough to stop the conduct - as an injunction is a serious legal remedy.

JimLawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thank you for the extra help Jim, so sorry I didn't reply sooner. I only just saw this.

No problem at all, thanks and have a good day