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JimLawyer, Solicitor
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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My daughter paid for and agreed to buy a horse from Ireland.

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My daughter paid for and agreed to buy a horse from Ireland. It was from someone she had bought from before with no problems, but this time it hasn’t gone to plan. She paid just over £2000 for the horse 12 weeks ago, but despite lots of promises and excuses, the seller has not sent the horse over. She has asked for a refund but they keep saying, he’ll be transported next week. This has been going on for the last 8 weeks. The seller is in the Republic of Ireland. Can we go through the UK small claims court? If not, how do we go about getting a refund? We have all the messages etc and an invoice from the seller. Thanks
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: We are in Cambridgeshire UK, the seller is in Inneskeen, Co. Louth, Ireland
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: lots of phone calls and text messages
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no I don’t think so. We are just tired of excuses and as it’s now been 12 weeks since agreeing the purchase, we don’t know if the horse is still as it was when we bought it
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

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Thank you!

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

You cannot use the European Small Claim procedure as the UK has now left the EU - which is a shame as it was a very easy to use paper-based system to sue someone in a cross border claim up to 5,000 euro in value.
Your options now are either to start proceedings in the UK and serve them in Ireland on the defendant - or use an Irish law firm (which will cost more and may be uneconomical as a result).

You should send the seller a letter before action to say that you believe your consumer rights have been infringed and that you demand your money back within 14 days, failing which you will issue a small claim.

The attached letter is generic and needs to be tailored (and quote the above breach).

You can sue them and ask the UK court for permission to serve the claim abroad. You need the defendant's address in Ireland for the purposes of the claim form.

You need forms N1 and N510, available here :

The N510 - the first tick box at section 2 is required to be ticked. You then send 3 copies to County County Money Claims Centre, PO Box 527, Salford, M5 0BY for the court to issue.

You must include the issue fee - the fee depends on the sum claimed. The fee is listed on page 5 (under court issued claim) : https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/904862/ex50-eng.pdf

If you pay the fee it needs to be made payable to HMCTS, or your an pay by phone if you ring the court on 0300(###) ###-####/p>

The court will return them to you, you then serve them on the shop by posting them with N215 (available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/952023/n215-eng.pdf).

The papers are served on the defendant who then has 14 days to acknowledge the claim - they do this by filling out an acknowledgment of service and they post it to the court. They indicate their intention when they do this, i.e. whether they admit the claim in full or partly, or if they deny the claim.

If they want to defend the claim then their defence is due by 28 days from the date the court served them with the papers. If there is no settlement then the claim will be dealt with at a final hearing which takes anything from 9 to 12 months from when you start the claim - longer if the claim is higher value. You can pursue the claim yourself or use a law firm. For the hearing you can use an advocate if you wish, though it's not compulsory.

Note, if they fail to respond to the court proceedings then you can ask the court for judgment in default - meaning you win in a matter of weeks and you then have a CCJ against the defendant.

I have details of law firms and advocacy agencies if you would like those. Though in a small claim you won't be able to recover their charges from your opponent. A small claims hearing is easy to do, it's quite informal and no lawyer is required.

Once you win then the judgment can be registered at their local civil court in Co Louth for enforcement assuming they still refuse to pay you.

You may find they just pay you after receiving the letter before action – hopefully they will want to avoid litigation.

I hope this helps?

(insert name and address) (insert date)

LETTER BEFORE ACTION

Dear (name),

Re: Claim for (insert sum)

I refer to the above matter. (Insert details of the dispute).

This letter is being sent to you in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol (“the Protocol”) contained within the Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”). In particular, I refer you to paragraph 7 of the Protocol, and paragraphs 13 to 16 of the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols regarding the Court’s powers to impose sanctions for failing to comply with the provisions of the Protocol.

I therefore put you on notice of my intention to issue county court proceedings against you for my losses should I not receive payment in full by 4 pm on (insert date 30 calendar days).

Should court proceedings be necessary I will claim the court issue fee and statutory interest. Should I succeed in obtaining a judgment, same will be transferred to your district court in Co Louth for enforcement against you whereby further costs will be added to the judgment sum.

I trust the above will not be necessary and I therefore look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.

Yours sincerely,

(insert name)

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

JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13897
Experience: Senior Associate Solicitor
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Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you for your help. We will send the letter before action and hopefully have a response.

I'm sure it will work, if not then there is the option of issuing the claim which isn't too difficult.