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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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If the small claims court can't actually resolve something,

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If the small claims court can't actually resolve something, and a ccj is applied for, that also can't guarantee any outcome, what's the point of the small claims court?
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Uk
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: Issued a ccj but have been notified there's no guarantee the other party will respond
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Just that the job completed by the tradesman isn't fit for purpose

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.

You are referring to the county court where a claim has a value under £10,000 - the court then allocates it to the small claims track.
A small claim is a simple way of involving the court in a dispute over debt, breach of contract, negligence cases and so forth. Lawyers generally do not become involved in a small claim due to the fact their charges are not recoverable.
"No one can "guarantee' the outcome in litigation. Each case is different and one judge may hold a different view to another. A claimant can use the court if their case has merit - prospects of success which are 51% or better. As the likelihood of winning is favourable. But not guaranteed.
If you have won and have a CCJ, recoverability is a consideration - i.e. whether the defendant has the means to pay or if they disappear and evade having to pay the court judgment. You do have up to 6 years to enforce the CCJ against them in a variety of ways. It's not a criminal case so the sanction of going to prison is not an option if they refuse to pay the CCJ - but contempt of court could result in a prison term if for example they breached the terms of a court order.

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 12 days ago.
Thank you. He didn't respond to the small claim court stage, and I requested the ccj as the next stage and await a letter to confirm that. I was just surprised that there isn't a guaranteed outcome and now feel that unscrupulous tradesmen aren't held accountable, and they know it. If he doesn't respond to the ccj, what are my options. My claim value is £1300, simply a refund. I have a WhatsApp message from him to say he would refund with additional £200 for inconvenience. I just want what I paid him so I can get another tradesmen in to do the job again. I feel there's little point though really considering he can just opt not to respond.

Thanks, ***** ***** you need to consider enforcement then.

The options to enforce a CCJ:

1. Apply to court to order they attend a hearing and confirm what they can pay. You do this by filling in and sending form N316 with fee of £55 payable to HMCTS:

(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n316-application-for-order-that-debtor-attend-court-for-questioning)

2. Instruct court bailiffs to attend and collect. Fill in and send form N323 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n323-request-for-warrant-of-control)

A fee of £77 is payable (if you sued online) or £110 (paper method) payable to HMCTS.

Alternatively you can apply to transfer the CCJ to the High Court so that you can use the high court enforcement officers (who have far greater powers than county court bailiffs including seizure of goods to sell at auction and forcing entry to premises). The following company can do this for you and they add their fee to the CCJ sum: https://www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk/services/ccjs-transferring-high-court/

£110 fee payable to HMCTS.

3. Apply to freeze his bank account (if it is in credit - this only works on one date though) and the court orders the funds to repay the CCJ :

(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n349-application-for-third-party-debt-order).

£110 fee payable.

4. Apply for a charging order on his property (if they own it) so the money is repaid when the property sells. You can also apply to force a sale :

(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n379-application-for-charging-order-on-land-cpr-part-73).

£110 fee payable.

5. Apply to wind up their company if you sued a limited company and they owe you £750 or more:

https://www.gov.uk/wind-up-a-company-that-owes-you-money

£280 fee and £1600 petition fee is payable

6. Apply to bankrupt them if they are a sole trader and they owe £5K or more :

https://www.gov.uk/apply-to-bankrupt-someone

Petition fee of £990 and court costs of £280 are payable

I'd recommend option 2 (high court transfer) so you can use the high court enforcement officers - very effective and cheap too.

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