How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JimLawyer Your Own Question
JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 15443
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
97337639
Type Your Law Question Here...
JimLawyer is online now

Me and my partner split up, he kicked me out the house an so

This answer was rated:

Hello, me and my partner split up, he kicked me out the house an so I'm wondering can I take him to court over money we've spent in/on the house? I have all bank statements (everything was bought via joint bank account) of money spent so what I'm wanting is my half back as I've had to leave the property leaving behind all furniture and ornaments?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Stockton on tees
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: So far I've gone through the statements and totted up the amount I'd like back. I was just wanting advice before I go to my ex so that if he refused to give me any money I'd know where court was an option
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

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer.

Thank you for the question, I am reviewing the details now and I will aim to resolve it as quickly as possible for you.

Yes, you can do and it would help your case given that you have evidence of the expenditure. The law looks at you as separate individuals (not a married couple) so you can claim back what you put in. I presume there is no evidence to say the items were a gift, which would mean you would be fine to pursue him.

In order to try and resolve the dispute without having to pursue court action, a formal letter before action should be drafted and sent, to demand payment within 14 days and say that if they do not pay you, you will issue county court proceedings against them.

See attached template as an example of what to say. Please let me know if you cannot see the letter which I have uploaded. You will need to tailor this letter to your situation. The pre action protocol confirms you should send the letter to give the other party a chance to avoid court action and to pay you. The courts encourage compliance with the protocol as it can result in a resolution without having to involve the court.

If you decided to issue a claim, you would then need to register at https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you. The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site.

Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are generally not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. This means the parties are on an equal footing, so you don’t need to worry about legal costs if you lost.

A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case.
Here is a user guide for the money claim online site: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1020660/mcol-userguide-eng.pdf

The court will then issue the claim and they will send you "notice of issue". 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. The central court processing centre then sends the claim to the defendant's home county court for case management and directions - the directions will give a list of dates which you both must comply with.

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. 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.

Claims between £10,000 and £25,000 are subject to fixed costs only so if you lose then the risk is minimal. Further, the money claim website allows you to sue for an amount up to £100,000. You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee (details of the money claim fees are listed here at page 5: EX50 - Civil and Family Court fees) and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment.

So for example if you were owed £10,000, interest would be £2.20 per day, which you can also claim.

The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim. If a hearing is required then there is a fee for this too - see page 7 of the previous link for details. Again, that fee is recoverable if you win.

If you are on a low income or have low savings (or in receipt of benefits), you can ask the court for a fee remission so you do not have to pay the court issue fee.

The online site for applying for the fee exemption is here: www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees

Please note if you do qualify for a fee exemption, you cannot use the money claim online site - instead you would need the paper N1 claim form (let me know if you would like a copy) as well as the EX160 fee exemption form which goes with the N1 claim form - then posted to court.

If you win then once you have the CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days. You can also enforce the CCJ with the county court bailiffs or transfer the debt to the High Court for a small additional fee assuming the total amount owed is at least £600 and you can use the high court enforcement officers who have greater powers than county court bailiffs. The transfer fee is added on to the debt and payable by the defendant.

There are other enforcement methods which I can help with, including bank account freeze, charging order on their property (and then apply to force a sale), apply to summons them to court for questioning, attachment of earnings order against their employer (if employed), apply to bankrupt them if they are an individual or sole trader and they owe £5,000 or more - all of which can ensure you are actually repaid the money.

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

(insert their name and address) (insert date)

LETTER BEFORE ACTION

Dear (ex's 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 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 14 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 the High Court 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 answers the question. If you have any follow up questions then please do let me know.

Many thanks,
Jim

Just a final note that I am free most days and would be happy to assist with any other queries you may have.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thank you so much that's all very helpful! I do actually have another query .. same person however there isn't enough evidence to prove the crime committed however I'm wanting to claim money from the person who got arrested for the crimeMy car got stolen.. its been recovered. Police arrested the person driving my car and that person is going to court. My insurance have said that the only way this can go as a no fault claim is if their solicitors believe they can get the money back from the person arrested an my insurance said that its very unlikely.So! The advice I was given was cancel the insurance claim, get the damages to my car caused by the person who stole it fixed myself then once he's gone to court an his details become public sue him from that point for damages and losses?

Hi, thanks - you could sue him yes though you should ensure he has the means to pay. Otherwise you spend time and money on a claim only for him to not be able to pay the CCJ (county court judgment). A tracing company could check whether he owns anything which you could claim against assuming he refused to pay the CCJ.
As for anything to do with criminal law, that would need to be answered by a criminal law expert - if you have further queries regarding that if you could please post a new question and ask for a criminal lawyer to help.

JimLawyer and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Ahh OK many thanks!

My pleasure, thanks