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: 17444
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
97337639
Type Your Law Question Here...
JimLawyer is online now

I am a sole trader and am being sued for a dispute on a

Customer Question

I am a sole trader and am being sued for a dispute on a timber building that I built, I have just been issued with a General Form of Judgement of Order, to attend a summary judgement on the 05th September 2022 but need to submit my defence within the next two days. I received this on the 25th June (But it was dated 22nd June) My long term partner of 22 years was admitted to hospital on the 15th June and discharged on the 23rd June. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given weeks to live, the doctor advised 4 hours ago that she would not last the night. I have not got my defence together due to this and therefore I need to get this hearing adjourned. I have had no work since before she was admitted and no where to turn. What can I do?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Devon in the UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None
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 the message I sent says it all
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 11 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer.

I am one of the legal experts on the site and I am a dual-qualified solicitor (UK & Republic of Ireland)

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

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 11 days ago.

Sorry to hear of the issue.

Summary judgment is where the court thinks you have no real prospect of successfully defending the claim.

It means there is no need to attend a full hearing but it also means your defence is so weak as to have no merit and the claimant therefore wins.

You mention there is a hearing on 5th September and I presume the claimant has applies for summary judgment against you.

As you have yet to file a defence I struggle to understand why - as normally you would have already filed a defence and the claimant thinks the defence has no merit - then they apply to the court. Or, the court thinks the defence has no merit and grants summary judgment, either way.

I don't know if you have missed the deadline to submit your defence. It sounds like you have. You say you have to submit your defence within the next two days - again, I don't know if you have a court order to say you have to do this or you are doing this on your own back.

But as I say, normally you will have already replied to the claim and the claimant then applies for summary judgment so I remain confused on this point and perhaps you can clarify.

In the meantime, to answer your question - you say you want to get the hearing adjourned (it's not until 5th September which is over a month off?) then you will need to make a formal application on form N244 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n244-application-notice) and pay the court fee which you can do by telephone once you send your form to the court.

As for a defence, it needs to comply with the CPR rules (https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part16#16.5) and it looks like the attached - it must be in numbered paragraphs and address the allegations the claimant has made. It then needs to be signed (the statement of truth).

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 11 days ago.

I hope this helps for now, thanks

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 11 days ago.

It was a pleasure to assist you today and I hope this answers the question.

If you have any follow up questions or if you would like me to clarify anything I have said, please let me know and I will be happy to help.

Many thanks,

Jim


Expert:  JimLawyer replied 11 days ago.

Just a final note that if you would like to reconnect with me at a later date, simply add me as a favourite expert and you can then tag me in a question starting off with @JimLawyer.

I look forward to helping you again soon.

Thanks again,

Jim



Customer: replied 11 days ago.
jimlawyer How do I send you a copy of the document, there was a telephone hearing on the 26th of May that the judge adjourned as the Clamants having issued an application for judgement which the application had not yet been served in accordance with CPR 23.7, and have been insufficient time available in the 30 mins listing today to deal with the application in any event. It also says that it is ordered that 1. The claimants application for summary judgement is listed at 10.00am on 5 September 2022 at the County Court at Exeter, (time estimate 1.5 hours) with all parties to attend.
2) Costs in the case.Sorry I did put in a defence previously myself but when I was on the call the Judge was in my favour but did say before the next hearing I should contact a solicitor to get the defence in order numbering photos and paperwork ect, does that all make sense?
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 11 days ago.

Yes, it sounds like the judge wants you to a) seek legal advice and b) prepare a defence which complies with the civil procedure rules as I mentioned earlier.

You will need to do this to stand the best chance of being able to get your defence in and for there to be no summary judgment.

I can't do it for you as we are an internet forum (not a law firm) so we can't offer legal advice nor draft any documents - this is a Q&A forum, but if you would like me to list a few law firms who could do this (they would charge a fixed fee) then please let me know.

Thanks

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
jimlawyer, thank you, ***** ***** could recommend some that would be great we are based in Devon EX16, I have not been working for a while so money is very tight. The Claiment is seeking their money back for the work I did but not only that they are seeking £70k for a new building and for me to pay for that…
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 11 days ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** like a large claim from what you say.

Geography isn't an issue when you instruct a law firm - they will deal with your claim remotely and for the hearing they will use a barrister who is based near the court.

You can try any of these :

1. https://www.catalystlaw.co.uk

2. https://www.porterdodson.co.uk/defending-a-civil-dispute-claim-solicitors

3. https://www.garrattssolicitors.co.uk/individual-services/general-litigation/