It is always better to obtain advice from a solicitor or other qualified advisor before commencing court proceedings. The solicitor will provide advice and can also prepare the court papers. If you do it yourself you can risk stating your case incorrectly it could be a large cost to correct your case at a later date or the Court may not allow you to do so.You could also lose your case and have a Court Order made against you. If you are considering a claim please contact our Disputes Team on 01302 360060.
A solicitor will use their experience to provide you with a range of options tailored to your needs. They will advise you of the right direction. A solicitor can also advise you on the correct process to follow once a court case has started. It could be that they can reach a settlement without the need to attend at Court. A solicitor will also give you an impartial view of the matter and an assessment of the prospects of success.
You must disclose any documents relevant to the subject matter of the dispute, even if it may harm your case. However you must consider if the information is relevant to the issues in the case? There may be documents that are privileged and do not have to the disclosed. Again your solicitor can advise you before you disclose documents that possibly should not be disclosed.
The Defendant has 14 days to acknowledge receipt of your papers and can have a further 14 days to provide a Defence. The Court will then send to the parties a Questionnaire which is used to decide how to allocate the case to one of the tracks. These being generally for debt and general claims:
Small claims track – Under £10,000 (these take 3 to 6 months)
Fast claims track - £10,000 to £25,000 (these take 6 to 9 months)
Multi track – over £25,000 (these can take significantly longer)
Please note personal injury has different figures for the tracks. Other cases are allocated to certain tracks regardless of the size of the claim. The process of each track is different as is the Court fee payable and the costs you are likely to incur. Again your solicitor would be able to advise you.
These are only rough guidelines of an average case, more complex cases can take considerably longer
If the Defendant is an individual the case is likely to be held in the court closest to where they are based. However, if not an individual there is no automatic transfer and can be anywhere the court decides.
For more information call our disputes team today - 01302 360 060 or 0114 272 1884