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Defendant requested more time for defence - next steps

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  • Defendant requested more time for defence - next steps

    Hi, I'm a claimant in a small claims court case. The defence from the defendant was due today. Last night they emailed asking for more time. I refused. They've messed me around throughout the process and I don't think there's any reason they need the extra 28 days they requested.

    They've filed a N244 application notice asking for the 28 days and costs.

    I'm really unsure what to do next and wondering if I've bitten off more than I can chew.

    1. Can I request judgement as they haven't filed a response?
    2. Do I need to file an application notice opposing the order? How long do I have? Do I need to try to negotiate with them first?

    Any thoughts on this would be very much appreciated.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hello, some questions need answering first I think.

    1. When and what time did they file an application? If it was after 4pm then they would need to request relief from sanctions too.

    2. What was their reasons (if any) for seeking an extension of time. There is a need for the defendant to be open about why (a) the extension is necessary given that they've had 33 days from the date of the claim form being served to file a defence - assuming your claim was issued by Money claims online and they acknowledged the claim, (b) why 28 days is needed and (c) why have they left it until the night before the defence needed to be filed.

    3. You've said they have messed you around throughout the process. As this is at the early stages of proceedings, you have only issued the claim and the ball is now in their court to file a defence, so where is the 'messing around'? If you are talking pre-proceedings then if I recall that is not taken into consideration for the purposes of extending time but may be worth raising the point anyway as an example of their conduct.

    As for your questions:

    1. Would not advise it, you could be seen as taking advantage and the judge might not take kindly to that when you know an application has been made. However, if they haven't filed a defence and the judge does not allow them an extension, you can ask the judge to enter judgment there and then since they are out of time for filing a defence.

    2. You can file a notice of objection but will need to properly set out in the same manner as a defence/witness statement. That means complete with the right headings, numbering etc. Timings I'm not sure to be honest, but allow yourself to file within 14 days of receiving the application, just in case which is the standard response time.

    If you lose, and they seek costs, might be worth refuting on the basis that their request was late last night and they've have every opportunity to seek an extension, you objections were not unreasonable and they ought to have considered asking for an extension long before they did.
    Check out some useful guides below

    A guide to voluntary termination
    Seting aside a CCJ
    Completing an N180 Form (Courtesy of Jaguarsuk)

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LEGAL DISCLAIMER
    Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi R0B, thank you for your response. Answers to your questions below

      1. Not sure. They emailed me at 17:30 and said it was filed 'earlier today'.

      2. The reasons are my account with the Defendant went back 15 years and the issue being disputed went back 5 years. Also, they (the solicitors) were only instructed by the defendants 3 weeks ago. In emails they have submitted as part of the application I have asked why they need 28 days and why they waited until the night before to ask me to agree to the extension and they've ignored those questions.

      3. Ok, that's noted. My examples are, when I sent the letter before action they replied saying I didn't give the legal basis for the claim so they couldn't respond. I added more detail and they said the same. I sent a draft particulars of claim and they took over a month to reply to that. I emailed asking how they would like the particulars of claim served and if they would accept it to there internal legal teams email address (which was used for correspondence up to that point). They ignored my email then said the claim was invalid as they don't accept service by email. I made an offer to settle the issues which they ignored. Then they wait until the last minute to make this request and give me less than a day to agree.

      Any further thoughts on what I do next would be great. Many thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        Also just to add to this, I've just noticed they've left box 9a for my address on the form completely blank. Is that ok?

        I'm really struggling to find any information on how this process works. Am I waiting for the court to send me the form? Or do I need to do something proactive? I think from what I've seen my intention is to oppose the whole claim, asking for an order that the application is denied, costs, and judgement by default in the claim as no defence has been filed.

        Comment


        • #5
          I emailed the Defendant this morning saying that I intend to oppose the order but would be willing to negotiate and put forward a suggestion.

          I'm still really struggling on what the process is. Will the court send me something or do I need to just fill in a form and send it to them?

          Any thoughts would be great. Thanks.

          Comment


          • #6
            Have you got a copy of the N244 form of have they just told you it was filed?
            Check out some useful guides below

            A guide to voluntary termination
            Seting aside a CCJ
            Completing an N180 Form (Courtesy of Jaguarsuk)

            - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
            LEGAL DISCLAIMER
            Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

            Comment


            • #7
              They sent me a copy. On the N244 it said 'Defendant to serve claimant' and they say it was filed with the court (but I don't know).

              Comment


              • #8
                So you should expect to receive a copy from the court in due course. I suspect they've left 9a blank because your address will already be on the system. Out of practice, I still put in the service address but if the court can't serve because of that, then they will ask them to re-file the application which means they would be out of time and will need seek relief from sanctions from the court.
                Check out some useful guides below

                A guide to voluntary termination
                Seting aside a CCJ
                Completing an N180 Form (Courtesy of Jaguarsuk)

                - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                LEGAL DISCLAIMER
                Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

                Comment


                • #9
                  That's R0B that's great. That's the main thing that I wanted to know - so when the court send me the application I'll have an opportunity and a method to provide a response?

                  Given the COVID situation, how long do you think this will take? It's a bit of a strange one as what they are asking for is time to provide a defence.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    On MCOL it now says 'A bar was put in place for...' does that mean the court is processing the order application? I emailed the Defendant to negotiate the terms (giving them 7 days instead of 28 and no costs) but they haven't responded.

                    Any thoughts on next steps would be great.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You can agree a 7 day extension,although if they dont have a justifiable reason why they need it, then id be tempted to request judgment
                      I work for Wannops LLP . I give my free time available to helping other on the forum and would be happy to try and assist informally where needed. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability.

                      If you need to contact me please email me on Ptilley@wannops.com .

                      I have been involved in leading consumer credit and data protection cases including Harrison v Link Financial Limited (High Court), Grace v Blackhorse (Court of Appeal) and also Kotecha v Phoenix Recoveries (Court of Appeal) along with a number of other reported cases and often blog about all things consumer law orientated.

                      You can also follow my blog on consumer credit here.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks PT. So far I haven't agreed anything with them (despite trying). Do you think I'm OK to try to request judgement by default through MCOL? Do u need to wait for something from the court about the application the Defendant has made? Should I tell the Defendant I'm going to request udgement?

                        Apologies for so many questions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Nothing recevied from the court about how to respond - should I be worried?

                          PT - unfortunately can't request a judgement as a bar was put in place when they submitted the application.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Phoned the court and the application is with a district judge. I don't get to respond or provide my side. Doesn't seem right.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Doesn't sound right either, but because you've not provided a copy of the form, we don't know what else has been written so we can only speculate. It may be with the judge for further directions and you should be given at least an opportunity to object or prepare written submissions as to whether you agree to the set aside.
                              Check out some useful guides below

                              A guide to voluntary termination
                              Seting aside a CCJ
                              Completing an N180 Form (Courtesy of Jaguarsuk)

                              - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                              LEGAL DISCLAIMER
                              Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

                              Comment

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