Litigation Advice: How do I start Court proceedings?

This is the second part of an ongoing blog series which aims to go into greater detail on the steps of the litigation process. To read about pre-court actions, take a look at our first blog.

Issuing a court claim

If Pre-Action correspondence does not result in an agreement being reached, you may find yourself in the position where issuing a Court claim is necessary.

A claim can be issued either on paper, by filling in a claim form and posting it to the Court, or (if the claim is for recovery of money) online using the Money Claims Online Service. Either way, before the claim is issued, it is necessary to provide the following details:

  1. The full names and addresses of both the Claimant(s) and the Defendant(s);
  2. The amount being claimed (if any);
  3. How the debt has arisen or the nature of the dispute and what Order you seek from the Court;
  4. Whether interest is being claimed, and if so on what basis, the time period it is being claimed for and the amount; and
  5. Any amount which is being claimed for costs.

The completed claim form should be sent to the correct Court along with the relevant Court fee (which will vary depending on the amount the claim is for), and upon receipt of the claim form, the Court will issue the Claim and will usually serve the Defendant directly.

The Particulars of Claim document

For all but the simplest of claims, there is often not enough space on the claim form to fully set out the details of how the claim has arisen. It is often necessary to file a separate document fully setting out the Particulars of Claim (details of how the amounts involved have arisen). This document can be sent to the Court along with the Claim Form where the claim is being issued on paper, but they can be served after issue of the claim.

It is important to note that where a separate Particulars of Claim document is to be issued, the document must be sent to the Defendant not more than 14 days after the initial claim form has been served on him. It is good practice, therefore, to not actually issue a claim at Court until the Particulars of Claim document has been prepared – not least because the Defendant will have 14 days from the date they receive the Particulars of Claim to respond. In other words, so the sooner this document is sent, the more advantageous to the Claimant.

For more expert legal advice, Astle Paterson are on your side. Our team of expert Litigation Lawyers’ are on hand to help you resolve your issues as quickly as possible. Read more about our Litigation services, or contact our Litigation department directly.

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