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Small claims court

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We (our company & ourselves) are being taken to the small claims court this Friday,& I have conveniently to put it all to the back of my mind until this week :?


Now I am all of a twitter about it :roll:


My paperwork is in order,but I just want to know what to expect on the day -will it be formal,should we "dress up" for the occassion???


Does anyone out there have any experience of the small claims court,so you can put my poor frazzled mind at rest :)


I won't go into specifics about the case just yet,needless to say we think we are in the right but so does the chap taking us to court :lol:

Its for a piffling amount of money & has,sadly,become more of a matter of principle than anything else.......

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Hi :) sorry things have been a bit hectic this end. I have decided Im going to turn my PhD into a MSc and get it out of the way!


I have also been working 13+ hour days.


add to that the Damsons have been ripe. so have been harvesting (10 gallons of wine, 4 litres vodka, 4 litres of gun, 4 bottles of ketchup and 4 BIG jars of Jam)




Will try and post more now things are more settled :)

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I don't have any experience of the small claims court, but if it were me I would have all my paper work in order and look as professional as possible


Best of luck and I am sure it will all go well. These things are never as bad as we imagine them to be

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We had to take someone to the small claims court a couple of years ago as they just wouldn't pay our invoice. Hubby used to be in the police so he was not at all fazed by the prospect, but rather him than me.


Just make sure you are presentable, calm, efficient and most of all polite. Oh, and turning up is good too. We won our case when the defendant didn't even bother to attend and the judge was so miffed she had to pay our costs as well.


Good luck - AND DON'T PANIC!!!

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I have been through the Small Claims procedure numerous times on behalf of the company I work for. (Chasing of debts from around £1k to the biggest which was just short of £5k) I am pleased to say that so far we have won all but one.


First of all try not to stress out too much.


It is a formal proceeding conducted in as informal manner as possible, in an office, not a court room, and will be presided over by a judge.


S/he will start the hearing by talking you through the process. Take notes and you are free to ask questions if you don't understand.


Each time we have been to court the judge has explained the standard of conduct that is expected, and that no raised voices, insults, threats etc will be tolerated.


You will have your own evidence bundle, and should also have copies of any documents your opponent intends to use. If he has not supplied you with this it could work in your favour as he is unlikely to be allowed to turn up with a surprise.


I suggest that you go over both thoroughly beforehand and make notes of any questions that occur to you, or any innaccuracies in the opponents statement.


If you have had any "without prejudice" correspondence with your opponent beforehand, he cannot use the contents to bolster his case (and nor can you!)


The judge will question both parties and will usually allow the parties to question each other, and he will make notes. The proceedings will be recorded on tape.


You are allowed to have someone go in with you as the proceedings are open, although in my own experience, only one person turned up with a crowd. (They were booted out for interrupting).


The judge may give a judgement immediately, or may go away and consider matters and give a judgement after a short break, or may decide to reflect further, and give an opinion at a later date.


I have experienced all three.


My best advice is be sure of your facts, write anything down which occurs to you. and stay calm.


Dress wise you are probably best to go smart.


It is not the end of the world if the judgement goes against you.


Best of luck.

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Good point Jools, lots of people don't turn up.


A few years ago someone reversed into my parked car, long boring story but eventually we said we would take him to court and he just backed down


It's a very daunting prospect but stick to the facts, and as Jools said be presentable, calm, polite and on time, don't be late

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Thanks all.


We submitted our paper evidence by recorded mail a few weeks ago (a contract signed by the customer,which he says does not exist) so are all sorted there.

We were suprised not to recieve any counter documents from him, as they have to be submitted 2 weeks prior to the hearing.


I will dust off the funeral suit (again!!!)


We are hoping that the customer in question WILL become rude & abusive,as he has been totally unreasonable up until now, & that that will also work in our favour.


I will let you know how we get on.


the Hubby has promised to take me out to lunch after the proceedings, so thats something to look forward to :P


Lots of crossed fingers & good thoughts for 11.30am on Friday,please :lol:

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Important point!!


Turn your mobile phones off !!


If it rings during the hearing, the judge will not be at all pleased.


I know of a solicitor who's phone trilled during a similar hearing and he was sent to the cells for a few hours.


It would be most unfortunate if your opponent's phone went off during the hearing!! :wink:

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I was just thinking that - it must be the most used phrase on this forum :shock:


Sarah - it sounds like you are ready to face this on Friday - everything has been said.


I also won my case when the defendant didn't turn up - the Courts take a very dim view of that.


Also - I agree with LJ about the suit and not the jeans.


Good Luck!

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Thanks for your help & your support everyone :D


The Hubby is still refusing to wear a suit,claiming that he doesn't care that much & doesn't feel the need to dress up to defend himself on a point he is quite adamant about :roll:

I think I had better go along & keep an eye on him,or else goodness knows what he might say or do :?

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Best of luck!!


I am sure that as long as he does not dress in a manner that sets out deliberately to offend the court he will be fine.


Tell him to go easy on the body piercings and tattoos!


If you have a signed contract and the terms of this have been broken, then I reckon you should be ok.


If it is, as you say, a piddling amount but you are unlucky and do get a judgement against you, if you are not bothered about having a CCJ, ( look into the consequences and make an informed decision) then don't pay. He is unlikely to throw good money after bad to enforce the judgement.

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I am sure that as long as he does not dress in a manner that sets out deliberately to offend the court he will be fine.


Tell him to go easy on the body piercings and tattoos!



Thats his favourite T-Shirt out the window then :lol:


I reckon he can scrub up pretty well, I have even booked him a haircut for tomorrow evening !


Strangely,he may find that all of his jeans will be in the wash on friday morning....... 8)

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