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    • sunflower888
    • By sunflower888 8th Oct 17, 5:47 PM
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    sunflower888
    Small claims court
    • #1
    • 8th Oct 17, 5:47 PM
    Small claims court 8th Oct 17 at 5:47 PM
    Hi

    My neighbour took me to a small claims court, we have three consolidated claims, does this mean the value tops out at £10,000 or can it be higher, e.g. 3x£10,000.

    Its to do with a boundary encroachment, where its them who are encroached, forcing me to counterclaim.
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 8th Oct 17, 5:58 PM
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    G_M
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 17, 5:58 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 17, 5:58 PM
    What are the 3 claims and how related are they?

    But I imagine if they are consolidated then the £10K limit will apply to the combination.

    If in doubt, ring the court and ask the court staff.
    • sunflower888
    • By sunflower888 8th Oct 17, 6:04 PM
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    sunflower888
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:04 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:04 PM
    1 is boundary encroachment
    2 neighbour sprayed my plants with black fence paint down one whole side
    3 another minor claim

    - but if the encroachment is valued more then thats unfair to be capped surely?
    - i wasnt aware of that
    • G_M
    • By G_M 8th Oct 17, 6:09 PM
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    G_M
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:09 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:09 PM
    I don't understand.

    Neighbour sprayed your plants and now he is suing you?

    'Another minor claim' is really not very enlightening.

    Who is suing who, for what, and for how much?
    • sunflower888
    • By sunflower888 8th Oct 17, 6:20 PM
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    sunflower888
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:20 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:20 PM
    Yes thats right they are encroached to me, and sued me in their deluded belief they are not. Because I said they were. (It should be me suing but i was trying to resolve it amicably.

    They damaged my plants and killed many, so had to counterclaim as they refused to do it.

    Then there is a vent to my patio, which is a "nuisance" claim, minor compared to the other.

    But the judge has decided to backdate it in years too, which didnt occur to me. But I didnt realise it was capped in total in this way which seems hugely unfair.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 8th Oct 17, 6:31 PM
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    G_M
    • #6
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:31 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:31 PM
    1) N is suing you because he has encroached on your land. How much/what is his claim?
    2) you are counter-suing for damage to plants. How much is your claim?
    3) N's vent discharges onto your patio. You are counter suing N. How much is your claim?

    I find it hard to believe that any of the above, or even the 3 claims combined, could exceed £10K.

    If this has already got as far as a judge reviewing and back-dating a claim, then the judge/court officials is the best place to be asking.

    And I would hae thought the 1st claim above was not for a financial loss but for an order for one or other of you to cease trespassing - which I suspect is a County Court matter not Small Claims.

    But again, the court officials will advise.
    • bris
    • By bris 8th Oct 17, 6:44 PM
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    bris
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:44 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:44 PM
    This sounds like it may net even be heard in a small claims court.


    This court is for people who have valid claims for a fixed amount of money.


    The issue you describe is not going to be settled in a SMC as they don't have the power to do that. As above, there first needs to be a resolution to the encroachment. So I too believe this would be passed to the County court before a claim can be made, but if so the County court would deal with it all at the same time.


    Boundary claims are expensive and time consuming, with the legal fees being uncapped unlike the SMC where there are strict limits on legal fees.
    • sunflower888
    • By sunflower888 8th Oct 17, 6:46 PM
    • 12 Posts
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    sunflower888
    • #8
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:46 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:46 PM
    ok maybe I'm not clear or confused myself.

    The case is in the county court but in the small track, is that the same as the small claims court? I thought it was.

    Yeah N sued me they were trying to sell and wanted a clean bill of health it forced me to counter claim for trespass, which is in part to remove some, but some cant be removed, so the judge has decided to award damages back several years from its start and then forward "into perpertuity" which I had no idea. I had put it in as £9000 (was advised it was about £10-15k but was advised this), the plants were £500 include labour costs to put right, etc, the nuisance I as an LIP only referred to and hadnt distinctly assigned a value to it, so no idea. I think it should have got assigned higher track really. The judge has indicated to do this one back years too. I hadnt realised that when making the claim thought it would be a current day effective figure and hadnt separately allowed for he nuisance part.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 8th Oct 17, 8:02 PM
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    G_M
    • #9
    • 8th Oct 17, 8:02 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Oct 17, 8:02 PM
    is N still trying to sell?

    this seems your ace in the hole.

    N's buyer will not purchae as long as there is a legal dispute ongoing. so offer to agree to a mutual withdrwal of all legal claims, thus allowing the N to sell, in retrn for the boundary being returned to where it was.

    Write off tthe plants (get some free cuttings from friends or Freecycle) and accept the vent which has clearly een there some time anyway.
    • Car1980
    • By Car1980 8th Oct 17, 8:11 PM
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    Car1980
    You can make unlimited claims at £30 a pop, at £5000 max each for small claims.

    But if the claims are connected the judge will just combine them at his own initiative and the claimant will have paid out too much in fees, which he won’t get back.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 8th Oct 17, 10:32 PM
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    G_M
    But this does not seem tto be 3 claims. It includes claims and counter-claims. Some of which don't seem to be for financial loss.... (disputed boundary location)
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 8th Oct 17, 10:59 PM
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    steampowered
    This sounds like a complete mess. It may be worth going to get guidance from a solicitor.

    The case is in the county court but in the small track, is that the same as the small claims court? I thought it was.
    Originally posted by sunflower888
    Yes, it is exactly the same thing. It is the same court whether your claim is allocated to the small claims track, fast track or multi track. It is just the procedure that is different.

    I think it should have got assigned higher track really.
    If the case was assigned to a higher track, the loser would be paying the winner's full legal costs. And you'll also be paying legal costs if there are unnecessary court hearings or you waste people's time through getting the process wrong. That can be a recipe for disaster when LiPs are involved.

    does this mean the value tops out at £10,000 or can it be higher, e.g. 3x£10,000.
    No, there is no top out. The judge has discretion. Allocating a claim to small claims track is a decision about process, not a limit on the final award that can be made.

    But the judge has decided to backdate it in years too, which didnt occur to me. But I didnt realise it was capped in total in this way which seems hugely unfair.
    I don't understand what you are complaining about here.

    Anyway, if the judge has made a decision at a hearing, that's it. If you don't agree with it you can appeal - but appeals are tough to win.

    If you are trying to say that the judge dropped hints at some sort of pre-trial hearing, it may be that you need to make a formal application to amend your defence and counterclaim.

    But again, the court officials will advise.
    Originally posted by G_M
    Unfortunately the Op can't ask the judge and court officials won't give legal advice, even on something as basic as track allocation.
    • sunflower888
    • By sunflower888 10th Oct 17, 1:00 AM
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    • 2 Thanks
    sunflower888
    Im confused.... it's me who won the case, next step is remedy and whether I can get any of my costs back. I think its been a complicated case and should have gone to the higher track.

    Legal fees are now about £11k, which is not "small" to me.

    What are the main grounds for getting them back? The other side have been unreasonable in many ways. Like giving me the draft bundle thursday evening asking me to get it back by noon the next day, and it was 11 pages long. She also sent me their costs sheet for £10k to intimidate me two days before the hearing.
    • da_rule
    • By da_rule 10th Oct 17, 5:21 AM
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    da_rule
    Weren’t you awarded costs at the end of the hearing? Did you submit a costs schedule? Did you actually ask for/claim costs as part of your claim/counterclaim?
    • kaya
    • By kaya 10th Oct 17, 8:19 AM
    • 2,346 Posts
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    kaya
    if you have won the judge would have awarded you the amount you claimed for, if you claimed for expenses on top this would also be awarded to you as you should have added it onto your claim, the other party that lost will be issued with a judgement against them for the amount you claimed and ordered to pay it to you directly, if they fail to pay within the allotted time you either go to the court bailiffs if the amount is under 5k or elevate it to the high court and send the "can't pay we'll take it away" mob round, you can also have a charging order placed against their property or apply to bankrupt them if they fail to pay, all this sounds like they would probably be better off just paying up if they are trying to sell their property
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 10th Oct 17, 10:00 AM
    • 451 Posts
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    Comms69
    Im confused.... it's me who won the case, next step is remedy and whether I can get any of my costs back. I think its been a complicated case and should have gone to the higher track.

    Legal fees are now about £11k, which is not "small" to me.

    What are the main grounds for getting them back? The other side have been unreasonable in many ways. Like giving me the draft bundle thursday evening asking me to get it back by noon the next day, and it was 11 pages long. She also sent me their costs sheet for £10k to intimidate me two days before the hearing.
    Originally posted by sunflower888


    Did you apply for costs?


    If not why not?
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 10th Oct 17, 10:02 AM
    • 451 Posts
    • 310 Thanks
    Comms69
    if you have won the judge would have awarded you the amount you claimed for, if you claimed for expenses on top this would also be awarded to you as you should have added it onto your claim, the other party that lost will be issued with a judgement against them for the amount you claimed and ordered to pay it to you directly, if they fail to pay within the allotted time you either go to the court bailiffs if the amount is under 5k or elevate it to the high court and send the "can't pay we'll take it away" mob round, you can also have a charging order placed against their property or apply to bankrupt them if they fail to pay, all this sounds like they would probably be better off just paying up if they are trying to sell their property
    Originally posted by kaya


    It's £600 to escalate it to the high court, not £5,000 (well that's the lower limit I should say, the cost is actually a lot less)
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 10th Oct 17, 10:19 AM
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    steampowered
    Im confused.... it's me who won the case, next step is remedy and whether I can get any of my costs back.
    Originally posted by sunflower888
    What do you actually mean? I do not understand what question you are asking.

    Are you saying that the judge has made a decision on liability, and that there is to be a separate hearing regarding remedies unless an agreement is reached between the parties?

    I think its been a complicated case and should have gone to the higher track.

    Legal fees are now about £11k, which is not "small" to me.
    If the case has already been decided, it is far too late to complain about the track. If the case was heard under the small claims track process you are going to have to live with the small claims track rules.

    What are the main grounds for getting them back? The other side have been unreasonable in many ways. Like giving me the draft bundle thursday evening asking me to get it back by noon the next day, and it was 11 pages long. She also sent me their costs sheet for £10k to intimidate me two days before the hearing.
    As a general rule, you do not get awarded legal costs in the small claims track I'm afraid, aside from a limited number of small items such as travelling expenses (see https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part27#27.14).

    Legal costs would only be awarded in small claims track where the other side was demonstrated to have 'behaved unreasonably'. However this is at the judge's discretion and only applies in a small number of cases.

    If there is to be another hearing, you would need to ask for costs at the end of that hearing.

    If there is no other hearing, it will be difficult to ask for costs now I'm afraid. You could attempt to seek an order for costs using form N244 with an attached witness statement, but I wouldn't rate your chances of success.
    • david1951
    • By david1951 10th Oct 17, 11:13 AM
    • 365 Posts
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    david1951
    Legal fees are now about £11k
    Originally posted by sunflower888
    You had legal counsel? Have they kept you informed of the process? Given you your options?

    The other side have been unreasonable in many ways. Like giving me the draft bundle thursday evening asking me to get it back by noon the next day, and it was 11 pages long. She also sent me their costs sheet for £10k to intimidate me two days before the hearing.
    Originally posted by sunflower888
    Doesn't sound too unreasonable in a small claims hearing.

    With respect, you seem a bit out of your depth. Did your legal counsel (if you had one) advise you that you would not be able to recoup their costs if the case is heard on the small claims track?
    • G_M
    • By G_M 10th Oct 17, 11:22 AM
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    G_M
    If you have £11K legal costs you must ave been reseiving professional legal advvice, which begs the questtion as to why you are using the frum to ask somehat basic (and confused/confusing) questions.

    Why has your legal adviser not informed you how to claim costs etc?
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