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  • FIRST POST
    • LauraM1968
    • By LauraM1968 11th Feb 18, 11:39 AM
    • 5Posts
    • 2Thanks
    LauraM1968
    Particulars of Claim rejected
    • #1
    • 11th Feb 18, 11:39 AM
    Particulars of Claim rejected 11th Feb 18 at 11:39 AM
    Hi all,

    I'm making a claim against an employer as they have breached the Equality Act 2010 by discriminating against me on the basis of my particular expression of a protected characteristic. After a long period of fruitless "investigations", being stonewalled, not getting any engagement from them etc, I decided to take them to small claims court. I sent off the N1 form which included a detailed particulars of claim statement (two pages, around 1,400 words) which I attached as a separate piece of paper. I also included a large number of additional documents which I referred to within the particulars of claim (eg "as seen in XX's email to YY of [DD/MM/YY], document 11). On Thursday I received a standard letter from the court advising that the claim would be struck out unless I re-submitted my particulars of claim, using the following wording:

    "Unless the Claimant do file and serve Particulars of claim setting out the legal basis of his claim, in particulars quoting any law or statutes with relevant clauses he relies upon and alleged breaches therefore by the Defendant by 4pm on 21 February 2018, the claim do stand struck out."

    I'd be very grateful for any advice forum members could provide. Do I need to reference more explicitly the particular parts of the legislation (in this case the Equality Act 2010)? I literally just referenced it once at the beginning of the particulars and didn't mention any sections or provide any wording. Also, should I not have included the evidence? I provided a copy of the whole thing to the defendant too. Finally, can I just reply to the court with an amended particulars (and provide a copy to the defendant) or do I need to apply for permission to do so? I found an older thread on here from 2007 where a member had a similar issue and they were advised they'd need first to get permission from the court (and perhaps the defendant?) to amend their particulars. This seems like a bit of a faff when the court has requested that I do so, but I completely understand if that is the legal process.

    The claim is for two counts of direct discrimination - £4,000 per count, £8,000 in total.

    Many thanks.
Page 1
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 11th Feb 18, 12:06 PM
    • 1,026 Posts
    • 2,035 Thanks
    BorisThomson
    • #2
    • 11th Feb 18, 12:06 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Feb 18, 12:06 PM
    Why are you not going to an employment tribunal? The small claims court would not be appropriate for what you describe.
    • dj1471
    • By dj1471 11th Feb 18, 1:24 PM
    • 1,081 Posts
    • 744 Thanks
    dj1471
    • #3
    • 11th Feb 18, 1:24 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Feb 18, 1:24 PM
    Where have you got the financial figures from? You can't just make up a figure and expect a court to award it.

    As above small claims is not appropriate for this type of claim, you need an employment tribunal - do it fast, because there are very strict time limits.
    • LauraM1968
    • By LauraM1968 11th Feb 18, 1:41 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    LauraM1968
    • #4
    • 11th Feb 18, 1:41 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Feb 18, 1:41 PM
    Thanks both for your replies.

    It's actually a professional body I'm a member of - not an employer. I began the process with an employment tribunal but was advised that they couldn't take on the case as the professional body doesn't employ me. With regard to the claim amount, it's based on the Vento scale dealing with compensation for hurt to feelings caused by direct discrimination.

    It's mandatory for licensed professionals in my field to be a member of this association so my argument is that there's a pre-existing relationship and duty of care there similar to that between an employer and an employee.
    • Diamandis
    • By Diamandis 11th Feb 18, 1:49 PM
    • 208 Posts
    • 308 Thanks
    Diamandis
    • #5
    • 11th Feb 18, 1:49 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Feb 18, 1:49 PM
    Could you maybe give us some details on the way you were discriminated against? It would make it easier for people to advise.
    • LauraM1968
    • By LauraM1968 11th Feb 18, 2:11 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    LauraM1968
    • #6
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:11 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:11 PM
    I would like to, but I'm worried that giving more details would make the case identifiable. I'm already worried that it's quite a singular case and anyone familiar with it would be able to identify me based on these posts. Essentially I was denied a professional opportunity, twice, on the basis of being female.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 11th Feb 18, 2:22 PM
    • 4,004 Posts
    • 4,044 Thanks
    DoaM
    • #7
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:22 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:22 PM
    Short cut any BS ... phone the court and talk to someone to find out what this means. Have you filed the PoC with the court as well and not just the defendant?

    SCC claims now need to have the PoC clearly expressed either when filing the claim or within 14 days of filing. A call to the court should make things clear. Bear in mind that the defendant's legal team will be looking for any way at all to discredit your claim.
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • LauraM1968
    • By LauraM1968 11th Feb 18, 2:32 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    LauraM1968
    • #8
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:32 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:32 PM
    Short cut any BS ... phone the court and talk to someone to find out what this means. Have you filed the PoC with the court as well and not just the defendant?

    SCC claims now need to have the PoC clearly expressed either when filing the claim or within 14 days of filing. A call to the court should make things clear. Bear in mind that the defendant's legal team will be looking for any way at all to discredit your claim.
    Originally posted by DoaM
    Thanks for the response. The PoCs have been filed with both the court and the defendant. Yes, I'll call the court tomorrow and see what they say. I'll update the thread. Thanks all.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 11th Feb 18, 2:56 PM
    • 5,690 Posts
    • 4,415 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #9
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:56 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:56 PM
    When you phone the court they will most likely say they are cannot give legal advice.

    The PoC should be a simple statement of your claim.

    It should not contain legal arguments - that is for your DEFENCE statement.

    Your PoC should not include your 'large number of additional documents' which should be appended to your WITNESS STATEMENT which is submitted to the court a couple of weeks before the hearing.

    You need to read up on this urgently.

    This might be a good starting point:
    .
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 11th Feb 18, 4:15 PM
    • 2,185 Posts
    • 2,057 Thanks
    steampowered
    The court has read your PoC and does not understand it.

    The order is pretty self-explanatory. As it says you need to produce a much clearer POC and file it with the court, and serve it on the Defendant, by the deadline.

    You should state the specific sections of the Act which have been breached, and (in a sentence) how they have been breached.

    What are the amounts you are claiming for? You need to clearly specify. Otherwise you may well find that the case gets allocated to the fast track rather than the small claims track, and if that happens, you'll be liable for the defendant's legal costs if you lose.

    Have a read of https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/JCO/Documents/CJC/Publications/Other+papers/Small+Claims+Guide+for+web+FINAL.pdf

    Your particulars of claim needs to be very short and concise,
    and make very clear what the legal basis of your claim is.

    Don't go into reams of factual detail. The factual details go into your witness statement, which comes later.

    Don't attach documents. Save that for exchange of evidence, which comes later in the process.
    • LauraM1968
    • By LauraM1968 11th Feb 18, 5:35 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    LauraM1968
    Thanks both for some great advice.
    • camelot1971
    • By camelot1971 11th Feb 18, 9:16 PM
    • 637 Posts
    • 996 Thanks
    camelot1971
    Hi all,

    I'm making a claim against an employer as they have breached the Equality Act 2010 by discriminating against me on the basis of my particular expression of a protected characteristic. After a long period of fruitless "investigations", being stonewalled, not getting any engagement from them etc, I decided to take them to small claims court. I sent off the N1 form which included a detailed particulars of claim statement (two pages, around 1,400 words) which I attached as a separate piece of paper. I also included a large number of additional documents which I referred to within the particulars of claim (eg "as seen in XX's email to YY of [DD/MM/YY], document 11). On Thursday I received a standard letter from the court advising that the claim would be struck out unless I re-submitted my particulars of claim, using the following wording:

    "Unless the Claimant do file and serve Particulars of claim setting out the legal basis of his claim, in particulars quoting any law or statutes with relevant clauses he relies upon and alleged breaches therefore by the Defendant by 4pm on 21 February 2018, the claim do stand struck out."

    I'd be very grateful for any advice forum members could provide. Do I need to reference more explicitly the particular parts of the legislation (in this case the Equality Act 2010)? I literally just referenced it once at the beginning of the particulars and didn't mention any sections or provide any wording. Also, should I not have included the evidence? I provided a copy of the whole thing to the defendant too. Finally, can I just reply to the court with an amended particulars (and provide a copy to the defendant) or do I need to apply for permission to do so? I found an older thread on here from 2007 where a member had a similar issue and they were advised they'd need first to get permission from the court (and perhaps the defendant?) to amend their particulars. This seems like a bit of a faff when the court has requested that I do so, but I completely understand if that is the legal process.

    The claim is for two counts of direct discrimination - £4,000 per count, £8,000 in total.

    Many thanks.
    Originally posted by LauraM1968
    In the first line you say they are your employer and then later you say they are not your employer. Which is it?
    • Boaty McBoatface
    • By Boaty McBoatface 11th Feb 18, 9:23 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Boaty McBoatface
    In the first line you say they are your employer and then later you say they are not your employer. Which is it?
    Originally posted by camelot1971
    Explained in post #4
    • bris
    • By bris 12th Feb 18, 12:12 PM
    • 7,327 Posts
    • 6,334 Thanks
    bris
    This is far to complicated for this forum, you need proper legal advice.


    The small claims court won't want to touch this as it's not what they normally hear. Proving discrimination is beyond a simple court such as a small claims court.


    In Scotland this would be heard in the sheriff court using the ordinary cause summons as it's over £5000.


    Even if you did manage to get this to the small claims court any decent solicitor on the other side would be able to have this transferred to the slow track.


    The County Court is I believe the English version of the Scottish Sheriff court.
    Last edited by bris; 12-02-2018 at 12:14 PM.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 12th Feb 18, 1:53 PM
    • 2,185 Posts
    • 2,057 Thanks
    steampowered
    The small claims court won't want to touch this as it's not what they normally hear. Proving discrimination is beyond a simple court such as a small claims court.

    Even if you did manage to get this to the small claims court any decent solicitor on the other side would be able to have this transferred to the slow track.
    Originally posted by bris
    So long as the maximum amount being claimed by the Op is clear from their claim form and particulars and the amount is less than £10k, the case would generally get allocated to SCT.

    The rules say the SCT is the ordinary track for claims of less than £10k, and while there are exceptions for things like harassment and unlawful eviction claims, discrimination is not one of the exceptions - see https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part26#26.6.

    I think this would go to SCT unless the claim involved complicated issues of fact likely to require a trial lasting longer than a day. If the facts of the Op's claim are straightforward and only requires one or two witnesses to be present, the SCT process should be sufficient.

    Small claims track has the same very experienced judges as fast track and is still a proper court process, they are able of dealing with difficult issues (within the limited amount of time in front of the judge you get in court for a small claim).

    The County Court is I believe the English version of the Scottish Sheriff court.
    The County Courts cover all tracks and deal with the full range of cases ranging from £100 to several hundred thousand.

    In England & Wales, any claim for damages of less than £100k must be started in the County Court.

    Above £100k, claimants usually have a choice whether to sue in the County Court or High Court depending on the complexity of the case (with a few exceptions and limits I won't go into here).
    Last edited by steampowered; 12-02-2018 at 2:06 PM.
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