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Small Claims Court guide - Page 28

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Small Claims Court guide

edited 18 September 2015 at 11:08AM in Consumer Rights
668 replies 143.6K views
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  • I made a claim against an ex-employer.
    The company offered a "finders fee" of £500 to any employee who recommended a friend / contact to the company who was subsequently employed. This was stated in the "employee handbook" which (in my opinion) formed part of my contract of employment.

    The only caveat was that the person in question had to complete a 3 month probationary period.

    Their employment started in June 2014. I was dismissed (unfairly - but that is another story) in July 2014.

    The person I recommended complete their probationary period in September 2014 at which time I wrote to the company requesting payment of £500. They refused on the basis that the handbook was a guideline only and that payment was not due as I was no longer an employee.

    I filled in a claim with MCOL and sent all the evidence I could find, together with a statement outlining my claim. I was surprised to find that the claim was defended, but I persevered and took them to small claims court.

    The hearing was an interesting if nerve wracking experience. I found the judge was very good at putting me at ease and also at dismissing irrelevant facts and opinions.

    The hearing lasted about 40 minutes. I knew things were moving my way when the judged asked the company's representative if they had received the benefit of my recommendation at the time the probationary period had passed. They (reluctantly) replied that they had. He also ruled that the "Employee Handbook", although not part of my Contract of Employment, formed a secondary / implied contract between us.

    In summing up the judge likened my situation to that of a "1 man employment agency" and whether or not I was employed in September 2014 was not a deciding factor.

    My full claim + costs were awarded. My one regret is that I didn't make a note of costs / time that I had expended in making the claim as I am pretty sure he would have ordered my ex-employer to refund these as well.

    Having been successful in this claim I would urge anyone in a similar position to do the same. If you know you are in the right, don't let the thought of the procedure and courts put you off.

    My next step is to start the unfair dismissal claim ;-)
  • Seriously? Not one person has any advice or can offer any help?

    Great community spirit.
    Carlos0371 wrote: »
    Hi all, looking for some "expert" advice here.

    I paid £800 into an incorrect bank account April last year. The recipient was on my previous payee list as I had made a payment or 2 to him in the past (he was my partner's ex-Landlord).

    I went through my Bank to get my money back to no avail (he refused to refund). I made a claim through the small claims Court using MoneyClaim Online.

    Defendant refuted the claim, making a counterclaim saying I (and my partner) owed him back rent (from way before my partner and I even met) and additional fees for cleaning / redecorating when we left the old house.

    Important to note, the previous tenancy was between him and my partner, I was not on the tenancy agreement.

    Although he filed a defence and counterclaim, he did not pay the fee, and neither did he return his Directions Questionnaire in time, even after being given an additional 14 days after the expiration of the initial 14 days to do so (don't ask me why he was given extra time).

    In November his defence was struck out and I applied to have the Judgement made in my favour. Judgement was made in December 2014.

    Defendant has now employed a solicitor and has had the Judgement "set aside". His solicitor has mailed me and included a "Draft Order" which is a massively protracted period of time for statements, disclosures etc., culminating in requesting a trial date after 15th September 2015.

    Now I have tried to get legal advice, but no-one wants to help me. I cannot afford a solicitor, but neither do I qualify for Legal Aid. I understand that legal costs cannot be claimed back anyway.

    My questions are:
    a) Is there anyone that will take a case like this on where I will still come out of it with at least some of my money back,
    b) If legal costs cannot be claimed, why doesn't he just pay the money back and move on (i.e. can he claim legal costs for defending the claim?).
    c) I am at the end of my tether with this, obviously we had to pay our current Landlord the rent we owed after this mistake, and he was extremely understanding, allowing us to pay him back over 6 months (I know I am very lucky with this), but this is really putting a strain on me with worrying about it, especially now solicitors are involved.

    Thanks for any help / advice.
  • LilElvisLilElvis Forumite
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    Carlos0371 wrote: »
    Seriously? Not one person has any advice or can offer any help?

    Great community spirit.

    Probably get more response if you start your own thread rather than adding your question to 14 pages of posts.
  • wealdroamwealdroam Forumite
    19.2K posts
    Carlos0371 wrote: »
    Seriously? Not one person has any advice or can offer any help?

    Great community spirit.

    The original post in this thread indicates that the thread is for discussion on MSE's Small Claims Court guide.

    Your post is out of place here.

    As LilElvis suggests, you might want to start your own thread.
  • Is it possible to ask the court to set a hearing date within a period of four weeks?


    Regards,


    Rod.
  • Crazy_JamieCrazy_Jamie Forumite
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    Is it possible to ask the court to set a hearing date within a period of four weeks?


    Regards,


    Rod.
    If you mean four weeks from when you send in a claim or similar, the chances of that happening are slim to none. The small claims process is fast compared to other litigation, but it is not that fast. If you mean would it be possible to ask a court to set a hearing date within a four week window, I assume due to availability issues, you can certainly request it and I'm sure the court will do its best to accommodate that request, but it can't be guaranteed.
    "MIND IF I USE YOUR PHONE? IF WORD GETS OUT THAT
    I'M MISSING FIVE HUNDRED GIRLS WILL KILL THEMSELVES."
  • MarkWatsonMarkWatson Forumite
    95 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    A quick question if I may. If you start a small claims court action, incur the expense of the initial claims fee and the other party then pays you what they owe, can you continue the claim if they have not also met the costs of the initial claims fee?

    I don't want to incur the initial costs of claiming and then find I have to pay the first fee myself!

    Thanks very much.
  • wealdroamwealdroam Forumite
    19.2K posts
    MarkWatson wrote: »
    A quick question if I may. If you start a small claims court action, incur the expense of the initial claims fee and the other party then pays you what they owe, can you continue the claim if they have not also met the costs of the initial claims fee?

    I don't want to incur the initial costs of claiming and then find I have to pay the first fee myself!

    Thanks very much.
    They still owe you the initial claim fee. Continue the claim.

    The same is true for any hearing fee, or enforcement fees, should they become payable.
  • MarkWatsonMarkWatson Forumite
    95 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Thanks v much wealdroam!
  • edited 9 March 2015 at 1:48PM
    robnyerobnye Forumite
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    edited 9 March 2015 at 1:48PM
    I recently hired a van and drove to Wiltshire to help move my daughter and SIL.

    on route we pulled into a Motorway service station, I turned in at an entrance and proceeded to turn right, causing a lose kerb stone to catch the side of the van.

    On returning the van to the Hirer I had to pay a substantial excess fee (my fault for not taking out policy to reduce this at the time of collection), at the services I took pictures and later checked googlemaps, I also asked someone else to check and take pictures (as they drive past the services twice a week).

    There are no signs indicating that I shouldnt turn right at this junction (in fact I followed a car who also turned right, but being smaller didnt make contact with kerb stone). Interestingly on googlemaps the same kerb stone was out of place - dated 2009.

    Is it worth making a claim against the Motorway services company?
    smile --- it makes people wonder what you are up to.... ;) :cool:
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