Small Claims Court Advice needed

in Consumer rights
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hadenoughnowhadenoughnow Forumite
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Can someone explain what happens if someone I am taking to SCC for money owed attends a hearing and I end up losing? what costs would be involved please? Only correct advice please no guesses or assumptions. Many Thanks 
HEN

National Debtline - Tel: 0808 808 4000
(CCCS) - Tel: 0800 138 1111

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  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    Depends whether they counterclaim anything and / or if they ask for costs against you and the judge agrees it.
  • hadenoughnowhadenoughnow Forumite
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    Ok thanks. 
    HEN

    National Debtline - Tel: 0808 808 4000
    (CCCS) - Tel: 0800 138 1111
  • EctophileEctophile Forumite
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    Assuming that the other party hasn't counter-claimed, then you may have to pay the other side's expenses in defending and attending the hearing.  There is no fixed amount; it's down to the judge what expense claims they think are reasonable.  Lawyer's fees aren't normally claimable.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • hadenoughnowhadenoughnow Forumite
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    Ok thanks, so if they decide to hire a solicitor to defend them if they decide not to pay me then I won’t have to pay them just maybe some loss of earnings/travel fees? Also I’ve paid the initial fee to make the claim, do I have to any other fees associated to making the actual claim? 
    Thanks
    HEN

    National Debtline - Tel: 0808 808 4000
    (CCCS) - Tel: 0800 138 1111
  • AlderbankAlderbank Forumite
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    If the case is defended you will usually have to pay the trial fee (hearing fee) of up to £346 in order for the trial to proceed (there are some circumstances where the defence has to pay for this).

    If the defence makes a counterclaim they have to pay a sliding scale fee similar to the issuing fee. If you lose you will have to pay the counterclaim plus their fee.
  • hadenoughnowhadenoughnow Forumite
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    Ok Thankyou. Just trying to gauge if it’s worth continuing! Paying their solicitor fees would probably seal it but may be worth the chance if it’s a smaller amount 
    HEN

    National Debtline - Tel: 0808 808 4000
    (CCCS) - Tel: 0800 138 1111
  • fatbellyfatbelly Forumite
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    This explains the situation quite well - it's from a solicitor's website

    In the Small Claims Track, the costs that a losing party will pay to the victor have been restricted by the Civil Procedure Rules to minimise financial risk to parties. Generally therefore, the court will allow the successful party to recover limited costs such as court fees and witness expenses.

    Under Part 27 of the Civil Procedure Rules that govern civil disputes, the court will rarely make an order for the losing party to pay sums in respect of the winning party’s ‘costs, fees and expenses’, e.g. legal fees.

    There are exceptions to the general rule however which allow the court discretion to make an award for:

    • The fixed costs attributable to issuing the claim;
    • Court fees paid by the issuing party;
    • Travel and accommodation expenses which a witness reasonably incurs in attending a hearing;
    • Fees incurred in the instruction of an expert to attend the hearing (limited to £200).

    To assist the judge in calculating awards of costs, Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules sets out a number of tables detailing what costs can be recovered by a successful party litigating on the Small Claims Track. These tables can be found on the justice.gov.uk website and vary according to the status, judgment and enforcement of the claim.

    Costs orders for a losing party to pay the winning party’s legal costs are therefore very unusual. On the Small Claims Track, parties are expected to bear their own costs, even if they pursue a successful claim.

    As a caveat to the general rules on costs, it must be stated that if a party brings an unreasonable small claim that obviously fails, or defends a claim by acting unreasonably and subsequently loses, the court has discretion to make a punitive order for that party to pay the other side’s costs.

    In order to further restrict litigation, the courts actively encourage an out of court settlement between the parties. If parties do not adopt a constructive, cooperative approach to Alternative Dispute Resolution (such as mediation) or settlement, the court may enforce penalties. Bear in mind however, costs are unlikely to be recovered in the event that the legal matter is settled before court proceedings have been issued.

  • hadenoughnowhadenoughnow Forumite
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    Brilliant Thankyou. Very concise! But all have pretty summed up the answer I was after. 
    HEN

    National Debtline - Tel: 0808 808 4000
    (CCCS) - Tel: 0800 138 1111
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