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  • Dr Watson
    Taking Ryanair to Court using the ESCP
    Taking Ryanair (RA) to Court using the European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP).


    Firstly it is presumed that you have suffered delay/cancellation in line with the thresholds required by the regulation you are pursuing your claim within. This regulation being: - EU261/2004.
    The regulation can be found here:-
    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2004:046:0001:0007:en:PDF
    1. Letter Before Action / Notice Before Action (LBA/NBA)
    Firstly write to RA at Ryanair Customer Services Department, PO Box 11451, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland.
    State that you were on flight XXX on date xxx and the flight was cancelled/delayed by xxx hours and that you wish to make a claim for compensation for xxx amount, for (how many passengers in your party) as per the guidance in the regulation above. As this is a LBA/NBA clearly state the amount of time you expect a response by before you take the action you have detailed.

    Template letters can be found on page 1 of this dedicated Ryanair thread.

    Do include your e mail address in your letter- RA don’t tend to reply using conventional mail, so an e mail response may be the best you get.
    2. Await any response
    RA may respond, they may not; any response you get will probably sound like this “there are situations which are outside of the control of an airline, such as unsafe weather conditions, unexpected flight safety problems, strikes and security risks that affect the on time performance of our flight operation. We again sincerely apologise for the delay to your flight and can assure you
    that Ryanair took all reasonable measures to prevent this flight delay, which was caused by circumstances outside of our control.”
    If you are happy with this- walk away now.
    3. Start Court Proceedings
    If you are not happy with the above, start court proceedings. Either do this yourself, or appoint the services of a No Win No Fee (NWNF) company. Within this forum there is one in particular that is mentioned frequently that has been reporting good results for claimants. Using a NWNF company will cost you around 25-30% of any claim that gets awarded in your favour.
    If you have legal cover with your house insurance for example (the cover you had in place at the time of your delay/cancellation) you may be able to use this to recoup the costs of appointing a NWNF company.
    Doing it yourself? Read on.
    4. European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP)
    If you are an overseas consumer of RA (I.E here in the UK) this is the process that you need to use to commence court proceedings against RA. Don’t be tempted to use the Irish small claims courts similar to MCOL here in the UK. The main reason the ESCP should be your chosen route when suing RA is: - Should RA appeal (and win) any such decision given in your favour, it limits their appeal costs to a minimum and doesn’t expose yourself to ridiculous costs they would try to impose to ‘bully’ you out of court through the fear of this. The ESCP is a straightforward written process that doesn’t require you to attend a court hearing. There are merits and downfalls to this but, generally the fact that an appearance in court in person is not required appeals to most that use this process.
    A link to the ESCP is here:-
    http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/protection_of_consumers/l16028_en.htm

    The first form you need to populate is Form A. All the forms needed for the ESCP are here:-

    https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_...orms-177-en.do

    Give as much detail as you can on this including any communication you have had with RA, evidence of the attempts you have made to resolve the matter with RA etc..
    You will need to provide three copies of this form and any other information you wish to present as part of your claim along with the relevant fee. The fee you will need to pay can be found by following this link:-
    http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/fees
    5. ESCP and UK Courts
    Possibly the first hurdle you will need to overcome is the fact that not many UK courts are aware of the ESCP process, if you try submitting your forms to your local court they will probably have never heard of it. Contact the court you intend to use first and make sure they are aware of the process, my tip is to use one of the major courts that also act as an appeal centre within your region to submit your claim to, although I have heard of a couple of cases where even these major centres were not aware of the ESCP.

    Update December 2018, please see my post 3083 with updated details on using Irish courts to pursue your ESCP claims. This concerns RA's T's and C's regarding making claims only in Irish courts.


    A list of major court centres is at the bottom of this link:-

    http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part52/practice-direction-52b-appeals-in-the-county-courts-and-high-court

    Once you have submitted your Form A (three copies remember) and paid your fee the court will issue the claim papers to RA on your behalf.

    6. Await any response
    You will receive written confirmation from the court that papers have been submitted to RA and, a date by which they must respond. RA most likely won’t respond by the date they are supposed to which is frustrating because when they do the courts will probably accept this (which they shouldn’t).
    Keep checking with your court for any response (a phone call once a week will suffice).
    If RA haven’t responded by say a month after they should have done then it is time to apply to the court for a judgment in your favour by default. The form that you need to do this is: -

    http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=465

    Again send this off to the court and await their response.
    If this comes back signed and dated by the court you have your judgment. A copy of this will be sent to RA too detailing the amount they are to pay you and by when.
    If you hear nothing else from the courts or RA then proceed to Step 14 to see how to get your judgment executed in Ireland.

    7. You receive a response/answer from Ryanair
    So at last you have received a response from RA via the courts with details of RA’s answer to your claim. Within this they should have stated their reasons for your flight delay/cancellation and how it’s not their fault and, they did their best and as far as they are concerned, they owe you nothing under the terms of the regulation. Their answer may sound quite daunting, it may contain technical data and reports and jargon that sound quite credible.....it probably isn’t.

    8. Preparing your response
    Hopefully, when you receive any answer from RA via the courts, you will have also received a date as to when the written hearing will be held. If not the court will advise when this is at a later date, it will also advise as to when any final representation from both sides should be submitted to the court by. This may be called the date for ‘skeleton arguments’ to be submitted by.
    Now it is time for you to prepare your response to their answer. Be methodical and work through their defence bit by bit. If you can pick your way through this and start to apply the relevant case law to demerit these arguments including Wallentin, Sturgeon, More, and of course Huzar and Dawson, then go for it. If you can’t don’t worry, post details of RA’s answer on here (I don’t mean a copy of their ‘answer’) but just the main points of their defence for others to see and you will get help in destroying their response.
    Once you are happy with your response, submit this to the courts so it arrives just before the date that your ‘skeleton argument’ should be submitted by.
    Another tip is to check weekly with the courts as to whether or not RA have submitted any additional evidence/information further to their already submitted ‘Answer’. Again, a once a week phone call to the courts is needed to check this. If they do (and they have done before) ask the courts for a copy of this immediately. Depending on any detail in any further submission, this may need another response from you -additional to your skeleton argument (if already submitted) to nullify this. Again don’t panic, if help is needed post on this forum.
    Everything done and submitted to the court? Time to wait for the hearing date.

    9. The Hearing
    The written hearing will pass by on the said date and you will hear.....nothing. Expect this.
    You will probably not hear anything from the court for a number of weeks after your hearing date. This is until the file gets processed by the court clerks. You can ring the courts and ask if they can tell you anything but you’ll probably have to wait until the letter drops through the post.

    10. The Result
    You will receive written notification of the result of your hearing from the court. This could be a Judgment in your favour, a Judgment in RA’s favour or possibly an adjournment/stay. Reasons for either of these will be explained.
    If the ruling is in RA’s favour and you believe that this is a wrong application of the law or, an error in the court process, you can apply for an appeal.
    If the ruling is an adjournment/stay this too will be explained and what will happen next.
    If the ruling is a Judgment in your favour-well done! If the court has not already done so ask them to send you a copy of ESCP Form D which is a certificate of the Judgment awarded in your favour.
    RA will receive a copy of the decision reached by the courts and if an award is in your favour they will be instructed by a certain date to pay you the monies owed and your court fees and possibly interest if awarded. Keep reading though.

    11. Appeals
    If you lost your case and want to appeal – seek the advice from some of the professional people on the forum as to the likelihood of winning this and possible costs.
    If you have won your case RA will probably apply to the court to appeal the decision. Expect this.
    Any appeal is not granted automatically, the court has to be confident that there is a reasonable chance, of any such appeal being successful and also, that RA have good grounds for an appeal. Just because RA doesn’t like the decision given in your favour -means they can appeal.
    RA’s reasons for asking for an appeal to be granted will be sent to you. Again it will be time for you to submit your reasons to the court why you feel the appeal should not be granted. If you are confident with this- go for it, if not post details on here for additional help.
    You will now need to wait for the court to make a decision as to whether or not the court grants an appeal.

    12. Appeal Application Decision
    It’ll seem like an age but eventually you will receive notice from the court on whether the appeal has been granted.
    If an appeal has been granted a date will be set for this- don’t panic. Prepare by arming yourself with the original judgment and order and the information/case law you need to demerit RA’s appeal arguments. Remember that the appeal can only be based on the original evidence/arguments submitted to the judge and that RA cannot produce any further/new evidence.
    If the appeal is not granted- well done! Proceed to Step 14.


    13. The Appeal Hearing
    This will be heard at one of the major appeal centres in your region as detailed above. If RA ask to move to a court centre that is not your nearest, politely ask the court to refuse this. RA are a major company with vast resources at its disposal- you are not. They can afford to travel anywhere to attend an appeal they request -so make them do so.
    The appeal hearing will be heard by the Judge who will ask for the arguments to be presented by either party along with your already submitted written evidence. You will be given your chance to have your say and present your arguments against RA. Keep calm and stick to the facts and the relevant case law and the regulation itself.
    At the end of all of this the Judge will make his/her decision.

    14. Judgment in your favour – Executing your Decree
    Hopefully at some of the various points in this process you will have received a Judgment in your favour from the courts. This will detail exactly how much RA has to pay you including any costs and interest. A copy of this will have been sent to RA.
    Give RA a couple of weeks or so from when you receive your judgment for them to receive this at their offices in Ireland. They are Ryanair Limited, Corporate Head Office, Dublin Airport, Co Dublin, Ireland.
    And you’ll probably hear nothing. RA still doesn’t want to pay you, so it is time to send in the Dublin County Sheriff.
    Contact details are:-

    The Dublin County Sheriff
    Unit 17
    Tolka Valley Business Park
    Ballyboggan Road
    Finglas
    Dublin 11
    Ph: 01 8603077
    Fax: 01 8603075
    annette@dublincountysheriff.com
    rita@dublincountysheriff.com
    mary@dublincountysheriff.com
    tricia@dublincountysheriff.com
    Send them an e mail with your details and the reason for requesting their service. You will need to send them a copy of your Court Judgment and ESCP Certificate (Form D) so they can process your claim, along with an issue fee of around €20.
    Once they receive the order a letter is sent informing RA that the judgement has been lodged with the Sheriff for collection. They may then receive payment by return or it may be a case that the bailiff will have to call, if payment is still not forthcoming it would then have to go for seizure on the basis of the bailiff’s assessment. As they are never sure of the outcome of each order it is very hard to give a definite timeline but they advise on giving an initial 6-8 weeks before contacting them for an update.

    15. Enjoy your compensation
    So you instructed the County Sheriff of Dublin to obtain your monies rightfully owed and this has now come through. Enjoy!
    Remember to post your success on this forum including the details of your flight concerned. This will indicate to other passengers on the affected flight that RA have been forced to pay compensation for this flight and it is likely that they will have to pay others.
    Don’t forget RA charge a fee to cover the costs of potential 261/2004 regulation claimants, yet fail to routinely pay this out when applicable. You are only claiming what you are legally entitled to.
    Last edited by Dr Watson; 06-12-2018 at 8:52 PM. Reason: Updated Sheriffs Details
    Successfully sued Ryanair in 2013/14...and have been 'helping' litigants since then.

    Current known score:-
    Dr Watson 35 - 0 Ryanair / Ince and Co

    Go to post 622 on the Ryanair thread to read how to sue them safely.
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