Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • October868
    • By October868 11th Sep 19, 4:06 PM
    • 86Posts
    • 3Thanks
    October868
    Can defendant in Small-Claims court charge for ''time spent preparing for trial''??
    • #1
    • 11th Sep 19, 4:06 PM
    Can defendant in Small-Claims court charge for ''time spent preparing for trial''?? 11th Sep 19 at 4:06 PM
    Hello the background story to my current claim is stated in this thread-
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=6041851


    To post a short summary though-

    I placed an order of some custom-videos from an individual last year, stating during a few online conversations that if this 1st batch went well I then would be looking to place orders for dozens more from them over the future months & years... ect

    They were paid over £3,000 by me, produced videos upto the value of £1,500 but then said they had spent the rest of the money (1/2 of which was designated as wages to pay their co-performer).
    I asked them to repay me that 1/2 of the remaining money, but they ignored my emails and then blocked me, thus making it clear that they were not willing to communicate with me anymore/or produce any work for me anymore.

    I have taken the matter to the small-claims court now to try recovering all my money.
    They however have been indirectly blackmailing me now though (by making multiple statements to people whom I associate with that they think I'm a !!!!!phile... ect), which ofcourse is extremely damaging & distressing for my life.
    They have also made a counterclaim against me, stating that ''If I had chosen to place dozens of future orders with them over the future months/years they would of earned £xxx thousands of pounds from those orders, but so they are now claiming that sum of money which they would've made if I had placed future orders''.


    To try just getting the matter closed, due to the amount of stress it's causing onto me, I have made them a pre-trial settlement offer of a mutual-withdrawal of claims.
    However they (or rather their Mckenzie friend) has responded back saying they would only accept that offer if I pay them compensation, including money towards the costs which they have incurred (and say they will add on at court) of 'time spent preparing for the trial'.

    The claim is being dealt with via the Small-claims track, and as far as I was aware the only costs you can charge the other party are the fixed-costs (so court application costs).

    But I have very little legal-knowledge, and so is it true that if they somehow won the case they could also charge me money for ''time spent preparing for the claim such as writing witness statements, which they claim is preventing them from working and thus losing income''?
    Also are they allowed to charge me for the cost of whatever they are paying their McKenzie friend?


    Thankyou inadvance
Page 5
    • October868
    • By October868 16th Sep 19, 6:15 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    October868
    Why can't you keep all of this to one topic? It's getting to the stage of spamming now.
    Originally posted by Fosterdog
    Hello I created a new topic because I am seeking help with a specific issue of my case.
    And so thought most people wouldn't want to wade through 5 pages of messages, before finding my latest question. :/

    Sorry if it came across as spam though.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 16th Sep 19, 6:15 PM
    • 7,863 Posts
    • 10,703 Thanks
    waamo
    Why can't you keep all of this to one topic? It's getting to the stage of spamming now.
    Originally posted by Fosterdog
    Agreed. Stick to one thread it makes life easier for those helping. You really don't want to make life difficult as people will give up.

    For the record it's useless. If you want something considered it has to be a written statement. You can't just rock up with a verbal statement. That's an ambush and won't be allowed.
    Last edited by waamo; 16-09-2019 at 6:18 PM.
    This space for hire.
    • October868
    • By October868 16th Sep 19, 6:20 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    October868
    As Waamo says, you don't want to push this unless you want the case referred to the High Court, where you'll incur a lot more costs. She isn't claiming for libel - she's claiming for loss of earnings from your libellous statements. There is a legal difference. If she won't be able to prove that you've made libellous statements, this probably isn't anything to worry about. If she might, it might be. Hopefully the solicitor you spoke to gave you an idea of whether this bit was likely to succeed?
    Originally posted by SaucySecrets

    Hello the solicitor didn't comment on the specifics of the claim/my potential defences.

    Ultimately though I never public mentioned the defendant's name in any post or comment.
    I simply stated that ''I had been scammed out of money by an individual who worked in a certain sector of the industry''.

    The only mention of her name was in private conversations between myself and people whom I knew, and I simply told those people the true facts about what she had done.
    Many of those individuals already knew about what she had done, since the money which she ran away with was money which was designated to be paid to those other individuals.

    None of those people 'employed her' though, merely loosely knew about her, and so none of those people would ever of 'paid her money'.
    • da_rule
    • By da_rule 16th Sep 19, 6:22 PM
    • 3,541 Posts
    • 3,210 Thanks
    da_rule
    As Waamo says, you don't want to push this unless you want the case referred to the High Court, where you'll incur a lot more costs. She isn't claiming for libel - she's claiming for loss of earnings from your libellous statements. There is a legal difference. If she won't be able to prove that you've made libellous statements, this probably isn't anything to worry about. If she might, it might be. Hopefully the solicitor you spoke to gave you an idea of whether this bit was likely to succeed?
    Originally posted by SaucySecrets
    Unfortunately this argument is flawed. The County Court has no jurisdiction to determine whether a statement is defamatory (unless the parties agree to invoke s.18 of the County Courts Act 1984). Therefore it cannot asses damages flowing from a potentially defamatory statement.

    It is also incorrect to say that you cannot claim fixed damages from a defamatory statement. If you can evidence the value of the damage caused by the statement it is perfectly proper to claim for that amount, however this would be in the High Court.

    Whether it is sound for the Op to raise the jurisdiction issue is another matter, given that the County Court may use its powers under section 42 of the County Courts Act to transfer all or part of the proceedings to the High Court.
    • October868
    • By October868 16th Sep 19, 6:23 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    October868
    Agreed. Stick to one thread it makes life easier for those helping. You really don't want to make life difficult as people will give up.

    For the record it's useless. If you want something considered it has to be a written statement. You can't just rock up with a verbal statement. That's an ambush and won't be allowed.
    Originally posted by waamo

    Hello and I apologise, hopefully the moderators will merge this thread into the previous one.

    That isn't designed to be ''submitted'' as a written statement though - I already filed & served my written statements to the court.

    This was simply a personal statement for myself, so when the judge asks me to verbally state why I feel I have a good chance of successfully defending the claim, I was going to use that as my personal verbal-aid, to ensure I covered all the points.
    • da_rule
    • By da_rule 17th Sep 19, 6:14 AM
    • 3,541 Posts
    • 3,210 Thanks
    da_rule
    As Waamo says, you need to be careful what you say in your verbal statement. Evidence in relation to application hearings needs to be presented in writing. Therefore, anything you say needs to be based on what evidence you have previously submitted, you cannot use it to introduce new evidence.

    Therefore, your ‘verbal statement’ should just be an abridged version of your written statement. But be sure to be able to point the judge to the relevant pieces of written evidence in relation to each statement you make.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 17th Sep 19, 6:30 AM
    • 7,863 Posts
    • 10,703 Thanks
    waamo
    If it's an aide memoir then keep it a lot snappier. It should just be bullet points to remind you.

    You are allowed (but don't have to) submit a skeleton defence to the court. That is a document giving a bullet point outline to your case. Essentially a very trimmed down version of your full defence briefly outlining it.

    This can be useful for you (as an aid), the judge who has a sensible overview and the opposition.
    This space for hire.
    • October868
    • By October868 17th Sep 19, 2:06 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    October868
    Hello and thankyou for your replies.

    I will follow your advice and reduce that statement into just 5-6 bullet-points, which I will use as personal verbal-aids when speaking.

    #

    My understanding is that as the defendant is claiming that apparent Libellous/Defamatory statements made by me were directly the reason why she 'lost potential income', that ultimately she is claiming that I committed Libel | But as the County Court does not have the jurisdiction to consider matters of defamation, a default-judgment cannot stand when 1 of the 2 core basis of it is a matter of defamation.

    But so whilst I will mention that as 1 of my reasons why her counterclaim has no merit, I won't dwell on it.

    #

    I have re-reviewed the defendant's counterclaim & supporting evidence today though (as my emotional state was more settled for a short period), but looking at it, it literally shows absolutely nothing substantive to backup her claims... :|

    She has simply provided 3 screenshots, 2 of them from private conversations between myself & people who I knew personally, and 1 of them a public tweet on my wall..

    In none of them is her name even mentioned though.
    Instead I simply stated that ''I had fallen victim to being scammed out of money by an individual who appears on a certain TV channel''.
    *I also made it clear in the messages even that the TV channel itself had no involvement whatsoever in the matter, and also made it clear in the messages that I wasn't going to dislose the name of the individual.


    The theme of the messages was quite simply as general-info warnings to other people about the dangers of sending money to people online, even if the person appears to be 'professional' due to appearing on a TV channel.
    But no mention of her name was ever stated by me.
    So don't quite understand how merely those 3 screenshots can be used to prove that I was responsible for that certain company not offering her work during a certain period, when her name isn't even mentioned in those messages. :S
    Last edited by October868; 17-09-2019 at 2:08 PM.
    • October868
    • By October868 20th Sep 19, 1:19 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    October868
    *Hello just to update*

    I today recieved her 'objection letter' in which she objects to my application to have the default-judgment set-aside.

    In the letter she says that her reasons for objecting are-
    *My application is based on me saying that I feel I have a good chance of winning, which in her view isn't a good enough/proper reason for a judgment to be set-aside.
    *Because the court didn't serve her with a copy of my N244 until 14days after I first posted it to the court.
    *Because I, in her view, should of known that I needed to respond to her counterclaim within 14days.
    *And because the document supporting my N244 is my 'defence to her counterclaim statement', which I already previously submitted, she claims that because it's not a new document instead is an already filed one that it's invalid.
    She also claims that my defence statement apparently doesn't comply with the CPR, although it does.

    My instinct is to just simply ignore her objection letter, as she can whinge about whatever she wants to the court, but it's ultimately the judge who granted this application.
    Is that the best thing to do though?


    Also as 1 of my reasons, which I'm going to state to the judge, of why I feel the default-judgment should be set-aside, is because 1/2 of the defendant's claim is based on alledged defamation matters; but so that part of the claim should automatically be set-aside since the County Court doesn't have the jurisdiction to hear/assess matters of defamation.
    But do I need to mention that point before the hearing, or can I just mention it on the day of the N244 hearing?

    As ultimately I'm not going to be 'introducing any new evidence' myself by highlighting that point, instead will just be highlighting a point of law, but didn't know if I still have to mention that before the hearing?
    • waamo
    • By waamo 20th Sep 19, 2:36 PM
    • 7,863 Posts
    • 10,703 Thanks
    waamo
    If you want anything brought up at the hearing you have to put it forward first. Remember no hijacks or surprises.

    I would ignore her objection statement too.
    This space for hire.
    • October868
    • By October868 20th Sep 19, 4:24 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    October868
    If you want anything brought up at the hearing you have to put it forward first. Remember no hijacks or surprises.

    I would ignore her objection statement too.
    Originally posted by waamo

    Hello and thankyou for your message.

    But ok, so I need to write to the court/judge telling them-
    ''That in addition to the reasons already stated in my N244 form as to why I think the default-judgment should be set-aside, I also wish to include the reason that the defendant's counterclaim is based on alledged defamation, but all claims for defamation must be started in the high court, and in accordance with the rules set by the high court...''

    Correct?
    • waamo
    • By waamo 20th Sep 19, 5:29 PM
    • 7,863 Posts
    • 10,703 Thanks
    waamo
    Hello and thankyou for your message.

    But ok, so I need to write to the court/judge telling them-
    ''That in addition to the reasons already stated in my N244 form as to why I think the default-judgment should be set-aside, I also wish to include the reason that the defendant's counterclaim is based on alledged defamation, but all claims for defamation must be started in the high court, and in accordance with the rules set by the high court...''

    Correct?
    Originally posted by October868
    I wouldn't bother. The judge can see it for themselves and all you are doing is creating a pile of unnecessary paperwork
    This space for hire.
    • October868
    • By October868 12th Oct 19, 9:08 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    October868
    *UPDATE*

    Hello just to update this topic, there have been a few developments, which if anyone on here can help me process the significance of/way I should address them, that would be much appreciated.

    *The hearing for my application to have the default-judgement set aside has been postponed until the date of the trial (due to a calendar clash on the defendant's side), but so that trial slot has been extended by 4-hours now.


    The defendant has filed her witness-statement, however a few aspects of what's she's saying now vary from her prior particulars of claim-

    1. She claims that the 2nd half of her claim against me isn't a defamation matter, but yet uses the word 'slander' in her own witness statement as her accusation as to what I apparently did.

    2. She admits that she was working as a self-employed contractor + on a zero-hours contract (therefore has no entitlement to be offered future ongoing work by that company + no recourse if they cease to offer her work), But still claims that I should be liable for her 'missed out in earnings' for the duration between when she left that company and started working for a new company.

    3. She admits in her statement that she voluntarily left the job with that company of her own accord even (so wasn't sacked/terminated), and that her date if leaving there was over 4+ months after I filed the court-claim against her/ceased all interaction with her, But still claims I am liable for her having quit her job.

    4. She admits that I never actually mentioned her name in any tweet or message which I sent to anyone, and so I never actually disclosed her identity publicly as being the person who scammed me, but claims that her colleagues/managers worked it out themselves over the next few weeks/months.

    5. She claims that the reason she became so unhappy working in that job for that company is because her colleagues & managers there were cold/unfriendly towards her, But claims that I am to blame for that.

    6. The company which she worked for is a PLC (so listed on stock exchange/has shareholders/has to comply with various business-transparency regulations such as display information about the company to the public).
    The company has various divisions, operating under various brand names, but ultimately all are merely subsidiaries of the PLC.

    One of these brands however, the one which the defendant worked for, stated false information in their website's T&Cs that they were owned by a different company (one which was dissolved 5+ years ago when it was taken-over by this new company), and so was a PLC display misleading/false information about their business structure on their own website.
    So I contacted them (via a tweet) and just enquired "why they were claiming to be owned by xxxx, when they were actually owned by xxxx PLC, registered business address xxxx?"

    Whilst this had nothing whatsoever to do with the defendant, was merely an enquiry of a due-diligence nature from me to a commercial PLC company, the defendant has now fixated most of her statement around that, claiming that I put her/all her colleagues in danger by publicly stating that address, that her managers were apparently furious about this disclosure, that all her colleagues were terrified they would now be stalked & attacked by crazed-fans and so needed to be walked to their cars after work... ect, And so this was the main reason why all her colleagues & managers treated her badly.

    The PLC company themself though publicly state that address on their own website in their 'contact us' section, plus publicly list that as their registered business address... So not some kind of classified secret! *_*
    However she is claiming that me asking the company why they are listing false information as their registered business details, rather than the correct publicly available company info, put her in danger + resulted her being treated badly by her colleagues & managers, which led her to her decision to quit working there (4months later).

    7. She states in her witness statement that she now only wants to claim for 5k total, so 2k less than previous, as she is no longer seeking to claim the money that she claims she would of made in 'bonuses' if she hadn't quit her job and instead had continued working there for those additional 2months.

    8. She started working for a new 'webcam chat' company (which is literally just a backroom setup in a garden-shed).
    I personally never had any involvement nor interaction with that company (as I had no need to), however she has gotten the guy who runs that company to file a witness statement claiming that ''the reason why he cut her hourly pay-rate by 50% shortly after she started working for him is because she was barely getting any punters phoning her, thus he was unable to afford/justify paying her a higher-rate... But that it was somehow my fault barely any customers were phoning her adult chat-line, as I had (somehow magically) managed to make every bloke in the country be wary of phoning her". *_*

    9. The rest of her statement is the the usual rubbish claiming that I'm apparently a pae-dophile, a rapist, that there's apparently loads of other women who have refused to 'testify against me' because they are scared of me, that I'm unprofessional/just an amateur not a real producer... etc


    I personally will ofcourse be stating to the judge during the hearing that the address of the Public Limited Company is displayed by the company on it's own website, and so is publicly viewable/available information for anyone who looks at the website, and so can in no way be classed as me ''putting anyone's safety in danger by stating the address on twitter''...
    But would I also be allowed to take a screenshot of the 'contact us' page of company's website, and then add that to the evidence bundle as additional evidence, even though the evidence submission deadline has now passed?
    *Just for the judge's benefit, so when I make reference to the address being listed there, she could see for herself that I was telling the truth.
    Last edited by October868; 12-10-2019 at 10:03 PM.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 12th Oct 19, 9:22 PM
    • 17,848 Posts
    • 21,726 Thanks
    KeithP
    ...that I'm unprofessional/just an amateur not a real producer... etc
    Originally posted by October868
    But you are 'just an amateur', aren't you?

    You have protested long and hard in this thread (and probably others) that you are a consumer.

    I think this is the first time you have mentioned being a 'real producer' too.
    .
    • October868
    • By October868 12th Oct 19, 9:31 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    October868
    I'm unsure what an 'un-real' producer actually is tbh, since anyone who producers any media content is ultimately 'a producer'.

    But yes that's correct, at the time of my dealings with the defendant I was merely a consumer.
    *Over the 12+ months after I ceased any dealings with the defendant though I subsequently progressed to becoming a commercial-producer | But that has no relevance to the actual particulars of this claim.

    The defendant's 'angle' of claiming I was merely an unprofessional amateur though is because the tone of her claim/statement has now turned to being that "I had wanted her to perform content to levels which she's she doesn't perform up to, and so she declined those scripts/had scripts amended until she approved them & so performed them; But that (according to her witness statement) apparently that means that I started this entire claim as a way of pressuring her/punishing her...''.
    Last edited by October868; 12-10-2019 at 9:53 PM.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 12th Oct 19, 10:13 PM
    • 7,863 Posts
    • 10,703 Thanks
    waamo
    Don't get to hung up over her witness statement. That's what the hearing is about so you can both put your points over. If hers are ridiculous it helps you from the go.
    This space for hire.
    • October868
    • By October868 13th Oct 19, 4:37 AM
    • 86 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    October868
    Don't get to hung up over her witness statement. That's what the hearing is about so you can both put your points over. If hers are ridiculous it helps you from the go.
    Originally posted by waamo
    Thankyou.

    But yes you're correct in that her witness-statement has actually been very helpful for my case, as she herself has now confirmed a few key points (which I had raised but couldn't physically prove myself); such as that she was on a zero-hours contract, and that she left her job voluntarily of her own accord.


    It just seems very bizarre though why she is now changing her story from previously saying that:
    ''I had complained about her to that company, resulting in her losing her job & income there'',
    To now instead admitting (or rather being forced to accept the fact, based on my evidence) that I never complained to them about her, and so instead she's now claiming that:
    ''I planted the seed of a rumour about her, even though I didn't mention her name her colleagues & managers worked-out it was about her, her colleagues & managers treated her badly/bullied her at work due to this, so she then left that job (but not until 4 months later) & started a new job 2 months after that.... But that I should be liable to pay for her 'missed-out income' during those 2 months because I started it all''. *_*

    Surely if she wishes to claim that she left her job due to being bullied, she would need to show that she took some form of action against those managers/colleagues whom she claimed were the ones bullying her?
    As it just seems like a ridiculously absurd leap for her to try claiming that I am responsible for a choice that she herself made, based on actions which other people did.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 13th Oct 19, 4:50 AM
    • 7,863 Posts
    • 10,703 Thanks
    waamo
    She needs to look up the first rule of holes. Let her continue.
    This space for hire.
    • October868
    • By October868 13th Oct 19, 5:02 AM
    • 86 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    October868
    The first rule of holes? :S
    • waamo
    • By waamo 13th Oct 19, 5:37 AM
    • 7,863 Posts
    • 10,703 Thanks
    waamo
    The first rule of holes? :S
    Originally posted by October868
    Here you go https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_holes
    This space for hire.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

550Posts Today

5,718Users online

Martin's Twitter