Defending A Claim
If you have received a claim against you, it is likely you cannot simply sit back.
You must take action and quickly.
You have a choice whether to defend the claim in it’s entirety (if you don’t believe the case against you is correct), defend the claim on a limited basis (where you agree with some of the claim against you but not all of it) or you may, in fact, agree that the claim against you is a correct one.
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You MUST acknowledge the Letter of Claim within 14 days as failure to do so gives the Claimant the right to apply for Judgement in Default. If successful, this means they will have proved the claim against you without any further court proceedings.
If this has happened to you, you can apply to have the judgment set aside so you have the opportunity to defence but there are no guarantees.
Once you have acknowledged the Letter of Claim you have a further 14 days in which to respond to the claim.
Steps And Time Limits To Respond When Making A Claim
Within 14 days, you must either:
1. Admit the claim (in part or in full)
2. Defend the claim (in part or in full) or
3. File an acknowledgment of service.
If the Defendant admits the claim (or part of it) and requires time to pay the amount claimed for, he must serve details of his assets, income and outgoings. This is then sent to the Claimant who is entitled to raise objections.
If the Defendant decides to serve a defence, it must be done within 14 days. If the Defendant denies the claim (or part of it), they must give a detailed explanation for his reasoning.
If the Defendant serves an acknowledgement of service within 14 days, he will then have 28 days to serve a defence.
Admitting The Claim
If you admit the claim (or part of it) and requires time to either pay the amount claimed or make arrangements to XXXX, then you must serve details of your assets, income and outgoings to the court. This is then sent to the Claimant who is entitled to raise objections.
Defending A Claim
If you decide to defend the claim, in whole or in part, for whatever reason, you MUST serve a defence within 14 days. Your defence is a written document setting out why you do not believe the claim against you is made out and what your defence to that claim is.
What If I Don’t Respond?
If you fail to complete any of the above, the Claimant will then be able to obtain default judgment. If this has happened to you, you can apply to have the judgment set aside so you have the opportunity to defence but there are no guarantees.
The most common defences include:
1. Procedural defences:
– Court does not have jurisdiction (not this country)
– Claim is outside the limitation period.
2. Defence to cause of action:
– Claim does not actually detail a cause of action
– On the evidence, the cause of action is not proven on the balance of probabilities
– That, on the grounds of the defence, the Defendant is cleared from liability.
the claim is completely made up
3. Claim for damages:
– Claim form does not set out all required elements
– Loss was not caused by the Defendant’s breach
– Loss was not foreseeable
– Claimant has failed to ease his loss
– Claimant was also negligent and contributed to his loss.
This is just an outline of what the most common defences that may be raised. If you have had a Claim Form served on you and require some assistance with defending a claim, then please do not hesitate to contact us.