Civil Law

Civil Law is an extensive area concerning issues and disputes between private citizens. In this instance, this area includes disputes concerning private and commercial transactions between private citizens, as well as the protection and enforcement of rights of private citizens. The civil courts hold powers which are used to resolve and enforce these disputes and individual rights; for instance, the issuance of debt orders, bankruptcy petitions, restraining orders, charging orders, money claims and enforcement orders.



Here is what Civil Law covers:

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legal process imposed by a court order, and normally initiated by a debtor who cannot afford to pay their creditors. By declaring bankruptcy, creditors are barred from seeking the repayment of their funds from the bankrupt individual, and most debts are dissolved after expiry of a statutory time limit. There are both advantages and disadvantages to declaring bankruptcy, with serious financial and legal consequences to consider.

Civil Claim

A Civil Claim is a formal claim made by an applicant between individuals or individuals and the state. The applicant can address the complaint in a civil court, and can seek remedies, injunctions, sanctions and other forms of relief if they meet certain thresholds and conditions. Generally, civil claims are used to retrieve assets, compensation or enforce personal or contractual rights.

Civil Procedure

Civil Procedure is detailed in the Civil Procedure Rules which is a framework used by courts and parties to disputes when making or dealing with a civil claim. The Rules concern matters such as time constraints, the way evidence should be handled and produced, the variety of orders available to apply for, and sanctions for non-compliance of rules and orders.

Court Enforcement

When a party refuses or fails to comply with a court order made against them, the court may put in place a further order or authorise court enforcement agents to enforce the active court order made. This includes, for instance, allowing enforcement agents to remove persons from land or property, as well as the collection or removal of funds or assets to satisfy a debt.

Interim Charging Order

An Interim Charging Order is a court order which allows a creditor to secure his debt against the debtor's property. This is made in the interim, if the court are satisfied that the debtor has a share or full ownership of the property in question. Interim orders can be made without notice, and once obtained, the creditor can register it against the debtor's property, prohibiting the sale of it until the court has made a final order. If a final order is made, the creditor could force the sale of the debtor's property to retrieve what is owed to them if certain conditions are met.

Restraining Order

A Restraining order is an order put in place by the court which prevents an individual from contacting or visiting the applicant. This type of order can be put in place against an individual for a number of reasons. While the individual has a right to appeal the court's decision, if breached, there are serious consequences, including loss of child custody, being held in contempt of court, fines and imprisonment.

Third Party Debt Order

A Third Party Debt Order is a court order which permits a creditor to take what is owed to them directly from a third party who holds the debtors funds; rather than waiting for the debtor to transfer the same to them. The creditor will need to demonstrate that the debtor has the funds available to pay the creditor, but that they are held by a third party (such as a bank or employer).

Frequently Asked Questions

Scenarios



I am seeking guidance on an order from the court that says I must (or must not) do something.



What is the consequence of not complying with a court order?

If a Defendant does not comply with a court order, the Defendant will be in contempt of court. The court may require the Defendant to pay a fine or have their assets confiscated as a result of their non-compliance. They can also be imprisoned for a maximum period of 2 years. The court also has other punishable orders available to it.

What is a mandatory injunction?

A mandatory injunction is an order which requires the Defendant to do something.

What is a prohibitory injunction?

A prohibitory injunction is an order which will require the Defendant to not do something.

What is a penal notice?

A penal notice is a warning notice that noncompliance to the order may be punishable by imprisonment, a fine, confiscation of assets or other punishments. If the Defendant does not comply with the order, the Claimant can make an application to the court to commit them into prison.

What is an injunction?

An injunction order is an order that will require the defendant to do or not do something.

When will a court make an injunction order?

The court will make an injunction order if, considering all the circumstances within the case, it will be just and convenient to do so.

What types of injunctions are there?

There are two types of injunctions. Mandatory injunctions require the Defendant to do something. Prohibitory injunctions require the Defendant not to do something. An injunction can be made in the interim while the case is progressing at court. This will require the Defendant to do or not do something during the case proceedings. An injunction order can be ‘final’ if the order is made at the end of the proceedings.

When does the court order take effect?

The court order will take effect on the day it is made. If the order specifies a particular date on which the order will take effect, the order will take effect on that date.

Can you ignore a court order?

The Defendant cannot ignore a court as this could lead to them being in contempt of court. The Defendant may be required by the court to pay a fine or have their assets confiscated as a result of their non-compliance. The Defendant can also be imprisoned for a maximum period of 2 years. The court also has other punishable orders available to it.

Can you ask the court to change an order?

The Defendant can apply to the court using Form N244 Application Notice which can be found on the government website to set aside or vary a judgment. The court will set aside or vary the judgment if the Defendant has good prospect of successfully defending the claim or if there is some other good reason why the judgment should be set aside or varied or the defendant should be allowed to defend the claim.



I am seeking guidance on making a County Court counterclaim against a claimant.



What is a counterclaim?

A Counterclaim is a claim brought by the Defendant against the Claimant in response to the Claimant’s claim. The Counterclaim can be a claim for a specified or an unspecified amount of money. It can also be a claim for non-money assets or for the return of goods.

How can a Defendant make a counterclaim?

The Defendant can make a Counterclaim once they receive the Particulars of Claim from the Claimant. The Defendant will receive a Response Pack along with the Particulars of Claim in which they can either admit to the claims made by the claimant or defend the claim. Within the form for defending the claim, there is a section in which the Defendant can make their counterclaim. The completed Defence and Counterclaim must be filed at court and served on the Claimant.

What is the difference between a counterclaim and an additional claim?

A Counterclaim is a claim that is directly in response to the claim made by the Claimant. An additional claim is any claim other than a claim made by Claimant against the Defendant. The Counterclaim will be a type of additional claim.

What must be included within the counterclaim?

In brief, the Counterclaim should contain the heading with the title of the proceedings, a statement of the facts, whether the Defendant is seeking interest and a statement of the interest being claimed, a statement if aggravated damages or exemplary damages are claimed and on what basis, a statement if provisional damages are claimed and on what basis, a short summary if the counterclaim is longer than 25 pages, a statement of truth and an attachment of copie of relevant documents.

What must be included within a counterclaim for personal injury?

In brief, the Counterclaim should contain the heading with the title of the proceedings, a statement of the facts, whether the Defendant is seeking interest and statement of the interest being claimed, a statement if aggravated damages or exemplary damages are claimed and on what basis, a statement is provisional damages are claim and on what basis, a short summary if the counterclaim is longer than 25 pages, a statement of truth and an attachment of copies of relevant documents. A Counterclaim for personal injury should also include the Defendant’s date of birth, brief details of the injury, a schedule for any past and future expenses losses the Defendant is claiming and an attachment of a report from a medical practitioner if they are relying on a medical practitioner’s evidence.

How long does the Defendant have to file and serve their Counterclaim?

The Defendant must file and serve their Counterclaim in 14 days if they are intending to file it along with their Acknowledgment of Service. If not, they must file the Acknowledgement of Service within 14 days after being served with the Particulars of Claims. The Counterclaim must be filed within 14 days after filing the Acknowledgment of Service. The Counterclaim must also be delivered to the Claimant and any other relevant parties.

Can the Defendant make a Counterclaim after the Defendant has filed their defence?

The Defendant may make a Counterclaim with the permission of the court if they have already filed their defence.

How long will the Claimant have to file their response to the Counterclaim?

The Claimant will have 14 days to file their Defence to the Counterclaim after receiving the Counterclaim.

What form should the Defendant use to make a Counterclaim?

If the claim is regarding a specified amount of money, the Defendant should use Form N9B Defence and Counterclaim to file their Counterclaim. If the claim is for an unspecified amount of money or non-money asset or for the return of goods, the Defendant should use Form N9D Defence and Counterclaim to file their Counterclaim. The forms can be found on the government website.

How long can the Counterclaim be?

There are no limits as to how long the Counterclaim can be but if the Counterclaim is longer than 25 pages, the Defendant must include a short summary of the Counterclaim within the Counterclaim.



I have a money claim and wish to retrieve the award from a third party.



What is a third party debt order?

A third party debt order will allow the Claimant to take the money directly from someone who owes or is holding money for the Defendant.

How can you apply for a third party debt order?

The Claimant can complete Form N349 Application for Third Party Debt Order and file it at court to apply for a third party debt order. Form N349 can be found on the government website.

What happens when someone applies for a third party debt order?

When the court receives an application for a third party debt order, the court will make an interim third party debt order. The interim third debt order will require the third party to hold on to the money that is owed to the Defendant. If the third party is a bank or a building society, the order will require them to freeze the Defendant’s account until the final order is made. Usually 28 days after the interim third party debt order, the final order will be made. The final order will be made at the final hearing if, after the court has heard submissions from the Claimant and the Defendant, the court decides that a final third party debt order is necessary. If the court decides that a final third party debt order is not necessary, it will discharge the interim third party debt order.

What should be included within an application for the third party debt order?

In brief, the application for third party debt order should include the Claimant’s name and address, the name and address of the Defendant, the judgment amount, the current amount outstanding, the name and address of the third party, whether any other person has an interest in the money being claim and if the Claimant has made any previous application for a third party debt orders regarding the same judgment.

What is an interim third party debt order?

An interim third party debt order will be made while the court decides on whether to make a final third party debt order. The interim third party debt order will merely require the third party to hold on to any money owed to the Defendant. If the third party is a bank, the order will require the Defendant’s bank account to be frozen until the final order is made. The order will continue to apply until a final order is made or the order is discharged by court.

When will the final third party debt order be made?

The final third party debt order will be made after the final hearing once the court has heard the Claimant and the Defendant’s submissions. The final hearing is likely to happen 28 days after the interim third party debt order was made.

How can you find out whether a third party owes the Defendant or is holding the Defendant’s money?

The Claimant can apply to the court using the Form N316 Application for Order that Debtor Attend Court for Questioning which can be found on the government website. If the order is made, it will require the Defendant to attend court and provide details of their financial means to the senior court officer. They will need to provide evidence of their income and spending.

Who can a third party debt order be made against?

It can be made against any person that owes money to the Defendant. The order can also be made against a bank or a building society that is holding money for the Defendant.

What is the difference between Attachment of Earnings and a Third Party Debt Order?

An Attachment of Earnings order will require the Defendant’s employer to make periodic deductions from the Claimant’s wages. A Third Party Debt Order will mean that the Claimant can directly take any money from the third party who owes the Defendant money.

What should you do if you face hardship as a result of the third party debt order?

The Defendant can make an application using Form N244 Application Notice which can be found on the government website to request the court to make a hardship payment order. Along with the Form, the Defendant should provide copies of their wage slips, bank statements, mortgage account details, rent records and any other documents that will show the Defendant's financial means.



I am seeking guidance as I have received a claim against me, but the name is incorrect, or I am not a party to the claim.



How can mistakes on a court claim be corrected?

If someone receives a claim but the name is incorrect, they can contact the Claimant to correct the mistake. They can also apply to the court using a Form N244 Application Notice which can be found on the government website to strike out the case. They can also respond to the claim by filing a Defence and within the Defence they can explain that they are not the party to the claim or there is a mistake on name of the Defendant. They will have 14 days to file their defence or 28 days if they filed an Acknowledgement of Service from the date when they received the claim. The Claimant can amend the claim form by themselves before the other party receives it. If the other party has already received it, the Defendant will need the consent of the other party or the permission of the court before amending the details in the claim form.

How can you apply for a claim to be struck out?

The other party can apply by completing Form N244 Application Notice which can be found on the government website and filing it at court for the claim to be struck out.

What should be included within the application to strike out a claim?

The application notice, in brief, should contain information on the claim and the reasons for why the claim should be struck out. The application notice should include a request for the claimant to pay for the cost of the application.

Do you have to pay for making an application to strike out a claim?

The other party will need to pay to make an application to strike out a claim. The other party can request, within their application, for the cost of the application to be paid by the Claimant.

Can you amend a claim form?

The Claimant can amend the claim form on their own if the claim form has not been received by the other party. If it has been received, the Claimant will need the permission of the other party and any other relevant party or the permission of the court to amend the claim.

Do you need the consent of the Defendant to change the name on a claim?

If the Defendant has not received the claim form, the Claimant will not need the consent of the other party to amend the name. If the other party has received it, they will need the consent of the other party and any other relevant party or the permission of the court before amending the claim.

When can a claim be struck out?

A claim can be struck out if it appears to the court that the Claimant has no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending the claim, the claim is an abuse of the court’ process or is likely to obstruct the just completion of the proceedings or there is has been a failure to comply with rule, practice direction or court order. If the claim form is not corrected or amended in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules with the relevant permission or consent, the claim can be struck out.

What form should you use to apply for a claim to be struck out?

The other party should use the Form N244 Application Notice which can be found on the government website to apply for the claim to be struck out.

What happens after an application to strike out the claim is received by the court?

The court may decide that the claim should be struck out. In that case, the claim will be ended with that application. The court may allow the Claimant to amend the claim. This will allow the claim to continue against the correct Defendant.

What happens when a claim is struck out?

If the court decides that the claim should be struck out, the claim will be ended with that application.



I am seeking guidance on the statute of limitations.



What is a statute of limitations?

The statute of limitation sets out a time limit by when the Claimant must bring their claim at court. There are different time limits for different types of claims. The Claimant must ensure that the time limit has not passed when bringing their claim. The time will stop running when the Claimant delivers the claim to court even if the claim is not issued on that particular day. If the Defendant argues that the Claimant is not within the statute of limitations, it is up to the claimant to prove that they were within the time limit to bring the claim.

What is the statute of limitation for bringing a breach of contract claim?

The Claimant will have 6 years from the date when the breach occurred to bring a claim at court.

What is the statute of limitation for bringing a personal injury claim?

The time limit for bringing a personal injury claim is 3 years from the date of the accident or from the date of knowledge of the person injured. If the injured person dies before within the time limit, the time limit will become 3 years from the date of death or from the date of the personal representative’s knowledge. The court has the discretion to exclude the time limit.

Can you bring a personal injury claim if the injured person dies?

A personal representative can bring a claim on behalf of a deceased injured person. They will have 3 years from the date the person dies or from the date when they become aware that the person was wrongly injured. The court has the discretion to exclude the time limit.

What is the statute of limitation for bringing a tort claim?

The Claimant must make their claim at court within 6 years from the date when the cause of action occurred. The cause of action will be where an individual commits a wrong against another individual. The wrong could arise out of a contractual or other relationship with the individual.

What is the statute of limitations for fatal accident claims?

The time limit for bringing a claim for a fatal accident is 3 years from the date of the death or from the date of knowledge of the person who will benefit from the claim being brought. The date that will be considered will be the later date of the two. The court has the discretion to exclude time limits for fatal accident claims.

What is the statute of limitation for enforcing a court judgment?

The time limit for enforcing a court judgment is 6 years from the date when the judgment became enforceable. For any interests, the time limit for enforcing the interest will be 6 years from the date when the interest was due.

When does the statute of limitation begin?

The statute of limitation will begin when the Claimant has the relevant knowledge. The Claimant will have the relevant knowledge if they know that the injury they have suffered is significant, the injury was caused by the act or omission of someone, the identity of the person who caused the act or omission and the identity of any other person who could be responsible for the act or omission. The Claimant will be deemed as having knowledge if the Claimant could be reasonably expected to have acquired the knowledge through observation of the events or acquired the knowledge through medical or expert advice.

What is the statute of limitation if the person has a disability or is a minor?

The time limit will not start to run while the Claimant has a disability or is a minor. Once the Claimant ceases to have a disability, they will have the capacity to conduct the legal proceedings and the time limit will start from that point onwards. In the case of minors, the time will start to run on the Claimant’s 18th birthday.

What is the statute of limitation for fraud, concealment and mistake?

The time limit will start to run when the fraud, deliberate concealment or mistake is discovered by the Claimant. The time limit for fraud, deliberate concealment and mistake will be 6 years from when the Claimant becomes aware. The longstop date for any claims that do not involve personal injuries is 15 years from the date when the Defendant did the act or omission that caused injury to the Claimant. The postponement due to lack of knowledge will not apply to claims to recover property against an innocent third party who purchased the property for valuable consideration.



I am seeking guidance on serving a claim on a party.



Who has to serve the claim?

The Claim Form will be served on the Defendant by the court unless the court orders or directs that it should be served by the Claimant. The Claimant must serve the Claim Form to the Defendant within 4 months from the date when the Claim Form was issued or 6 months if the Defendant is not within England and Wales.

What are the different methods of serving a claim?

The Claimant can personally serve a claim. They can also send it by first class post, by document exchange, by another service which provides delivery on the next business day, by Fax or other electronic means or any other method which is authorised by the court.

How does the Claimant personally serve a claim?

The Claimant can personally serve the Claim Form by leaving it with the Defendant or individual who is to be served with it. If the Defendant is a company, the Claim Form must be served to a person holding a senior position within the company. If the Defendant is a partnership, the claim form must be served to a partner or the person who at the time of service has control or management of the partnership at its principal place of business.

Who does the Claimant have to serve the claim to?

The Claim Form must be served to the Defendant or the person who is to be served with it. If the Defendant has specified their solicitor’s address in writing and the Defendant’s solicitor has informed the Claimant in writing that they are to accept service, the Claimant must serve the claim form to the Defendant’s solicitor.

How can the claimant commence a civil court claim?

The Claimant can commence a civil claim by filling in a Claim Form N1 which can be found on the government website. If the claim is for money, the Claim Form should be sent to the County Claims Centre PO Box 527, Salford, M5 0BY unless it is a High Court Claim. If the claim is a High Court claim or the claim is for anything other than money, the Claim Form should be sent to the local court office.

When can the Claimant claim for money online?

The Claimant can claim for money online using Online Civil Money Claims Service or the Money Claims Online Service. The Claimant can claim online if the claim is for a specified amount, the Claimant and Defendant are both over 18 years of age, the Claimant does not need help with court fees, the Claimant and the Defendant have an address in the UK and the claim is not for personal injury, a tenancy deposit or against a government department. The Claimant can use the Online Civil Money Claims Service if the claim is for a specified amount of less than £10,000 and the claim is against an individual and not against an organisation. The Claimant can use the Money Claims Online Service if the claim is for a specified amount that is less than £100,000, the claim is against an organisation or against no more than two people.

Where can the Claimant commence their claim?

If the claim is for a specified amount that is more than £100,000, the claim must be made in the High Court. If the claim is for a specified amount that is less than £100,000, the claim must be made at County Court. If the claim is for a specified amount of money that is more than £50,000 and is for personal injury, the claim must be made at the High Court. If the claim is for a specified amount of money that is less than £50,000 and is for personal injury, the claim must be made at County Court.

How can the Claimant serve the claim if the Defendant does not provide an address?

If the Defendant’s address or the Defendant’s solicitor’s address is unknown, the Claimant must take reasonable steps to find the Defendant’s current address. If the Defendant is an individual, the Claim Form can be served at the Defendant’s usual or last known address. If the Defendant is a company, the Claim Form can be served at the principal office, the registered office, a place with real connection to the claim or the last known place of business. The Claim Form can also be served on someone who holds a senior position within the company.

When must the Claimant serve the Particulars of Claim?

The Particulars of Claim must be served within 14 days of service of the Claim Form and within 4 months of issue of the Claim Form or 6 months if the Defendant is not within England or Wales if it was not served with the Claim Form.

What does serving a claim mean?

Serving a claim means delivering the Claim Form to the person it must be delivered to and bringing it to their attention.



I am seeking guidance on providing a pre-action notice to another party.



What is a pre-action notice?

Pre-action notice is a letter written to the other party to try and resolve the dispute before commencing court proceedings. The letter will be written with the intention that where the issues are not resolved, the Claimant will begin court proceedings.

What should be included within a pre-action notice?

The notice should include the name and address of the Claimant, the basis on which the claim is made, a summary of the facts, what the Claimant wants from the Defendant and a deadline for the Defendant’s reply.

What are the consequences of not providing a pre-action notice?

The court will expect that the Claimant and Defendant have taken steps to resolve the issue outside of court. These steps are referred to as the pre-action protocol. The pre-action notice is included within the pre-action protocol. If the pre-action protocol is not completed, the court may stay (pause) the proceedings until the pre-action steps are all completed. The court can, instead of staying the proceedings, apply a sanction against the person who did not complete the pre-action steps. The court also has the discretion to ignore that the pre-action protocol was not fully completed.

How long does a Defendant have to respond to a pre-action notice?

The Defendant should respond to the pre-action notice within 14 days. If the case is more complex, the Defendant should respond to the pre-action notice no later than 3 months from the pre-action notice.

What is the pre-action protocol?

Pre-action protocol refers to the steps the court will expect the Claimant and the Defendant to have taken to resolve the claim outside of court before commencing the claim at court. This includes the Claimant sending a pre-action notice, the Defendant sending a response to the pre-action notice, the Claimant and Defendant exchanging relevant information and documents and the Claimant and Defendant assessing whether they can use alternative dispute resolutions instead of going to court. The steps within the pre-action protocol will differ depending on the type of claim it is.

Why should a Claimant send a pre-action notice?

The Claimant should send a pre-action notice to attempt to resolve the issue outside of court as this would save costs. Sending a pre-action notice will also prevent any delays as if the claimant claims at court without a pre-action notice, the court can stay the proceedings until the pre-action notice has been sent. Sending a pre-action notice can help the Claimant and the Defendant narrow down the issues that are in dispute. By sending a pre-action notice, they will be complying with the pre-action protocols and will avoid sanctions.

Should the Claimant disclose any documents that are relevant to the claim?

The Claimant should communicate with the Defendant with the intention of resolving the dispute. If this requires the Claimant and Defendant to disclose documents and information with each other, they must do so. The Claimant and the Defendant do not need to disclose any documents that are not relevant to the dispute.

What are alternative dispute resolutions?

Alternative dispute resolutions are ways in which a dispute can be resolved outside of court. This can include negotiations, mediation, arbitration and early neutral evaluation. Negotiations are where the Claimant and the Defendant discuss the ways in which they can attempt to resolve the issue. Mediation is whera mediator facilitates a discussion between the Claimant and the Defendant to resolve the dispute. Mediation is not legally binding and is confidential. Arbitration is where an arbitrator decides on how the dispute should be resolved after hearing submissions from the Claimant and the Defendant. Early neutral evaluation is where an independent and impartial evaluator gives an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the Claimant and the Defendant’s case. The Claimant and Defendant can use this assessment to decide on how they are going to resolve the dispute.

Is a pre-action notice a legal requirement?

The pre-action notice is a legal requirement as it is required within the pre-action protocol. If the Claimant does not comply, the court may apply a sanction or stay the proceedings so that the Claimant can send the pre-action letter.

Can the pre-action notice be sent by email?

The pre-action notice can be sent by email. The Claimant must send the notice with the intention of resolving the dispute so they must ensure that they send the pre-action notice using the communication method on which the Defendant is likely to receive it promptly and respond within the deadline.



I have made a claim and I am seeking an award for the outstanding debt.



How long does the Defendant have to comply with the court judgment?

The Defendant will have 14 days to comply with the court judgment unless the court judgment specifies another date by which the Defendant must comply with the court judgment.

What can the Claimant do to enforce the court judgment?

The Claimant can apply to the court for a senior court officer to question the Defendant about their financial means under oath using Form N316 which can be found on the government website. The Claimant can apply to court to send enforcement agents to take control of the Defendant goods that can be used to pay the Claimant. The claimant can apply for an attachment of earnings order, a third party debt order or a charging order.

What is an attachment of earnings order?

An attachment of earnings order will require the Defendant's employer to make periodic deduction to the Defendant's salary to pay back the amount owed to the Claimant. The salary will include occupational pensions and statutory sick pay but will not include state pensions or self employed income.

What must be included within an application for an attachment of earning order?

The completed Attachment of Earnings Order Form N337 must be supported by a witness statement or affidavit (a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation). Form N337 can be found on the government website. The Defendant will be served with the completed form, the witness statement or affidavit and a financial questionnaire. The court will use the responses to the financial questionnaire to decide what amount the defendant will pay.

How can the Claimant apply for the court to take the Defendant’s goods?

If the Defendant owes £5,000 or less, the Claimant must use Form N323 to apply at county court. If the Defendant owes more than £600, the Claimant must use the Form N293A to apply to the High Court. Form N323 and Form N293A can be found on the government website.

What goods can the enforcement agents take on an order to take control of Defendant's goods?

The enforcement agents cannot take control of any equipment that is used by the Defendant personally in the Defendant's employment, business, trade, profession, study or education that is valued up to £1,350. They also cannot take clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and items that are necessary to satisfy the basic domestic needs of the Defendant and their household. The enforcement agents cannot take any goods which are also premises and are occupied by the Defendant or another person as their main home. Any goods that do fall within what they cannot take can be taken control of.

What is a charging order?

A charging order is like a legal charge or a mortgage: it secures the judgment debt against the Defendant’s property. Charging orders can be made against the Defendant’s company shares. If the Defendant does not pay, the Claimant can apply for an order for the sale of the property. The Claimant can apply using Form N379 Application for Charging Order on Land which can be found on the government website.

What is the procedure in a charging order?

When the Claimant applies for a charging order, the court will make an interim order. The interim order will prevent the Defendant from selling their property before the final order. Usually within 21 days of the interim order, a final hearing takes place. After hearing the submissions from the Claimant and the Defendant, the court can make a final order or discharge the interim order.

What is a third party debt order?

A third party debt order will allow the creditor to take the money owed to them directly from the third party who owes the debtor or is holding money for the debtor. This could be a Bank or a Building Society. The Claimant can apply using Form N349 Application for Third Party Debt Order which can be found on the government website.

What is the procedure for third party debt order?

When the Claimant applies for a third party debt order, the court will make an interim third party order. This order will prevent the third party from paying the Defendant or require the bank holding money for the Defendant to freeze the Defendant's account until the final order. The final hearing will usually take place 28 days after the interim third party debt order. At the final hearing, the court will hear submission from the Claimant and the Defendant and decide on whether to make a final order or discharge the interim order.



I have recently filed a claim seeking an injunction, I am seeking guidance to secure this.



What is the consequence of not complying with an injunction order?

If the Defendant does not comply with an injunction order, they will be in contempt of court. The court can order for the Defendant to pay a fine for being in contempt of court. The court can confiscate the Defendant’s assets. The court can order for the Defendant’s imprisonment for a maximum of 2 years. The court can also make any other punishable order available to it.

What is a penal notice?

A penal notice is a notice attached to the front of an order against the person the order is made. It will mean that if the order it is attached to is not followed, the Claimant can make an application to commit the Defendant for being in contempt of court. A committal order will mean that the Defendant will be imprisoned for a maximum of 2 years.

What can the Claimant do if the Defendant does not comply with the injunction order?

The Claimant can make an application for committal for not complying with the court order provided that the injunction order was served on the Defendant personally.

How can the Claimant make a committal application?

The Claimant can use the Form N244 Application Notice CPR Part 23 which can be found on the government website to apply for the Defendant to be committed at prison.

What should be included within a committal application?

The committal application must contain the title and the reference number of the claim, the full name of the Applicant if the Applicant is not party to the claim and their address, state that Applicant is seeking for an order for committal, the grounds for why the committal application is made and identify the alleged actions which were in contempt of court. The application must be supported by one or more affidavits (a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation for use as evidence in court).

Should the committal application be served on the Respondent?

The application notice and any affidavits must be served personally on the Respondent.

What are the consequences of being in contempt of court?

The consequences of being contempt of court could be a fine, the confiscation of the assets, imprisonment for a maximum of 2 years or other punishable orders.

What is an order for committal?

An order for committal is an order that requires the Defendant to be imprisoned for a maximum of 2 years. The order can be immediate or suspended. If the order is suspended, if the Defendant complies with the order by the date stated within the order, they will not be committed to prison.

What form should the Claimant use to apply for an order for committal?

The Claimant should use the Form N244 Application Notice CPR Part 23 which can be found on the government website to apply for an order for committal.

Will the Claimant need the permission of the court to make a contempt application?

If order is concerning the non-compliance of an injunction order, the Claimant will not need the permission to apply for the contempt application. If the contempt application is in relation to an interference of due administration of justice or allegations of knowingly making false statements in an affidavit, affirmation or other document that is verified by a statement of truth or a disclosure statement, the Claimant will need the permission of the court before making the application.



I have received a letter from the courts about a money claim against me.



How can a Defendant settle the claim?

The Defendant can negotiate with the Claimant to arrange for the dispute to be resolved. The Defendant can also settle the dispute altogether by paying the Claimant or by arranging a periodic payment through instalments with the Claimant.

How can the Defendant respond to a money claim from court?

The Defendant has three ways of responding to a money claim. The first is admitting to the claim. This will be where the Defendant admits that they owe money to the Claimant and makes arrangements to pay. The second is partly admitting to the claim. This will be where the Defendant admits that they owe money to the Claimant but not the full amount claimed. The third is defending the claim. This is where the Defendant denies that they owe money to the Claimant.

What form should the Defendant use to respond to the claim?

The form the Defendant should use will depend on how the Defendant wants to respond to the claim. The Defendant must file and serve an acknowledgement of service using Form N9 Response Pack. If the Defendant will be admitting to the claim and the claim was for a specified amount, the Defendant will need to complete and file the Form N9A Admission (specified amount). If the claim was for an unspecified amount, non-money asset or for the return of goods, the Defendant will need to complete and file the Form N9C Admission (unspecified amount, non-money and return of goods claims). If the Defendant is defending the claim and the claim was for a specified amount, the Defendant will need to complete and file the Form N9B Defence and Counterclaim (specified amount). If the claim was for an unspecified amount, non-money asset or for the return of goods, the Defendant will need to complete and file the Form N9D Defence and Counterclaim (unspecified amount, non-money and return of goods claims). The Forms can be found on the government website.

How long does the Defendant have to respond to a claim?

The Defendant will have 14 days from the date when the Particulars of Claim was served to respond to the claim. The Particulars of Claim could be filed and served together with the Claim Form or separately. The Defendant can file their Acknowledgement of Service within those 14 days at court and then file and serve their admission or defence within 14 days from the date when the Acknowledgement of Service was filed and served. This will give the Defendant 28 days to respond to the claim.

Can the time for filing and serving a Defence be extended?

The Claimant and Defendant can agree for the time for filing and serving a Defence to be extended for up to 28 days. If it is agreed, the Defendant must inform the court in writing. If the Claimant or the Defendant wants to extend the time further than the 28 days, they must apply to the court.

What should be included within a Defence?

The Defence should contain which allegations they deny, which allegations they admit to, which allegations they are unable to admit or deny and the Defendant's version of the events. The Defendant will need to go through the Claimant’s Particulars of Claim sentence by sentence and state whether they admit or deny the sentence or are not able to admit or deny the sentence.

Can I ignore the money claim?

A defendant must not ignore a money claim as the Claimant can apply to obtain a judgment in their favour. This is referred to as ‘Judgment in Default’. The judgment may mean that the Defendant is ordered to pay the whole amount that was claimed by the Claimant.

Can the defendant respond to the claim online?

The defendant can respond online using the Money Claims Service website. This can only be used if the Claimant has claimed online.

What is a Response Pack?

The Response Pack is served along with the Particulars of Claim. This will allow the Defendant to file the Acknowledgement of Service and their admission or defence to the claims. The Response Pack includes a Form N9 Response Pack, a Form N9A Admission (specified amount), a Form N9C Admission (unspecified amount, non-money and return of goods claims), a Form N9B Defence and Counterclaim (specified amount) and a Form N9D Defence and Counterclaim (unspecified amount, non-money and return of goods claims). The Forms can be found on the government website.

How can the Defendant respond to a medical report and schedule of expenses and losses in a personal injury claim?

The Defendant can agree or dispute the medical report and/or the schedule of expenses and losses. The Defendant can also agree partially to the medical report and/or the schedule of expenses and losses and dispute the other parts. The Defendant can also neither agree nor dispute the medical report and/or the schedule of expenses and losses but state they have knowledge of the matters included within the medical report and/or the schedule of expenses and losses.



I am seeking guidance on making a claim in the civil courts or employment tribunal.



How can a Claimant start a civil court claim?

The Claimant can start their claim using the Claim Form N1 which can be found on the government website. If the claim is for a sum of money, the Claim Form should be sent by post to the County Court Money Claims Centre at PO Box 527, Salford, M5 0BY. If the claim is a High Court claim it should be sent by post to a court office. Claims for money more than £100,000 and claims for personal injury for more than £50,000 must be claimed at High Court. Claims for money less than £100,000 and claims for personal injury for less than £50,000 must be claimed at County Court.

Can a claim be started online?

The Claimant can claim for money online using Online Civil Money Claims Service or the Money Claims Online Service. The Claimant can claim online if the claim is for a specified amount, the Claimant and Defendant are both over 18 years of age, the Claimant does not need help with court fees, the Claimant and the Defendant have an address in the UK and the claim is not for personal injury, a tenancy deposit or against a government department. The Claimant can use the Online Civil Money Claims Service if the claim is for a specified amount of less than £10,000 and the claim is against an individual and not against an organisation. The Claimant can use the Money Claims Online Service if the claim is for a specified amount that is less than £100,000, the claim is against an organisation or against no more than two people.