County Court, why bother?!!!

jilt Registered Posts: 2,903 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
Two months ago I decided to make a claim for unpaid invoices. It was a guy I had been doing bookkeeping for from October to December last year. He was supposed to contact me as and when he required my services, I didn't hear from him after 11th December so in January presumed he no longer required my services.

I sent regular statements, letters etc but received no payment even after threatening debt collectors. The amount he owed was minimal a total of £166.50, too small in fact for the debt collector, but it was the principal that made me claim, I think he thought I'd just go away.

I made my claim at the end of April, he paid about half of the amount owed and filed a defence for the remainder saying that he was unhappy with the service. This was the first I'd heard of any compalint and I was very shocked. I decided it was just a tactic to get out of paying as I've never had any complaints or lost a client before so I ticked the box to say I didn't accept his defence.

The form said I would be sent a questionnaire and did not mention that I would have to take time away from work to attend court to fight it. I presumed rather naively that I too would have the right to respond in writing, as the defendant did, however it appears I am not offered that luxury and must lose yet more money be attending court. I have therefore decided not to proceed with the claim.

I thought the county court was there to help people recover money that is owed to them for an honest days work, but it seems that its just helping the defendant on this occasion. Why go through the expense of a hearing, why not let me respond in writing like he did?

Well I feel a bit better after my rant, it just seems every little thing I try to do there is something gets in my way. My holiday's just been cancelled cos of overbooking at the hotel, and now I can't even order gravel on line from B & Q for some strange reason :cursing:


  • Rachel
    Rachel Registered Posts: 348 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    Sorry for all your hassle.

    Sadly, even if you won at Court it doesn't mean that you would get your money you have done the right thing by dropping it, at least you got half. The system is crazy x
  • jilt
    jilt Registered Posts: 2,903 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    I know, we had that at work, got judgement, paid a bailiffs fee but still didn't get the money we were owed.

    Anyway it's ok, I've put the dummy back in now! :lol:
  • Vonni
    Vonni Registered Posts: 63 Regular contributor ⭐
    You should have received a questionnaire I did and had an opportunity to provide my side of the story, I did everything on line and the court appointed someone,within the courts to mediate and request information from the defendant prior to any hearing.

    Fortunately my claim was settled out of court for the sum I claimed and all my costs of bringing the action - the client clearly could not provide evidence of his complaint and I believe was running scared.

    The upshot of this story is it was hopefully only your time and effort that went unrewarded and you were not a supplier of goods which you had had to pay for!

    A few years back I got judgement against a debtor for £50 - a matter of principal really more than money - the debtor sent me a couple of postal orders for £10 then he disappeared without trace - I subsequently heard he had died of a heart attack - poor man - at least I'm still in the land of living - keep smiling :-)

  • keane155
    keane155 Registered Posts: 404 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    I deal with County Court claims at work (I don't work in accounts yet). If you get a hearing date because a client files a defence and you are unable to attend because of cost limitation, lack of staff, small company etc it may be worth writing to the court and answering the clients points(send any documents as evidence) and saying that you cannot attend and request the application or whatever it is be heard in your absence. Can't really give anymore advice on hearing because I deal with mainly non court hearing stuff.
Privacy Policy