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Small Claims Court.

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Small Claims Court.

Old 26th Sep 2018, 21:34
  #1 (permalink)  
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Small Claims Court.

A friend of mine, after considering, taking legal action against a rogue trader and reading the advice below, we have come to this conclusion,. No wonder people are tempted to take the law into their own hands. The system is stacked against the "small guy". He can't get legal advice, under the cost of the claim. CAB? Forget it, they're useless.

The Law is an ass. Like the Medical profession, they need to get themselves into the 21st century.

www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/small-claims-court/#cost
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 21:43
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"Justice is open to all – like the Ritz Hotel"
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 21:51
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Won my small claims track case. Got another one pending, nobody thinks I'm going to lose this one.
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 21:56
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I've won a couple of these claims too. They can be very easy...

So, rather than just moan about how unfair it all is, maybe you and your friend could tell us what it's all about? Who knows, some of us might be able to help.
​​​​
But, if your complaint about the system is that you can't claim back the cost of legal advice to help you decide whether to take action then my question would be: why on earth should you be able to do that?
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 21:59
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I won my case against a rogue trader. The problem is enforcing it. You have to go through the whole process again. At more expence.
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 22:41
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Being in the residential lease business, I've been in small claims more than I like. I'm 5 for 6 so far, and the one I didn't win was a counter-suit and the court just denied each claim, so it was a toss-up.

After that, I hired a private collection firm for 50% of the claim to harass the other party until they either paid or moved out of state. Frankly, I didn't care if I got any money, it was the satisfaction of irritating them for money constantly. One defendant owed $6800. I filed the claim with the collection, and it followed her on her credit report for years. She tried to buy a house and after 4 years I got a check finally, because she couldn't get any loan without paying off the debt.
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 23:04
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Nearly twenty years ago, David Crabtree of PC People, Penrith swindled several people including me out of around £1000 each for taking money for computers that didn't work. I got a CCJ against him, but he had skipped off to Holland. 'Unconventional' debt collectors would have been more effective!
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 04:42
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Originally Posted by TURIN View Post
I won my case against a rogue trader. The problem is enforcing it. You have to go through the whole process again. At more expence.

I agree.

The problem he is faced with is, the defendant is bringing in at least 2 "expert witnesses" at about £500 each, to attempt to scare the claimant into submission I expect. If he looses the case, on the whim of a "Judge" he is liable for some quite substantial costs, including expert's fees, travel, accommodation, etc., etc. Which he can't afford. I told him, better off paying a load of "travellers" for example to meter out instant justice. Much more cost effective.

So, is anyone able to prove the law is not stacked against the "Little Guy" I.E., an ass??. Where's Flying Lawyer when you need him?
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 07:32
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I have won two cases, one against a customer who refused to pay for his service conract on the grounds that the equipment, which hadn't been supplied by us, didn't do the job. I put up my own case in court and easily won. The second against an insurance company who had spent 6 months asking for forever more medical reports on an income replacement claim until I (and my GP) got fed up with it. They tried all ways to get me to drop it, got the venue changed from Tamworth to London, heavy-duty solicitors letters etc., and finally caved in when their solicitor told them they hadn't got a leg to stand on (much like me at the time). Cost them far more than if they had paid the claim at the start.

I'd certainly think twice about starting a claim against a single rogue trader, though. Maybe get a mate to become a customer and somehow con him out of something of value?

Dan, I heard a rumour that FL has been promoted and is not allowed to post publicly any more.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 07:49
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Interesting to read you (a) believe a judge will act on a whim and (b) your seeming preference for some vigilante debt collection.

Used the system twice when driving for a living...once with a "my cheque is in the post " merchant and once with an individual who was scamming the NHS by charging them for the use of four vans on one day of the week, but actually using three until the day I pointed out that vans have a finite capacity and mine was full, so he would have to use a fourth.....he decided he wasn't going to pay me for any work I'd done being "somewhat upset " about his profits being hit for the day re using another van.....the letter from the Court suddenly changed his mind and, strangely, the website hasn't been updated for about 12 years now re NHS deliveries or indeed several other sectors he had contracts with.

If your friend has the supportive evidence to his claim, then engaging m'learned friends would be a wise move.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 11:44
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Having been a trader for half of my working life I always wonder why it is always "rogue traders" that get the attention. Several times over the years I was the victim of what might be called "rogue customers", including bounced cheques, being sold stolen goods which I then forfeited and one occasion when around £300 worth of collectors' banknotes was lifted from under my nose. I got bugger all compensation, even though the thieves were caught and received their light slap on the wrist. I was advised that I was wasting my time attempting to get financial redress through the small claims courts as they would not have the means to pay.

Nowadays many shoplifters have switched to ebay - the usual trick is to buy something, pay for it then claim it never arrived, or if it did the item was damaged, defective etc and claim their money back. Ebay/Paypal's attitude is that the customer is always right and the seller is always a crook, and will always find in favour of the "buyer" and refund their money (out of the seller's account of course). Thieves know this and I am sure that many are now making a tidy income in this way , safe in the knowledge that the authorities just arent interested.

Still waiting for a programme called "Rogue Customers" but I'm not holding my breath
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 12:08
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TTN
I have thought long and hard about setting up a website called 'Rogue Customers and Scammers" we have a list of hundreds of people who bid in our auctions who don't pay or claim that they haven't received goods, even when they have signed for them.
I absolutely take no prisoners and always take the claims to the small claims court.
So far I am 10 out of 10 with many others settled prior to this.
I also want to do the same for shitty tenants. They should be banned from renting if they don't look after the property.
Retail, online retail and property rental is too one sided towards the client...we now have a proliferation of scammers and fraudsters.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 15:51
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Wasn't there a case in aviation not so long ago involving certain dubious characters at easyJet? Jonathan Curd, Richard Evans etc

Curd's name became so toxic he had to go live and work in Hong Kong and Evans went off to Air Tanker. The CCJ even had its own website, so there is an option to name and shame.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 18:47
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I had an eBay customer claimed non receipt. I refunded his money and the Post Office refunded me. Now funny old thing, the customer left eBay.

OTOH I didn't receive a low priced item £2.89, free postage. EBay refunded me immediately. Now coincidentally the Royal Mail sent me a postage due card for underpaid postage, charge £2. It would have been a 20 mile round trip plus parking. No contest. I think the package was too thick.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 19:37
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
Interesting to read you (a) believe a judge will act on a whim............If your friend has the supportive evidence to his claim, then engaging m'learned friends would be a wise move.
I had a spurious claim made against me a little while ago (private car sale) by some chancer who decided he wanted to claim for a whole list of repairs to the car after he bought it online and unseen. I knew I’d been wholly truthful with him, had documented records of all interactions and decided to deny the claim but sought some legal advice just to be 100% if not missed anything. Solicitor advised that I had a strong case and felt that the claimant was basically chancing his arm with no real risk to himself other than the claim fee......but advised that a judge could indeed award entirely against me on a whim and advised me at the mediation stage to make an offer of settlement. Ended up refunding £500 of a £2700 purchase price simply to avoid the risk of losing out to an entire £2000 claim. Trust me, the system is ridiculous. Solicitor thought the claimant was probably a regular and it was worth his limited risk, he couldn’t really lose despite the fact there genuinely was no foundation to his claim against me.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 21:29
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......but advised that a judge could indeed award entirely against me on a whim and advised me at the mediation stage to make an offer of settlement. Ended up refunding £500 of a £2700 purchase price simply to avoid the risk of losing out to an entire £2000 claim.
Over the years I have taken a few people through the system. To state that judges decide a case on a whim is utter bollox. In my experience they cut through the crap and are intolerant of those they consider chancers pursuing a spurious claim. Again in my experience I have always found them scrupulously fair.

Mediation is useful but I have refused to settle for less than I felt I was owed minus a modest sum for the convenience of settling. I subsequently won the case.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 21:38
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Originally Posted by M.Mouse View Post
To state that judges decide a case on a whim is utter bollox. In my experience they cut through the crap and are intolerant of those they consider chancers pursuing a spurious.
Your experience has been positive then.....but my legal advice suggested there was a real risk a judge could, on an off day, award the full claim against me. I KNEW the claim against me had no foundation and my solicitor believed me and my evidence but I couldn’t run the risk of having to pay out £2k against a sale or £2700. He’d seen judges make odd decisions in the past and advised a risk management approach, as much as it stuck (and still does) in my throat I couldn’t afford the risk. Maybe the judge would have believed me but who knows!
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Old 28th Sep 2018, 03:36
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I'm afraid that that's more a reflection of solicitors than judges. You will never get a black and white answer from them, they will always want to err on the side of caution otherwise in the very unlikely chance that you would have lost you would have gone back to them complaining that they said that you would win.
I often joke that if you ask a solicitor if the insurance against being abducted by alieans you have been offered would be a good idea, they would probably say that it's very unlikely that you would need it but could be a good idea if it gives you peace of mind.
My best result was to take a company to the small claims court for 7K. They didn't bother to defend it and I got judgement in default.
I then had to enforce the judgement and as I knew that the bailiffs would be a waste of time and money I opted to garnishee their bank account which luckily I had the details of and I figured they had money and were simply choosing not to pay me.
The first they knew about it was when they received a letter from the court advising that that their bank had frozen 7K and would be sending it to me unless they could prove that it wasn't owed.
When I returned to court to get the money released the judge said 'so you've hit them for 7K, well done!
The company was wound up not long after and I received a letter from, I think, the receiver asking if I had any griff on the directors and any knowledge of dodgy dealings by them. That's never happened before or since.
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Old 28th Sep 2018, 06:42
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I had two Small Claims cases in Angus, one as the claimant, the other as defendant. Although I easily won both, they were long, drawn out processes, especially as the claimant.

Chasing a debt in Glasgow was more straightforward. I had been put in touch with a very big guy called McKenzie. His tactic was to approach the debtor, explain the situation and give him the phone number of a previous "contact" to call. The debt was paid within two days. Cost a little bit, but "efficient".
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Old 28th Sep 2018, 09:39
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Originally Posted by TURIN View Post
I won my case against a rogue trader. The problem is enforcing it. You have to go through the whole process again. At more expence.
Yes. I sold some car parts to a small company and when the cheque bounced, took 'em to the Small Claims Court. That was in Chichester, the County Town of West Sussex (in which the defendant was located) so not practical to appear at in person (I'm in North Hertfordshire) but I got the judgement so all was well - except that the company concerned disappeared, having not paid so I have nothing to show for it. It was a truly small claim and even with the court fee was not worth spending yet more on enforcement.
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