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Consultation on Default County Court Judgments (and where claims had been sent to an old address)
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post Sat, 30 Dec 2017 - 12:48
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The following is taken from the Overview of the Consultation:

QUOTE
We are interested in your views as to the effectiveness and appropriateness of the current processes for money claims issued in the county court. Of particular interest, will be views from respondents on limiting the circumstances in which an individual may have a judgment made in default against them without their knowledge.

In the light of responses to this consultation, the Government will consider whether any changes are needed to the current arrangements and ask the Civil Procedure Rules Committee, which govern processes in the civil courts, to consider any changes.

Any changes to current procedures, following consultation, would inevitably apply to all money claims, whether they arise from, say, a claim for lack of payment for a new fridge or television or are brought by a parking company seeking to enforce a parking infringement on private land. Both use the same process. Respondents sharing their experiences with us are therefore requested to make clear the type of claim they are referring to.

The paper is aimed in particular at those who have had experience of County Court judgments, whether as defendants or claimants, and bodies representing the interests of claimants or defendants, but responses will be welcome from anyone interested in the subject matter.


https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-comm...rt-judgments-2/

PS: A copy of the Consultation paper can be accessed by scrolling to the bottom of the page in the above link.

This post has been edited by Fredd: Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 13:53
Reason for edit: Broken link fixed
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post Sat, 30 Dec 2017 - 12:48
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The Rookie
post Sat, 30 Dec 2017 - 16:45
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About time to.....

I’ve always had an issue with the 14 days, people go on holiday for longer than that and 21 or 28 would seem more sensible (even if you limit that to just private defendants).

The wilful use of old addresses without making checks, sometimes 4-5 years out of date is also totally unacceptable.


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anon45
post Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 12:32
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The consultation seems to be more about getting favourable Daily Mail headlines than actually solving the problem, and appears to be written under the presumption that all claimants are pursuing legitimate debts in an ethical and legitimate manner, which we all know is not necessarily the case with PPCs.

The only real proposed change is to allow a debtor to get a default CCJ removed rather than be marked as 'satisfied' if they pay it (and the set-aside fee) as soon as they become aware of it, although even then, a defendant is out of pocket by the amount of the set aside fee compared with the situation if the claim form had been sent to the correct address and been paid promptly.

The proposed changes do nothing to address the issue of PPCs deliberately or recklessly sending claim forms to an old address in the hope of getting a default judgment (and often deliberately delaying a claim for almost six years in the cynical hope of maximising the chances of a default judgment, with 8% statutory interest added), and then immediately seeking to enforce the judgment by the threat of bailiffs or HCEOs at the defendant's correct address, even at a time when the motorist is trying to get judgment set aside.

Nor do the proposed changes do anything to address the injustice faced by a defendant who denies the alleged debt, but who nevertheless received a default CCJ owing to court papers being sent to the wrong address, and who faces a £255 fee just to apply to get judgment set aside.

There have been many changes where defendants have suffered serious detriment when applying for mortgages owing to the presence of an unknown PPC CCJ. Furthermore, some judges are remarkably reluctant to grant set-aside applications, treating them as being appeals (without giving the motorist a full chance to see the claim and associated evidence when defending) and/ or assuming Beavis automatically makes all PPC claims enforceable, and erroneously denying the set-aside on the mistaken belief that the defence "has no reasonable prospects of success".

Even where a set-aside is granted, the PPC often discontinues the cynical and opportunistic claim, leaving the motorist £255 out of pocket (often more than would have been the case if they paid the vexatious default judgment).

I would suggest a change to Civil Procedure Rules on deemed service of documents to provide that, where:
1) a claim form is sent to an address which is not a valid current address for service the time the claim is made;
2) the defendant accordingly never receives the claim form;
3) default judgment is applied for by the claimant and entered by the court;
4) the defendant subsequently becomes aware of the CCJ and, upon becoming so aware, makes a prompt and timely application to set judgment aside based on the above facts, supported by a statement of truth made under penalty of perjury, and;
5) the court is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, of the above;
6) the set-aside should be automatic on the grounds of non-service, and the costs associated with the set aside should be awarded against the claimant

In the alternative to the automatic awarding of costs against the claimant;
1) the set-aside should be automatic, with costs 'reserved' subject to the proviso that, if the claim is discontinued or defeated, the cost of the set-aside application as originally borne by the defendant shall be automatically ordered to be payable by the claimant to the defendant, unless the court orders otherwise, and;
2) in any case, the court shall have power to order that the cost of the set-aside application, and any associated costs, be payable forthwith by the claimant to the defendant, irrespective of the subsequent success (or settlement) of the claim, if the court is satisfied that the claimant did not take reasonable steps to ascertain the correctness of the defendant's address at the time of making the claim.

This post has been edited by anon45: Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 19:33
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Fredd
post Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 13:57
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QUOTE (anon45 @ Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 12:32) *
The consultation seems to be more about getting favourable Daily Mail headlines than actually solving the problem, and appears to be written under the presumption that all claimants are pursuing legitimate debts in an ethical and legitimate manner, which we all know is not necessarily the case with PPCs.

The only real proposed change.........................

Telling us what we already know does a lot less good than completing the consultation survey just might, if you haven't done so already.


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Churchmouse
post Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 18:03
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Link's still broken.

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anon45
post Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 18:32
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QUOTE (Fredd @ Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 13:57) *
QUOTE (anon45 @ Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 12:32) *
The consultation seems to be more about getting favourable Daily Mail headlines than actually solving the problem, and appears to be written under the presumption that all claimants are pursuing legitimate debts in an ethical and legitimate manner, which we all know is not necessarily the case with PPCs.

The only real proposed change.........................

Telling us what we already know does a lot less good than completing the consultation survey just might, if you haven't done so already.

I certainly will do, well before the closing date of 21st February, (and encourage others to do the same), but wished to post the gist of my intended response on this forum to see if anyone had anything to criticise or add (as well as to provide a summary for the benefit of anyone who is too lazy to read the consultation).

A new link is here: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-comm...rt-judgments-2/

This post has been edited by anon45: Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 19:34
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cp8759
post Wed, 3 Jan 2018 - 23:42
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QUOTE (anon45 @ Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 12:32) *
The consultation seems to be more about getting favourable Daily Mail headlines than actually solving the problem, and appears to be written under the presumption that all claimants are pursuing legitimate debts in an ethical and legitimate manner, which we all know is not necessarily the case with PPCs.

I entirely agree with your point, the problem is that there are unfortunately debtors who resort to all sorts of underhand tactics to avoid debts, including pretending that all correspondence was lost in the post, returning correspondence marked as "not known at this address", pretending their business has been "sold" to some third party, the list goes on. Ultimately the system needs to work fairly for those who are pursuing legitimate claims as well, so there is no simple answer.

On balance, I find the current system fair, especially considering that all businesses claiming money from individuals now have to follow the new Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/pdf/protocols/pre-action-protocol-for-debt-claims.pdf)


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
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