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Magistrates Court Cost Claim, Help needed on steps for court costs after win
Drei
post Mon, 27 Jan 2014 - 15:20
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I would like to know the correct steps that need to be taken for claiming back court costs after winning a case.

To give some information I have been prosecuted by the police for a traffic violation involving a 3rd party where the 3rd party claimed I hit them then did a run. Lucky I had an accident camera on board so it filmed everything and the CCTV supported my evidence (Person had an accident with no one and I stopped to see if they were OK. Somehow they decided that I was a good claim). The police were very adamant even though I clearly told them that I had evidence plus phone recording of the conversation between me and the 3rd party but still decided to prosecute me. I wanted to make sure I was prepared and would not mess the case up due to a "technicality" so I did employ a legal firm and I paid out of my own pocket. I won the case and was found not guilty of any of the charges (there were 3 of them and I am sure you can imagine which). My lawyer did ask for reimbursement for the legal costs and from what I remember this was agreed upon.

What I would like to know is if a request for reimbursement has been put through from my lawyer aaaand if this has been paid out, by all I know the legal firm has the money and decided to keep it, double the money for them. I will get in touch with the legal firm and ask however last time I did they just told me "it was still in process and these things can take forever". This was a year ago, the hearing was early 2012 so it's pretty much 2 years now. What's the best way in finding out?

Hope you can help.

This post has been edited by Drei: Mon, 27 Jan 2014 - 15:31
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post Mon, 27 Jan 2014 - 15:20
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StuartBu
post Mon, 27 Jan 2014 - 15:33
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Are you saying you paid your legal representatives their fees ( after or before completion of the court case?) and they asked for costs and were awarded them but now you are saying they have kept that money as well...or at least it has not been passed back to you .

I think they are best placed to tell you what happened to the costs but if you did not get a satisfactory response can you contact the Court to ask how this procedure works and if the costs were passed on to your legal team .

If you find that your lawyers have been given the money then perhaps a complaint to the Law Society is appropriate . I doubt they have kept the money and have no intention of giving it to you ...Law Society would take a dim view of that .

This post has been edited by StuartBu: Mon, 27 Jan 2014 - 15:34
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Drei
post Mon, 27 Jan 2014 - 15:39
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I paid for the legal representative, we won the case and she stated to the judge that I paid out of my pocket and that I would like to claim a reimbursement. I heard nothing since 2012 and last year when I asked the firm they said they were still waiting. I just wanna make sure they didn't keep the money and hoping that I would just give up:) and if they didn't get the money yet how can I speed up the process since the court might be hoping I gave up and keep the money. I could really use it and after all no one gives money away for free.

Thanks for the reply, I shall contact the firm and then based on their answer which I bet it is "still waiting on court" I shall contact the court.

This post has been edited by Drei: Mon, 27 Jan 2014 - 15:40
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AFCNEAL
post Mon, 27 Jan 2014 - 16:02
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Did you actually apply for costs after the case? Have you kept a copy?


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The Rookie
post Tue, 28 Jan 2014 - 13:50
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Costs are usually paid within 28 days, either the solicitors didn't apply for costs, or they got them and neglected to reimburse you, either way it is them you need to be badgering.


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TheBeak
post Tue, 28 Jan 2014 - 14:00
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 28 Jan 2014 - 13:50) *
Costs are usually paid within 28 days, either the solicitors didn't apply for costs, or they got them and neglected to reimburse you, either way it is them you need to be badgering.



Agree

Have you made an innocent enquiry of the solicitors to see where the costs applications is? If you don't like waht you hear. come back and ask for some more advice.
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Drei
post Wed, 5 Feb 2014 - 11:52
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Thanks for the info, I will make sure to chase this up with them. This is my last reply from them back in 2012:

"Hope you’re well. I’ve just checked and can confirm that we have not received anything back from the National Taxing Team as yet. This is not unusual, however, and as soon as I hear anything, I will be in touch with you."


This post has been edited by Drei: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 - 11:57
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johnjo42
post Thu, 6 Feb 2014 - 00:30
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 28 Jan 2014 - 13:50) *
Costs are usually paid within 28 days.

I'm afraid that this is simply not the case. There are two types of Defence costs orders, those payable out of central funds and those payable by the police or CPS. 99% are the former.


Costs payable out of central funds are subject to assessment by the National Taxing Team and it takes about 3 months form the submission of a long and complicated form. I've done several!


And the amount recoverable is now limited to the amount that would have been paid to your solicitor if you'd had legal aid. Now usually less than 25% unless the Taxing Team can be persuaded that the case was exceptional. I've never succeeded.


So you need to check with your solicitor as to whether a defence costs order was made and if so what steps he's taken to recover them
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Drei
post Fri, 7 Feb 2014 - 09:09
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This is the letter the legal team sent out see attached.
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The Rookie
post Fri, 7 Feb 2014 - 09:11
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When was it sent? Have they chased it up at all?


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Drei
post Fri, 7 Feb 2014 - 09:16
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End May 2012:) and they chased it up once before end of 2012, they said they will chase it up again now.

I would imagine there is nothing I can do, no chasing from my side as the lawyers have to do it?
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johnjo42
post Fri, 7 Feb 2014 - 13:01
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QUOTE (Drei @ Fri, 7 Feb 2014 - 09:16) *
I would imagine there is nothing I can do, no chasing from my side as the lawyers have to do it?

You could contact the National Taxing team yourself but the best option is for you to keep onto your solicitor about it as something has clearly gone wrong. If you don't get a satisfactory answer write a letter of complaint to the senior partner.
JJ
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Drei
post Mon, 10 Feb 2014 - 14:33
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QUOTE (johnjo42 @ Fri, 7 Feb 2014 - 13:01) *
QUOTE (Drei @ Fri, 7 Feb 2014 - 09:16) *
I would imagine there is nothing I can do, no chasing from my side as the lawyers have to do it?

You could contact the National Taxing team yourself but the best option is for you to keep onto your solicitor about it as something has clearly gone wrong. If you don't get a satisfactory answer write a letter of complaint to the senior partner.
JJ



Thanks mate will do that but frankly I rather get the answer from the National Taxing team just in case these guys did get the money. If this is the case I will be happy just to know and never use them again. It could be a simply matter that they have their money from me and they couldn't care less to try and get back whatever they could for the client:) After all it is so much easy to take money than give money no?
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Drei
post Mon, 4 Aug 2014 - 10:01
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Sorry to revive this old thread but still no money received or an answer, I just mailed the National Taxing:

To whom it may concern,

I would like to find out the latest information in regards to my court reimbursement. I have attached the letter from my legal representative which was sent at the time. As you can imagine quite some time have passed and I am still out of pocket.

Kind regards,


Maybe I should have not said the out of pocket but am quite annoyed.

My court case was Me vs CPS so shouldn't the lawyer get the money from the CPS instead of the national found? At the end of the day isn't there any way to get them to pay up? The whole case was a shamble, witness statement contradicting themselves and I had a video camera which filmed the whole incident. The CPS decided I was an easy target, they did not investigate anything nor did they care when I mentioned I had video evidence. Considering the amount of time that has passed could I not apply for reimbursement from the CPS plus 2 years interest etc via the small courts claims?
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Drei
post Mon, 4 Aug 2014 - 10:57
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Never-mind, the National Taxing Office was very prompt in their reply below:

This claim was paid to the solicitors on 20th August 2012. Please contact them to arrange your reimbursement. If your solicitors need any information then they can contact me on the number below

Another lessons learned, solicitors... never trust them and chase them up for anything you are due. My mistake was that I trusted them to the point of stupidity and left it in their hands until my missus started asking where the money was again. She paid for it at the time... bless her:) but she wants her money back and I kept putting it off as I assumed the check was o it's way at any time.
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the_devil
post Mon, 4 Aug 2014 - 11:20
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You may wish to suggest to the Solicitors that since the money has been sitting in their client account since August 2012 they might wish to pay you the interest.
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Drei
post Mon, 4 Aug 2014 - 15:30
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I think I rather just close the book on this, get the money pay the missus and put it all behind me.
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thisisntme
post Mon, 4 Aug 2014 - 16:00
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QUOTE (Drei @ Mon, 4 Aug 2014 - 16:30) *
I think I rather just close the book on this, get the money pay the missus and put it all behind me.


They have sat on the money for 2 years and ignored you. I would be wanting interest at the very least and considering taking it to the Law Society as they have clearly told you porkies. How many more will/have they do/done this to?

This post has been edited by thisisntme: Mon, 4 Aug 2014 - 16:01


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jaykay
post Mon, 4 Aug 2014 - 22:56
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Put the solicitors on the spot by ringing them about the money, ie when are they going to chase it.

They can either deny they have it, complaint to law society - or confirm they have had it for some time, complaint to law society.

Lawyers get away with this sort of thing all the time because most people are scared of them.

As I have learnt over the last few years there are a significant number of lawyers (in New Zealand, but I would suspect the UK as well) who completely abuse their special position.

One lawyer I have had dealings with has been struck off, another one has not renewed his practicing certificate, another one has tried to sue me for 35000 pounds (purely vexatious) and has run out of time to proceed. Another one claimed I owed 60,000 pounds which was a complete fabrication. I have made a number of complaints to try and stop them doing it to other people.

Remembering of course lawyers don't tell lies - they just make submissions!


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johnjo42
post Tue, 5 Aug 2014 - 12:30
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If you will recall I advised you to keep on to the solicitors about it. The problem is that you have let this drift on for too long. Also, are you sure that money is due back to you?
You should send a formal letter of complaint addressed to the senior partner, in moderate tones, setting out the facts and what you are unhappy about. If you are still dissatisfied, you may be able to complain further to the Legal Ombudsman although they may say you have waited too long.
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