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Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

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Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

Post by Bookworm on Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:48 pm

Hello everyone.  Smile

I have (or had) an active thread on the old 'Get Out of Debt' site. I logged on the other day in order to update my thread (things have been quiet for a few months as we awaited a court date etc.) and to my surprise...  Shocked

Well anyway, the trail was still warm and lead me here - and so here I am, with a further query..!


A brief re-cap:

07/02/17 - CCJ form received pertaining to an alleged debt (circa £5k) - Hoist Portfolio Holdings/Howard Cohen

08/02/17 - CPR18 letter sent to Hoist, and CCA Request to Cohen.

01/03/17 - Defence submitted to County Court Business Centre (on time)

06/04/17- Notice of Proposed Allocation to Small Claims Track

We (I say we - the alleged debt is my Partner's; but I'm doing the leg-work on her behalf) agreed to the option of 'Mediation'; but in the absence of any response from the Claimant there wasn't anything to mediate, so the case was allocated to our local County Court.

In June 2017 we received 'Notice of Allocation to the Small Claims Track' - a date for a hearing at our local County Court set for November 2017.

The notice also contained this paragraph:

"Unless the claimant does by [date and time] pay to the court the trial fee of £xxx.xx or file a properly completed application (i.e one which provides all the information in the manner requested) for help with fees, then the claim will be struck out with effect from xx October 2017 without further order and, unless the court orders otherwise, you will also be liable for the costs which the defendant has incurred."

Bringing things right up to date; earlier this week, my Partner received a letter from Howard Cohen, stating:

"Following the issue of the Claim against you, our client has instructed us to discontinue the Claim with the Court.
Please therefore find enclosed by way of service upon you a Notice of Discontinuance. We will also be notifying the Court that the Claim has been discontinued accordingly. Please be advised that our client has now permanently closed your account and no further action is required on your part
."

In light of this latest development; I guess I'd like to know whether there's any further action that you would advise my partner to take to ensure that this matter can not be re-awoken at any future juncture.

In time, of course, the alleged debt will be Statute Barred; however, until that time it would be nice to know that it can not be resurrected and we can finally put this matter to bed.

As usual, thanks in advance for any advice, and to those whose advice has got us this far in the first place!

Bookworm
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Re: Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

Post by Tiggy on Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:08 pm

@Bookworm wrote:Hello everyone.  Smile

I have (or had) an active thread on the old 'Get Out of Debt' site. I logged on the other day in order to update my thread (things have been quiet for a few months as we awaited a court date etc.) and to my surprise...  Shocked

Well anyway, the trail was still warm and lead me here - and so here I am, with a further query..!


A brief re-cap:

07/02/17 - CCJ form received pertaining to an alleged debt (circa £5k) - Hoist Portfolio Holdings/Howard Cohen

08/02/17 - CPR18 letter sent to Hoist, and CCA Request to Cohen.

01/03/17 - Defence submitted to County Court Business Centre (on time)

06/04/17- Notice of Proposed Allocation to Small Claims Track

We (I say we - the alleged debt is my Partner's; but I'm doing the leg-work on her behalf) agreed to the option of 'Mediation'; but in the absence of any response from the Claimant there wasn't anything to mediate, so the case was allocated to our local County Court.

In June 2017 we received 'Notice of Allocation to the Small Claims Track' - a date for a hearing at our local County Court set for November 2017.

The notice also contained this paragraph:

"Unless the claimant does by [date and time] pay to the court the trial fee of £xxx.xx or file a properly completed application (i.e one which provides all the information in the manner requested) for help with fees, then the claim will be struck out with effect from xx October 2017 without further order and, unless the court orders otherwise, you will also be liable for the costs which the defendant has incurred."

Bringing things right up to date; earlier this week, my Partner received a letter from Howard Cohen, stating:

"Following the issue of the Claim against you, our client has instructed us to discontinue the Claim with the Court.
Please therefore find enclosed by way of service upon you a Notice of Discontinuance. We will also be notifying the Court that the Claim has been discontinued accordingly. Please be advised that our client has now permanently closed your account and no further action is required on your part
."

In light of this latest development; I guess I'd like to know whether there's any further action that you would advise my partner to take to ensure that this matter can not be re-awoken at any future juncture.

In time, of course, the alleged debt will be Statute Barred; however, until that time it would be nice to know that it can not be resurrected and we can finally put this matter to bed.

As usual, thanks in advance for any advice, and to those whose advice has got us this far in the first place!

There's actually very little you could do, it's possible you could take out an injunction but I really, really could never recommend that.

If they decided to resurrect the claim they would have to apply to the Court for permission and I've not heard of them doing so.

I've had a number of cases discontinued and all now have passed their statute barred date.

Tiggy
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Re: Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

Post by assassin on Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:53 am

Claim your costs.
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Re: Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

Post by Bookworm on Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:36 am

Thanks for the replies - that sounds very reassuring, Tiggy - thanks again for your assistance to-date. I've learned a lot.

I guess we just await notification from the Court that the claimant has discontinued the claim.

As for costs, we haven't really incurred any in real-terms. Nice 'Mog by the way, Assassin Smile

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Re: Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

Post by Bookworm on Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:12 pm

Notification from the County Court in the post today:

Upon the claimant having failed to comply with paragraph 1 of the order...
(see my post above)

It is ordered that the claim shall be struck out.


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Re: Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

Post by Tiggy on Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:19 pm

@Bookworm wrote:Notification from the County Court in the post today:

Upon the claimant having failed to comply with paragraph 1 of the order...
(see my post above)

It is ordered that the claim shall be struck out.

Interesting, does the date of that order pre date the date of their discontinuance lodged with the Court? If so, that's it, claim struck out, they can't restart proceedings.

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Re: Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

Post by assassin on Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:47 pm

If you have spent time it has a value, you are paid hourly or weekly by an employer, you have the costs of postage and the time and fuel as well as any parking to go and post the letters.

They charge a rate for their time, they charge a rate for every letter posted, they charge for attending your property, so you are entitled to do the same, it also shows you mean business.
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Re: Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

Post by Tiggy on Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:03 pm

@assassin wrote:If you have spent time it has a value, you are paid hourly or weekly by an employer, you have the costs of postage and the time and fuel as well as any parking to go and post the letters.

They charge a rate for their time, they charge a rate for every letter posted, they charge for attending your property, so you are entitled to do the same, it also shows you mean business.
You can't claim costs against a discontinued claim once the claim has been allocated to the small claims track, you would have to file a completely separate claim.

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Re: Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

Post by Bookworm on Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:05 pm

@Tiggy wrote:
Interesting, does the date of that order pre date the date of their discontinuance lodged with the Court?  If so, that's it, claim struck out, they can't restart proceedings.

I can only suppose that the claim was struck out before Cohen's request for a discontinuance was lodged with the Court.
I received Cohen's correspondence yesterday (19th), and the 'General Form of Judgment or Order' from the Court is dated 18th.

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Re: Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

Post by assassin on Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:07 am

It depends on the court Tiggy, often they give you the option of costs being awarded at the time of striking out, but as always it depends upon us not knowing the full circumstances.
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Re: Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

Post by Tiggy on Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:15 am

@assassin wrote:It depends on the court Tiggy, often they give you the option of costs being awarded at the time of striking out, but as always it depends upon us not knowing the full circumstances.
I'm talking about a discontinuance not a striking out. If the claim has been allocated to the small claims track and has been discontinued, then there is no liability for costs.

Liability for costs
38.6
(1) Unless the court orders otherwise, a claimant who discontinues is liable for the costs which a defendant against whom the claimant discontinues incurred on or before the date on which notice of discontinuance was served on the defendant.
(2) If proceedings are only partly discontinued –
(a) the claimant is liable under paragraph (1) for costs relating only to the part of the proceedings which he is discontinuing; and
(b) unless the court orders otherwise, the costs which the claimant is liable to pay must not be assessed until the conclusion of the rest of the proceedings.
(3) This rule does not apply to claims allocated to the small claims track.

(Rule 44.9 provides for the basis of assessment where the right to costs arises on discontinuance and contains provisions about when a costs order is deemed to have been made and applying for an order under section 194(3) of the Legal Services Act 2007)

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Re: Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

Post by joedalton on Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:18 pm

Great news Bookworm, it gives us all a real boost to hear success stories such as yours.

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Re: Notice of Discontinuance - Court Hearing for Alleged Debt.

Post by assassin on Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:20 am

We know what the rules say Tiggy, unfortunately there are major inconsistencies ranging from judge to judge, there seems to be a number who will award costs if those involved in court and not award if there are none in court, it varies if it is being treated as an administrative function and if it is a company and an individual (non corporate) involved.

We all need to be aware of these inconsistencies and the fact that a large number of these judges simply ignore the rules they are bound by.
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