ConsumerWiki - Application For Costs

From Consumer Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

Application for costs

Have you submitted your court bundle, then the bank have settled at the last minute just before the court date?

Although costs are strictly limited in the small claims track, there is a provision which allows them to be awarded against a party who has "behaved unreasonably". See here for rules governing costs on the small claims track - CPR PART 27.14


It is therefore perfectly feasable to request that costs be awarded on the basis that the Defendant has had months to offer and arrange a settlement if it had wished to, but instead chose to rebut or ignore all attempts at meaningful dialogue, file a template defence and then an AQ, delay and frustrate whenever possible, only to finally settle at the last minute after you had been already incurred losses by way of costs of letters, stationary, bundle preparation time, etc.


The fact that hundreds of other claims against the same defendant's have followed the exact same path will only add weight to this as well.

If you wish to pursue this, draw up a breakdown of your costs/expenses in preparing your case at the "litigant in Person" rate of £9.25p/h, plus £6.75 per letter, plus any stationary. Try to particularise everything as accurately as you can, and include receipts where possible.

You should try requesting that these costs are included when the bank's solicitors offer to settle the claim.

If they refuse, which is probably likely, tell them that in that case you will apply to the court for them instead.

You then have two choices. You can send in a letter and make an informal request for a costs order, or you can make a formal application on an N244


Informal request

This method is much less hassle than the formal method. Basically when your claim is settled you just submit the letter with the draft order and schedule of costs and request that the judge considers it. He may order it, he may not - however it goes you haven't lost anything so its worth a try.

We have had some success using this method, but most judges don't seem to want to consider it without a proper application.

If you want to go the informal route, here's a letter you should send to the court, along with the attachments which are linked. It also doubles as a "claim settled" letter - See here:Wasted Costs

Formal application on N244

You are far more likely to be successful by making a proper application. However, it will cost you £35 and you may get called to an application hearing. Below is the application I submitted.

You need an N.244

N244 Form

Fill it out like this -

Top left hand box:

1. Tick c), without a hearing

Ignore 2, 3 and 4

5. District or Deputy District

6. Defendant

Top right hand box:

The claim details, todays date.

Part A:

I ***** (the claimant)

(that....) awards costs in favour of the Claimant and against the Defendant in respect of the claim as detailed above, pursuant to CPR 27.14(2)(d)

(because....) It is submitted that the Defendants unreasonable conduct as detailed in part C, has put the Claimant, as well as the court, to unnecessary costs.

Part B:

tick 'evidance in part C' box

Part C:

Please Find the following evidence attached in support of this application;

1) Part C Statement (see below)

2) Proposed draft order (see below)

3) Schedule of costs

4) Sample list of settled claims

5) Copy of order made by Lincoln County Court

6) Hackney LBC -v- Mullen [1997 2 A11ER 906]

7) Statement of Judge David Mackie QC

8. Anything else you have which demonstates the bank's unreasonable conduct or otherwise supports your application

N244 Part C Statement

Here's the suggested Part C statement;

Claim Number: *******

In the XXXXXXX County Court

Between:


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (Claimant)


And



XXXXXXXX BANK PLC (Defendant)

_____________________


APPLICATION FOR COSTS


PART C STATEMENT

_____________________


1. I, the Claimant, make this statement in support of my application for an order of costs to be made in my favour and against the defendant in the above claim.

2. Notwithstanding that this claim is allocated to the small claims track, I apply for an order of costs under CPR 27.14(2)(d), upon the basis that the defendant has behaved unreasonably. The specific allegations of unreasonable conduct are set out in this statement.

The Defendant’s conduct in the present case

3. Prior to the commencement of this litigation, my initial correspondences to the bank were met with outright refusals to discuss this matter on any meaningful level. All attempts to initiate dialogue, narrow the issues or otherwise reach an amicable resolution were either ignored completely, or rebutted with pre-formulated template letters, with no regard for the pre-action behaviours set down by the Civil Procedure Rules.

4. Upon receipt of the claim form, the Defendant chose to file an acknowledgement of service indicating an intention to defend the claim in its entirety.

5. The Defendant breached the deadline for filing its defence, which was 16th February. Although I was then entitled to file for Judgement in Default, I did not consider this course of action to be beneficial to my interests or indeed those of the court. The Defendant has routinely applied to set-aside such judgements in many similar cases and therefore, I considered that applying for judgement would lead to further delays and would ultimately be a waste of time and expense.

6. Instead a letter was sent to the defendant’s solicitor dated 17th February, by fax on the same date and also with a copy by first class post. This letter was followed up with a telephone call to the Defendant’s solicitor on 23rd February. The response was that they could not say when or indeed if a defence would be filed, as the solicitor was awaiting their client’s instruction. The member of staff also refused to retrieve the case file and further refused to discuss the claim.

7. Another letter was sent to the defendant’s solicitor by fax and post on 25th February, which gave a final deadline to file a defence, after which I would file for judgement in default. This letter was again followed up with a telephone call, and again the response was that they could not discuss my claim because they were awaiting their client’s instruction.

8. The defendant filed its defence on **/**/**. I believe that this defence is a pre-formulated template, and is used without modification or adjustment in each and every claim of this nature. It does not comply with CPR part 16.5 in that it does not respond to each allegation contained within the particulars of claim. It is submitted that this template defence is a flagrant abuse of court process and an insult to the Overriding Objectives.

9. My allocation questionnaire and attachments were filed on**/**/**. A copy of the same was also served to the Defendant’s solicitor by first class post on the same date. In a covering letter it was requested that, as a courtesy, a copy of the Defendant’s allocation questionnaire be sent out likewise. This did not receive a response.

10. The Defendant in its Allocation Questionnaire requested a stay in proceedings indicating an intention to settle the matter. The Court granted a stay in its order dated [date]. Despite its stated intent, Defendant attempted no contact whatsoever during the period of the stay. Further, I contacted the defendant by way of a letter on **/**/**, and then a further letter on **/**/**, in attempt to initiate the dialogue for which the stay was intended. Unfortunately, this correspondence was not afforded the courtesy of a response. Please find copies of these letters attached.

11. This claim was allocated to the small claims track on **/**/**. Directions were given by District Judge XXXXXXXX, who ordered that Witness Statements and evidence were to be submitted by **/**/**. My evidence was filed and served accordingly. The Defendant breached this order, and to date has still not served any documents whatsoever.

12. A credit was made to my account on the day of/two days before/one week before the hearing, **/**/**, by the Defendant, which presumably is intended as settlement of this claim. This payment was unsolicited and no communication or notification of this has been received as to what this payment represents. The payment is seemingly a random figure and does not appear to represent the full amount owed in charges, or to consider the claim for interest or reimbursement of fees.

13. It is submitted that the Defendant has behaved wholly unreasonably in this claim, and has displayed brinksmanship and intransigence both prior to and during litigation which has made any form cooperation or communication completely impossible. The defendant has allowed this claim to be dragged through over X months of stressful and intimidating litigation at considerable expense to my health and well being, only to deposit a random sum of money into my bank account on the day/two days before/one week before the hearing is due to take place.

Defendant’s well established and notorious conduct in similar cases

14. There have now been well over 300 cases of identical nature brought against the Defendant in the last 12 months. The pattern described in paragraphs 3 – 12 above is typical of all of them, and to date the defendant has not defended a single claim at final hearing or trial. A sample list of these claims, including their claim numbers, is attached. Further claim numbers or other such details can be provided upon the courts request.

15. In view of the pattern of hundreds of settled cases, it is a reasonable and entirely logical inference to draw that the Defendant is using court process as a means of intimidation in order to dissuade its customers from pursuing legitimate complaints. It is almost inconceivable that the defendant ever had a genuine intention of contesting this claim, or any other similar claim.

16. Please find attached a copy of an order made by Lincoln County court in at least 6 cases similar to my own, in which Lloyds TSB Bank Plc was also the defendant.

17. The court considered the authority of Hackney London Borough Council –v- Mullen (1997)2 A11ER 906 to be relevant. The full text judgement of this case is attached. If this honourable court also considers the authority relevant, I would respectfully request that the court applies its ‘special knowledge’ of the defendant’s established and notorious conduct in similar cases when considering an order of costs in the present case.

Overriding Objectives

18. It is submitted that the defendant’s conduct in relation to the present case, as well as all other claims of this nature, is flagrantly abusive of the public resource, and further, contrary to almost all of the Overriding Objective’s of the Civil Procedure Rules.

19. The defendant is a multi-national financial institution, to whom the costs associated with pursuing or defending a claim, or multiple claims, through the county courts is insignificant. My costs incurred in pursuing this claim and navigating the procedural obstacles placed by the defendant in the path to obtaining a just remedy have been significant, and represent a substantial proportion of the amount finally recovered as a result of this action. It seems inconceivable that the defendant ever intended to defend this claim at trial, and it is clear from the pattern of settled cases that it intended to settle at the last minute from the very outset. Accordingly, I believe that it is entirely just that it should bare these costs.

Order sought

20. The Claimant respectfully requests that an order of costs be made in favour of the Claimant in the sum of £***, representing the total cost of pursuing this action to date, and as particularised in the attached schedule.

21.In the alternative, in the event of the non-attendance of the Defendant, the Claimant respectfully requests that an order may be made as per the draft attached, which gives the defendant the opportunity to respond to these allegations in advance of the courts final decision on the issue of costs.


I, the Claimant, believe all facts stated in this statement to be true.

Signed:

XXXXXXXXXXX, on this [date].


PLEASE NOTE: The blue parts are EXAMPLES only and may not apply to your claim. If not, replace them with your own information if possible which documents examples of unreasonable or uncooperative behaviour in your own particular claim. Keep it concise and to the point, and maintain the chronogical order of events.

Draft Order

This is the Draft Order to attach:

Claim Number: *******

In the XXXXX County Court

Between:


XXXXXXXXXXX (Claimant)


And



XXXXXXX BANK PLC (Defendant)


_______________


DRAFT ORDER

_______________

IT IS ORDERED THAT

1. Hearing of **/**/** be vacated.

2. Defendant be permitted to reply to the claimants application, a copy of which is attached to this order, in writing to the court and the claimant by [7 days].

3. Claimant be permitted to respond (if so advised) to the defendant’s reply referred to in clause 2 of this order by [14 days].

4. Court to issue a written decision following compliance with clause 3 of this order.



All you need then is your schedule of costs - plus you should also file a nitice of discontinuance at the same time. There's one here -

Notice of Discontinuance

Take 3 copies of everything to the court along with the £35 fee. As I understand it the court will serve the application to the defendant, but its worth checking that this is definately the case. If not, take a copy back and serve it yourself.

Personal tools