Directions Non-Compliance Letters
Some banks are getting very sloppy lately and are missing deadlines left right and centre, particularly orders to submit their court documents.
It has become clear that ringing to chase them up is fairly pointless and perhaps even counter-productive - in most cases they'll just give you the run-around.
Instead, if they breach an order to submit documents, it is suggested that a better way of chasing them is by letter.
By doing so you have something to show to the court to document the abusive way they conduct their litigation, plus you don't have to suffer the rudeness and sheer arrogance of (most of, not all) the Sechiari staff as you do when you ring them.
Firstly, on the day their deadline expires (or as soon as possible after), send SC&M the following letter enclosing a copy of the courts order. If possible, send a copy by fax as well as post, and also send a copy to the court.
[You] –v- [XXX Bank Plc}
Claim No: ********
I write in relation to the claim as detailed above, and specifically the order made by District Judge ******* dated [date].
You were ordered by the court to by [date] file and serve the documents upon which your client intends to rely at the forthcoming hearing. For your reference, a copy of the order to which I refer is enclosed with this letter.
I have, to date, received no such documents and accordingly I hereby request that you do serve upon me these documents at your earliest convenience.
I consider your non-compliance to be particularly unacceptable in view of the fact that you are specialist solicitors representing a large financial institution with vast resources, and feel that your litigation should be conducted in a professional manner befitting of such a prestigious organisation.
Please note that the evidence upon which I intend to rely was both filed and served pursuant to the order of the court on [date].
Should you not comply with the order within 7 days of this letter, I shall write representations directly to the district judge dealing with this claim, to inform the court of your continued non-compliance and invite further order to be made as it sees fit.
I look forward to your prompt response.
Its very unlikely that you'll get a response to this, so after the 7 days have elapsed send the following letter to the court, also enclosing a copy of the above.
District Judge ******
C/O The Court Manager
XXXX County Court
[You] -v- [Your Bank Plc]
I, the Claimant, refer to the claim as detailed above and specifically the order made by district judge ***** dated [date]
I wish to inform the court that the defendant has not complied with the order in that it has not served upon me the evidence, or any such documents, upon which it intends to rely at the forthcoming hearing.
I wrote to the defendant's solicitor on [date] to request that it serve the Defendent's documents at its earliest convenience. I have received no response to this correspondence.
I can confirm that my documents were filed on [date] and served to the Defendant on [date]
It is submitted that the Defendants non-compliance creates a significant imbalance between the parties in light of the forthcoming hearing, which I believe to be contrary to the overriding objective. This imbalance is particularly exacerbated by the fact that the Defendant is represented by specialist solicitors, whereas I am a litigant in person.
Accordingly, it is respectfully suggested that the court may be minded to make an order pursuant to Rule 3.4(2)(c) of the Civil Procedure Rules, or other such order as the court deems just.
Going on the response so far, it seems quite unlikely that the court would go as far as ordering a strike out, but would probably issue another order that they submit the documents by a certain date or else they won't be able to rely on them at the hearing.
In any case, it will give the bank a good kick up the bum and more importantly, it demonstrates to the court that they are not conducting themselves professionally, which in light of the recent orders made in Lincoln can only be a good thing.
Also, if/when they settle, its very important that claimants write to inform the court and drop the claim. We need to do all we can to act properly and keep the courts on our side!