Reasonable time to respond


The court will take into account non-compliance when giving directions for the management of proceedings.

Author: Polly Davies
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 3 years old.

Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down

This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.

The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.

The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.

Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.

If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.

All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.

Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.

We disagreed with a customer who told us of a fault with a vehicle for which she said we were liable. 

Following some emails, she sent us a letter stating her intention to take us to court if we did not provide a satisfactory response within 30 days.  Just over two weeks later we offered to collect the car from her chosen garage but she informed us she had already instructed them to repair it and expected us to cover the cost.  As we had responded within her given time frame of 30 days will this go against her in court?

Before commencing proceedings in the Small Claims Court, the Civil Procedure Rules require that the parties exchange sufficient information to understand each other’s position.  You told her prior to her letter before action you didn’t accept liability which was your position.  Her next step was to instigate proceedings.  The CPR considers 14 days to be a ‘reasonable’ time for a defendant to respond in a straightforward case.  She asked you to respond within thirty days and in the event did not wait that time to receive your response.  The court will take into account non-compliance when giving directions for the management of proceedings.  The court will consider whether all parties have complied with pre-action conduct requirements and is not likely to be concerned with minor or technical infringements.  However, if the court does decide there has been a failure of compliance by either party they can apply sanctions which may include an award at a lower rate than would otherwise for example.  

Polly Davies

Legal Advisor

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

You can contact us via the form or you can call us on 01480 455500.