The court decided the case without me – what can I do?

legal updates

The absent party first learns of the court session when they either receive the judgment from the court or are informed that there is a default on their credit file.

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.

This scenario generally occurs when a court hearing has gone ahead and one of the involved parties was oblivious to it happening. This may happen because the party did not receive paperwork from the court giving the hearing date and time. Sometimes though, it can happen if someone is stuck in traffic or arrives late for some other reason. 

And so, one party rocks up to the court, either physically or remotely, and gets a judgment in their favour, seemingly on the grounds of mere attendance rather than on any merit.

The absent party first learns of the court session when they either receive the judgment from the court or are informed that there is a default on their credit file.

What then can the absent party do?

If the matter is a Small Claim (generally under £10,000), one has to look to Civil Procedure Rule 27.11.

This rule allows the party who did not attend, is not represented, and did not ask for the case to be determined purely “on the papers” alone, to apply to the court to have the judgment set aside and obtain a full hearing.

HOWEVER, this can only be actioned if the application to set aside is completed on form N244 and submitted within 14 days of the court having deemed to have served the absent party with the judgment. A non-refundable fee of £255 also needs to be paid.

The court will hold a short session to hear any objections to the application from the party that was present at the first hearing. The court will then decide whether to set aside the judgment originally given and allow the case to be heard in full.

There is a general presumption the court will favour allowing a set aside/hearing under CPR 27.11. Perhaps because the absent party has at least made some prior effort in sending their documents to the court on time and should be given the benefit of any doubt.

This procedure is different to when a Judgment in Default is given because a Defendant has failed to send either their Acknowledgement of Service or defence to the court in the allotted time. The application form and the fee to set aside/seek a hearing are the same but CPR 27.11 cannot be used.  There is no 14-days limit, but the Defendant must satisfy the court that they made the application promptly. They must also convince the court that their defence has a reasonable prospect of succeeding. Both of these criteria – from the writer’s own experience – tend to be more open to scrutiny by the judge in the circumstances of a Judgement in Default having been granted than when applying to set aside a judgment given for failure to turn up to a hearing.

InvolutionSTAFF UNIFORM | PROMOTIONAL WEAR | MERCHANDISE | BUSINESS GIFTS

Leading experts in print, promotional clothing, staff uniforms, branded merchandise and PPE. Involution is your brand partner for promotional marketing and workwear, a one-stop-shop for your branded marketing needs for any business size and industry.

That said, proclaiming “I forgot.”, “I had COVID and was isolating.”, or the dog ate the court documents are unlikely to be persuasive. Don’t lie though. Perjury, followed by prison, is not ideal.

Jason WilliamsLegal AdvisorRead More by this author

Related Legal Updates

Court management service raises money for charity

Members can leave the legal worries to us and can focus on their core business of selling vehicles, running their service and repair garages, and/or MOT testing centres.

The law is not an exact science

We have all had surefire winners fail due to the smallest issue, but equally, we have all won cases that we had no right to.

Introduction of Small Claims Paper Determination Pilot Scheme

If you receive or issue a court claim which is subject to the pilot scheme, preparation of your claim or defence and statements will be crucial.

The real difference between claims under and over £10k

Litigation isn’t always just about having a strong argument, there are many factors that can help you win a case and reduce your risk.

See you in court… in a year or so…

Before deciding to issue or defend proceedings, it is important to consider how court delays may impact you as a business and as an individual.

Winning cases in court

The factors for the court to decide are: whether the breach was serious, why it occurred, and all other circumstances.

What’s in a name anyway?

Client was left with a completely unenforceable judgment that was many months old.

Get in touch

Complete the form to get in touch or via our details below:

Phone
01480 455500
Address

Vinpenta House
High Causeway
Whittlesey
Peterborough
PE7 1AE

By submitting this quote you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.