Once is possible. Twice is coincidence. Three times is worrying. But we now have had a trio of recent incidences where clients have submitted defences, written by us, seemingly not received by Northampton County Court.
We accept that this Court, which is responsible for initially dealing with all the Money Claim Online Claims, must receive hundreds of items in the post every day. Our clients can prove that they posted their defences but in each case the failure of them being delivered, or perhaps not being attended to promptly, has meant a Judgment in Default being recorded against them.
Naturally, we are helping our clients apply to set those judgments aside (without having to pay the usual £80 fee) and we will have to see how this progresses.
Accordingly, we may take the view that lodging a defence online may be a necessary precaution as well as sending it via the post. However, as online forms are notoriously restrictive insofar as the number of words you can submit, this may cause difficulty when defences run to several pages as they sometimes can and/or where there is the need to attach supporting documents.
Anything you do send to a court should be sent with at least proof of postage. Recorded delivery may seem better but if it turns up on a Saturday it may be left at the post office for collection so may not be as ideal as first envisaged.
We’ll monitor progress and report back to you, hopefully with slightly more encouraging news.