3. Issuing of your Claim
Court proceedings can be issued in one of three ways. Those are:
- The old-fashioned paper method
- Online using Money Claim Online (MCOL)
- Online using the new online court
For further information, you may want to watch our YouTube Presentation: Guide to The Small Claims Court
The old-fashioned paper method
When you wish to issue your claim in the County Court, you will have to complete a Form N1 (Claim Form). The Claim Form when completed should include:
1. Your name and address
2. The name and address of your opponent(s)
3. A brief detail of what your claim is about
4. The value of your claim
In addition to the Claim Form you should also including a Particulars of Claim. Your Particulars can form part of the Claim Form or be a separate document. The Particulars of Claim will form the basis of your claim and will expand on the brief detail you have given in your claim. The Particulars of Claim should include:
1. Full circumstances surrounding your claim
2. Your allegations against your opponent
3. The remedy that you seek.
Your Particulars of Claim will also include a Statement of Truth which will be signed by you to confirm that the facts stated in the Particulars of Claim are true. Please note that if you sign a Statement of Truth knowing it to be false then you could be found guilty of Contempt of Court which can bring a prison sentence of up to 2 years, upon summary conviction.
Once you have sent your Claim Form, Particulars of Claim and Court fee to the Court, the Court will issue your claim and provide you with a copy of the Notice of Issue. The Notice of Issue will include the date that the Court received your claim, the date your claim was issued, and most importantly, the date that your opponent has to respond by.
Money Claim Online (MCOL)
This is an electronic method of issuing your claim. There is no space using the Money Claim Online system for a detailed particulars of claim and in fact, you only get 1080 characters to set out the circumstances surrounding your claim, the allegations against your opponent and the remedy that you seek.
The court rules do allow litigants who use Money Claim Online to send separate particulars of claim and it is our advice that this procedure be used because 1080 characters is certainly not enough to fully set out a claim. We have seen many litigants use this method and be unsuccessful in their claims because they have not fully set out the circumstances, allegations and remedies. This is because MCOL has become popular and is a cheap method of issuing proceedings. However, because the court rules apply to everyone, cases have been struck out or dismissed due to a lack of detail and in such circumstances, litigants who use the MCOL method have been ordered to pay costs.
For further information, you may want to watch our YouTube Presentations:
Money Claim Online The Rules on Particulars of Claim How to avoid headaches
Obviously, there is an advantage of using MCOL, in that if your opponent does not respond in time you can quickly obtain a County Court judgment against your opponent and enforce it using that system.
Online using the new online court
The government has recently brought out a new Money Claim Online system which can be accessed via www.gov.uk/make-money-claim and this is currently a pilot scheme.
This is quite similar to Money Claim Online where you enter details of your claim in the claim form but in addition to that, you can also add in a chronology and details of what documents and evidence you are relying on.
In addition, the opponent can also submit their defence online. The matter then can proceed to mediation if the parties agree and the case may be judged without any attendance at a court hearing, if a judge deems it appropriate.