INSIGHT: CCJs On The Increase Why You Need To Take Prompt Action
County court judgements (CCJs) leapt by 25 per cent last year as many claims went undefended, according to recent statistics. The fact that neither claimant nor defendant had legal representation in 14 per cent of these cases is the main reason behind the increase in default judgments, argues Christopher Burke, head of commercial litigation at Pearson.
But if you or your company have recently received a CCJ entered against you in default, there are several questions you must ask yourself and urgent actions to take to avoid joining these costly statistics.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Do you know whether you have a defence to the claim?
- Can this Judgment be set aside?
- If Judgment has already been obtained, is there anything you can do about this?
- Do you know that you have 14 days after service of the Particulars of claim to file an Acknowledgement of Service form or that once the Acknowledgement of Service form is filed you have 28 days after service to file your Defence?
- Are you aware that if you have failed to file an Acknowledgement of Service or a Defence, a Claimant is entitled to enter Judgment against you in default?
Next steps to take:
- Determine whether the Claim form has been validly served and whether the Claimant complied with the court rules on service.
- Even if the Claimant has complied with the Court rules, the Court still can exercise their discretion and may set aside or vary a Judgment entered by default if you have a ‘real prospect of successfully defending the claim’ or ‘there is some other good reason why Judgment should be set aside or varied or you should be allowed to defend the claim’ (CPR Part 13.3).
- The Court, in exercising their discretion, must consider whether the application to set the Judgment aside has been made promptly and therefore you should always act quickly if you are faced with a Judgment in Default.
- The Court must set aside a Judgment entered in default if the Judgment was wrongly entered either because the time for filing your Acknowledgment of Service or Defence has not expired or you have already satisfied the whole of the claim before the Judgment was entered (CPR 13.2).
- You therefore need to check whether the Claimant has complied with the Court rules before entering Judgment because, if not, the default Judgment may be irregular and may have to be set aside.
If you or your company has had a CCJ entered against you in default, our commercial litigation team can help you weigh up your options. Contact Christopher Burke on 0161 785 3500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Also in this issue of Insight
- Don't (Land) Bank on a Positive Return
- Budget Response for Businesses
- 4D creative - Media City Deal
- Dealing with CCJs
- What The Clarkson Case Could Mean for Employers
- Collective Redundancy Update
Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.
This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.