How a Court Case Begins
- Parties are told to exchange information in an attempt to avoid the necessity of a lot of court cases. Therefore, prior to a claim being lodged, particularly in cases for personal injury, a pre-action Protocol should be adhered to.
- This is a list of things which should be done and if the parties do not adhere to the process and provide the information required from the other party, they become liable for specific costs if they lodge a claim in court afterwards.
- The information is normally in form of a letter, giving brief details of what led to the claim, why the claim states that the other party is to blame and information on injury or other destruction and any other important issues.
- After this, the defendant is accorded three months for investigations to be carried out on the claim. A reply must then be given indicating if liability is accepted or denied. If it is denied, reasons should be provided.
- If professional evidence is required, the parties should then come to an agreement on utilizing one expert. This will facilitate a lot of claims being settled, but some will require the intervention of courts.
Which Court Should Be Used?
- When it has been decided that the matter should proceed to court, the first issue is deciding the court to be used.
- Civil cases are heard by two courts which are:
- The High Court
- The County Court
- In cases where the claim amounts to £15,000 or less, this case should begin in the Country Court. For claims which are bigger, you may normally opt to begin a case either in the County Court or High Court.
- The Woolf reforms are still in effect. However, some limitations were set out in the jurisdiction of the High Court and County Court order 1991.
These state the following:
- Cases for Personal Injury amounting to more than £50,000 should commence in the County Court.
- Actions for defamation should be begun in the High Court.
- Therefore, for many of the cases of more than £15,000 a claimant will be in a position to select the most appropriate court for beginning the case.
- The major factors to consider in reaching a decision are the amount being claimed and whether the case shows signs of triggering a complicated topic of law.
- Even if a case commences in one court, this does not signify that the trial will take place there as cases can be moved from one court to another one for the main trial, if need be.
- After the case has been defended, it is allocated to the correct track and it is also possible to simultaneously transfer it to another court.
- If you are utilizing the County Court, you should then select to issue the claim in one of the Country Courts in the country, numbering 230 or more.
- If you are utilizing the High Court, you can approach one among the 20 registries or the Main Court located in London.
- You will require a claim form known as N1. The court office will provide you with notes giving guidelines on how the form should be filled in.