To issue a claim at the court, it is necessary to complete a Claim Form which contains a brief summary of your claim and the remedy sought. The Claim Form will be sent to the Court to be ‘issued’ and it must then be served on the Defendant within four months. There is a court fee payable on the issue of a claim. The fee payable depends on the value of the claim and will be between £35.00 and £10,000.00.
Particulars of Claim
The Particulars of Claim provide full details of the claim made against the Defendant. It may be necessary to instruct a barrister to prepare the Particulars of Claim, depending on the complexity of the claim. The Particulars of Claim must be served on the Defendant within 14 days the Claim Form being served on the Defendant, though they are often served at the time same.
Acknowledgement of service
The Defendant has 14 days from service of the Particulars of Claim to file an Acknowledgement of Service to the claim. The Acknowledgement of Service should state whether the Defendant admits the claim, admits part of the claim or denies the claim.
Defence (and Counterclaim)
If the Defendant disputes the claim, it will be necessary for the Defendant to file and serve a Defence to the claim setting out which allegations in the Particulars of Claim she accepts, denies or neither admits or denies. Unless time is extended by agreement or court order, the Defendant must file and serve the Defence:
(if no Acknowledgment of Service is filed) within 14 days of service of the Particulars of Claim.
(if an Acknowledgment of service is filed) within 28 days of service of the Particulars of Claim.
It is possible for the parties to agree an extension of up to 28 days for the time for filing and serving a Defence.
A Defendant may also file and serve a Counterclaim (i.e. a claim against the Claimant) when serving the Defence.
Reply (and Defence to Counterclaim)
If the Defendant disputes the claim and serves a Defence, the Claimant is entitled to file and serve a ‘reply’ to the Defence (and Defence to the Counterclaim, if applicable).