Getting court fees back from a sneaky debtor.

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    Getting court fees back from a sneaky debtor.

    We're in the middle of suing a landlord for an unpaid bill and we've been passed a snippet of information that they might just pay up the bill shortly before we're due in court. If they do this how will we get the court fees we've paid out of them (as the court obviously won't give it back)? Would we have to sue them again?

    #2
    Geting a settlement out of court is better than having to sit through a hearing. If they offer to settle before going to Court its usually because they finally realise they are likely to lose or that they had no case to start with; if thats the case then tell them its cost you £xxx to make them see sense and you want that as well.

    You also get to choose how magnanimous in Victory you can be by deciding just how much of the £xxx you want to recover from them.

    Sueing them for it is not an option, a judge would almost certainly throw it out if the claim had been settled out of court previously. Turning the offer down and going to court in the hope of geting your costs would also almost certainly result in failure once the judge hears you had been offered the claim in settlement.

    An old retail paradigm springs to mind in cases like this - your first loss is your best loss.

    Is this the drain problem?
    My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

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      #3
      Originally posted by oaktree View Post
      Sueing them for it is not an option, a judge would almost certainly throw it out if the claim had been settled out of court previously. Turning the offer down and going to court in the hope of geting your costs would also almost certainly result in failure once the judge hears you had been offered the claim in settlement.
      Is that definitely so? I've no personal experience but have certainly read of a lot of cases where people have sued mobile phone retailers over unfulfilled 'cashback' deals using MCOL, and have certainly recouped the court fee (through the courts) where this has happened.

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        #4
        Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
        Is that definitely so? I've no personal experience but have certainly read of a lot of cases where people have sued mobile phone retailers over unfulfilled 'cashback' deals using MCOL, and have certainly recouped the court fee (through the courts) where this has happened.
        Eric, do you mean cases where the phone companies have settled out of court (ie refunded the money owing) but not the costs of issuing the claim itself?
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          #5
          Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
          Eric, do you mean cases where the phone companies have settled out of court (ie refunded the money owing) but not the costs of issuing the claim itself?
          Yep
          and here's some white text to make this message long enough to be allowed to be posted...

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            #6
            Originally posted by oaktree View Post
            Is this the drain problem?
            Yep. And to add insult to injury they live bl**dy miles away and as far as I can see any court case will be relocated to their local court, even though the event and the dispute took place near us!

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              #7
              Sorry to hear that, you were only acting in their best interests. I hope they do settle out of court, at least it will save you the cost of fuel. If not then keep a note of mileage on the day and ask the court for that as well as your time in appearing.
              My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

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                #8
                Thanks for your help everyone!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi, this is my 1st post, long time lurker but felt I wanted to add my tuppenceworth here.

                  Surely if you are suing someone for non payment of a bill and then they decided to pay they've admitted liabilty and you can leave the court case running to recover the costs. (I can't find out the history of this case as when I try to look at your other posts the forum says I must wait 10 seconds between searches)

                  I assume this is small claims and what has happened here is:

                  You - Letter to debtor you owe me x please pay within the next 14 days.
                  Debtor - no response
                  You - letter to debtor you appear not to have paid x. please pay within the next 14 days or I shall have to take court action
                  Debtor - no response
                  You - Letter, this is your final chance to avoid court fees, pay within 7 days or it goes to court
                  Debtor - no response
                  You - Issues court proceedings costing y, debtor now owes you x+y

                  You are now here and you expect debtor is going to send you cheque for x. Unless he marks this cheque full and final settlement cash it and allow the case to go to court. The judge should award you all the court fees you've had to pay out. After all the debtors defence can hardly be I don't owe M&M the money in the claim as he's gone and paid it, therefore admitting it was owed when you started the proceedings.

                  If the debtor has offered the amount owed in Full and final settlement I'd rejected it because it was their unreasonableness that led you to incurring court fees and I'm pretty sure most judges would award those fees. (Assuming you did write to said debtor asking for the bill to be paid.)

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