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Solicitors do not face ruin with the publication of this book. On the contrary, they will probably welcome it. Small consumer claims in the county court are generally a nuisance to most solicitors, time-consuming and uneconomic. You may well, therefore, be doing your solicitor a kindness if, instead of troubling him to act for you in pursuing a consumer complaint in the county court, you do it yourself. You will also, of course, be saving the fees you would have to pay him if he acted for you.

For many years the county court has been the preserve of lawyers and debt collectors. That is now changing. The government has accepted the necessity of making the county court more accessible to consumers as a means of obtaining redress. From October 1973 a new arbitration service is in operation in the county court, so that the procedure can be even simpler.

This website covers cases in England and Wales only. The Scottish legal system is quite different, and that in Northern Ireland is somewhat different again.

The main stages of suing in the county court on a consumer's claim letter before action, making a formal claim consumer to shop

letter before action, making a formal claim (consumer to shop)

letter repudiating liability (shop to consumer)

find out address of registered office of shop (Companies' House)

prepare particulars of claim

issue county court summons

service of summons

(optional) request for further and better particulars

prepare defence

defence filed at court

defence sent to consumer

pre-trial review


consumer to shop

shop to consumer consumer from Companies' House consumer consumer (plaintiff) at court office

court on shop (defendant) defendant to plaintiff

defendant defendant court to plaintiff plaintiff and defendant

plaintiff defendant registrar

the main stages

or, if no arbitration

12 preparation of list of documents (form C.C.83A)

13 inspection of documents

14 complete and serve notice to admit (C .0 .119)

15 complete and serve notice to produce (C.C.120)

16 prepare copies of documents needed at trial and put into logical bundles if necessary

17 issue and serve witness summonses

18 swear and file affidavit of service of witness summonses (form 116/2) where applicable

19 trial

20 judgment sent

21 taxation of costs (where applicable)

22 enforcement of judgment (where applicable)

plaintiff and defendant plaintiff and defendant defendant to plaintiff and plaintiff to defendant defendant to plaintiff and plaintiff to defendant plaintiff and defendant

plaintiff to his witnesses defendant to his witnesses

plaintiff at court defendant at court

plaintiff, defendant, witnesses court to loser winner to court and loser winner (and court) to loser

Of interest

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