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County Court

1. What is the County Court?

We are often asked “what is a County Court”?

The County Courts are courthouses across England and Wales that deal with civil (non-criminal) cases.

The County Court system in England and Wales dates back to the County Courts Act 1846 and nearly 500 County Courts were opened the following year. Nowadays, there are much fewer County Courts across England and Wales, covering seven distinct regions: London, the South-East, the South-West, the Midlands, the North-East, the North-West and Wales.
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2. How do I find my local County Court?

As can be seen from this table, there are many County Courts across England and Wales and so it is likely that your nearest County Court will be located in the nearest large town or city close to your home address.

If you are in doubt as to whether a County Court will cover your postcode, you should call them to check.
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3. What cases are heard in the County Court?

County Courts deal with civil (non-criminal) matters.

This can range from anything from housing possession claims, probate claims (dealing with disputes over wills), bankruptcy or most commonly, money claims, where an individual or company is claiming money from another individual or company for breach of an agreement.

The County Courts also deal with small claims (claims for less than £10,000.00), personal injury disputes, consumer and negligence claims.

Certain County Courts may also be attached to a Family Court within the same building. These courts will deal with matters relating to adoption, divorce and other cases involving children, such a disputes regarding child maintenance and disputes over child contact issues.
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4. Do I need a barrister for the County Court?

Simply put, you do not need a barrister for the County Court to represent you at a hearing.

However, depending on the complexity of your case and your financial constraints, you may wish to consider appointing a legal professional to represent you at a hearing at the County Court. This could be either a solicitor or a barrister.

If you do not have anyone to represent you at a court hearing or cannot afford to appoint solicitors to act for you, you will be known as a “litigant in person”.

If you are worried about attending a hearing by yourself, then please contact one of our friendly lawyers and we can assist you with your County Court claim
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5. What is a County Court judgment?

A County Court Judgment or CCJ as it is also known, is a legal decision ordered by the County Court in a civil (non-criminal) claim.

The most common form of CCJ is where the court orders one party to pay a sum of money to another party.

County Court Judgments should not be ignored. If you receive a CCJ and you ignore it, it could affect your credit rating. Further, if you do not do what the judgment tells you to do (i.e. pay a particular sum of money to someone else), the other party has the right to enforce the judgment against you. This could result in, for example, bailiffs attending your premises to seize goods or your employer being contacted to make payments to the other party on your behalf out of your wages. At Francis Wilks & Jones we can assist you if you have received a County Court Judgement. Equally, if you want to enforce a County Court Judgment we can also help you with that.
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6. How do I know if I have a CCJ?

You may not know if you have a CCJ or County Court Judgment against you until such time as you apply for a mortgage or other credit and are refused.

If a CCJ is made against you, the court and/or creditor should send you a copy of the judgment. If you have moved address or did not receive the judgment (or the prior claim form), then it may be possible for you to set it aside. However, if you simply ignored the CCJ, then this is no defence.

All CCJ’s from the previous 6 years are kept on a central Register and it is possible to search the register to check whether there are any CCJ’s against you or your company.
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7. How do I remove a CCJ?

If a County Court Judgment or CCJ is made against you, the judgment will be placed on the Register for Judgments, Orders and Fines and will remain on the Register for 6 years. Banks and other lenders will check the Register if you are applying for credit and may refuse to lend you money or will insist on higher interest rates, if they are aware of the CCJ in your name.

There are a number of ways to ensure that either the CCJ does not appear on the Register at all, or failing that, to ensure that the CCJ is removed from the Register.
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8. How to collect a County Court Judgment? General considerations

If someone owes you money and you have been awarded a County Court Judgment (or CCJ) against them, what can you do to collect your money if they refuse to pay you in the time specified in the CCJ? At Francis Wilks & Jones we can help advise you on how best to enforce a County Court Judgment.
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9. How to collect a County Court Judgment? Part 1 – instructing Bailiffs to collect payment

If someone owes you money and you have a County Court judgment (or CCJ) against them, one option is to instruct the Bailiff to collect payment. At Francis Wilks & Jones we can help you through the Bailiff process.
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10. How to collect a County Court Judgment? Part 2 – get money deducted from the debtor’s wages

If someone owes you money and you have a County Court judgment (or CCJ) against them, one option is to get the money deducted from the debtor’s wages. At Francis Wilks & Jones we can help you through this process.
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11. How to collect a County Court Judgment? Part 3 – freeze assets or a money in a bank account

If you are owed money and you have a County Court judgment (or CCJ) against them, one way to get your money is to apply for a freeze on the bank account.. At Francis Wilks & Jones we can help you freeze the account and recover your money.
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12. How to collect a County Court Judgment? Part 4 – place a charge on the debtor’s property or land

If you are owed you money and you have a County Court Judgment (or CCJ) you could consider applying for a charge over their house or land to secure your debt. At Francis Wilks & Jones we can help you obtain a charge over property in order to secure your County Court Judgment.
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13. How to collect a County Court Judgment? Part 5 – making the debtor bankrupt or winding up the debtor company

If you are owed you money and have a County Court judgment (or CCJ) you could consider issuing a bankruptcy petition against an individual or a winding up petition against a company to help put pressure on the debtor to pay. At Francis Wilks & Jones we are experts in winding up petitions and bankruptcy petitions and can help you with this.
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14. How much does it cost to issue a County Court claim?

We are often asked “how much does it cost to issue a County Court claim”. It all depends on the value of the claim and the method by which you issue it. At Francis Wilks & Jones our electronic link to Money Claims OnLine issuing centre allow our clients to take advantage of lower court fees.
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15. Starting a County Court claim

If you are owed monies by an individual or company and you have exhausted your attempts to recover those monies, you may need to start County Court proceedings in order to recover the sums that you are owed.

Whilst it is always advisable to try and recover money without court proceedings, if an individual or company is refusing to pay you or ignoring your letters and telephone calls, then your next course of action may be to commence County Court proceedings.

Depending on the value of your claim, we would recommend instructing solicitors to assist you with your claim. Here at Francis Wilks & Jones we are highly experienced in bringing and defending County Court claims and will be able to advise you about all aspects of your claim and the County Court claim process.
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16. How do I calculate interest on my claim form?

If you wish to claim interest as part of your claim, you must refer to it in your Particulars of Claim, which form part of or will be attached to your claim form.

You can normally claim interest on the money you’re owed. If you are making your claim online, interest will be calculated for you. However, you only need to work out the interest if you use the paper claim form to claim for a fixed (‘specified’) amount of money.
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17. How do I serve a County Court claim?

After you have issued your claim at the County Court (either on paper or via MCOL), either you or the court will need to serve the claim form and Particulars of Claim on the person from whom you are claiming money, who is known as the Defendant. Service of a claim is required so as to bring the court proceedings to the Defendant’s attention. We can help you with this important aspect of County Court proceedings.
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18. What is the deemed date of service?

When a County Court claim is properly served, it also then starts the timetable for when the Defendant has to respond to the claim. A “deemed date of service” will be set depending on the method of service used. This is the date on which a document or claim form will be legally treated as having been served, irrespective of the date it actually arrived.

If you receive a claim form, it is very important for you to contact the court to find out the deemed date of service, if it is not stated on the claim itself. This is because you will only have a short period of time from the deemed date of service to reply to the court if you wish to defend the claim.

We can help you with working out the deemed date of service. Whilst it is possible to contact the court which has issued the claim (normally the County Court Business Centre (CCBC) or the County Court Money Claims Centre (CCMCC) and inform them that you have received a claim it is often hard to get through to them or obtain a clear answer.
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19. I have received a claim form, what should I do?

If you are served with a claim form personally or receive one in the post at either your home address or company’s place of business, you should not ignore it.

You may only have 14 days to respond to the claim against you, so you should make the claim an immediate priority.

If you do not respond to the claim in time, judgment could be entered against you which could affect your credit rating and which could be difficult to set aside at a later date. Contact us now for expert advice.
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20. What are the Civil Procedure Rules?

The Civil Procedure Rules (or CPR) are a set of procedural rules for all civil courts and which came into force on 26 April 1999. The rules cover not only County Court cases, but also those heard at the High Court and Court of Appeal (Civil Division).

The CPR Rules are amended regularly, with substantial changes being made on 1 April 2013, known as the “Jackson Reforms”.

The latest version of the CPR Rules can be found on the Government’s website https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil, which also sets out details of the latest updates and recent changes.
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21. In which court will my case be heard?

All County Court claims are now issued either at the County Court Business Centre (CCBC) or in the case of money claims at the County Court Money Claims Centre (CCMCC) or online via Money Claims OnLine (MCOL).

These are centrally based claims centres which deal with the initial stages of a claim.

However, once a claim has been defended, the parties will complete Directions Questionnaires to assist the court in determining which court will deal with the case going forward. In claims against an individual or individuals for money, the case will usually be transferred to the Defendant’s home court, on the basis that the individual did not choose to be sued and therefore should not have to incur large travel costs in attending court.
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22. What is a Directions Questionnaire?

If you have issued a County Court claim against someone and they have indicated that they are defending the County Court claim, you will receive a copy of their defence from the courthouse.

At this time, the court will then ask the Claimant whether they wish to continue with their claim and if so, will send a Directions Questionnaire to both parties (Form N180 or N181).

A Directions Questionnaire is a questionnaire to be completed by the parties which is intended to assist the court with the future management of the case. It is an important document to get right and at Francis Wilks & Jones we have the expertise to assist you with the Directions Questionnaire process in County Court claims.
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23. What is the Small Claims Mediation Service?

If you have issued a money claim of less than £10,000.00 and your opponent has submitted a defence to the claim, the parties will be invited to consider whether they wish to try and resolve the dispute by way of the Small Claims Mediation Service.

This is a free service offered by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service to try to get parties to resolve their dispute in an amicable way and also frees up time in the County Courts to hear more complex cases. As the service is free, parties also benefit as if they are able to resolve their dispute, they do not have to pay any more legal costs (which in the small claims track they cannot usually recover)

For the mediation to take place, both parties will need to tick the relevant box on the small claims track Directions Questionnaire (Form N180). If only one party wishes to mediate, the court will not arrange a mediation.
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24. Which track will my County Court claim be allocated to? – The small claims track

All claims in the County Court are allocated to one of three “tracks” in order to ensure that low value claims or non-complex matters can be dealt with quickly and in a cost effective way.

Claims are normally allocated to either the small claims track, fast track or multi-track according to the value of the claim, although if a case concerns complex issues, it can be allocated to a higher track, even if it is of low value.

Normally, the track allocation is as follows:

  • Small claims track: most claims with a value of under £10,000.00
  • Fast Track: claims of between £10,000.00 and £25,000.00
  • Multi-track: claims for over £25,000.00, or for lesser money sums where the case involves complex points of law and/or evidence.

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25. Which track will my County Court claim be allocated to? – The fast track

All claims in the County Court are allocated to one of three “tracks” in order to ensure that low value claims or non-complex matters can be dealt with quickly and in a cost effective way.

Claims are normally allocated to either the small claims track, fast track or multi-track according to the value of the claim, although if a case concerns complex issues, it can be allocated to a higher track, even if it is of low value.

Normally, the track allocation is as follows:

  • Small claims track: most claims with a value of under £10,000.00
  • Fast Track: claims of between £10,000.00 and £25,000.00
  • Multi-track: claims for over £25,000.00, or for lesser money sums where the case involves complex points of law and/or evidence.

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26. Which track will my County Court claim be allocated to? – The multi-track

All claims in the County Court are allocated to one of three “tracks” in order to ensure that low value claims or non-complex matters can be dealt with quickly and in a cost effective way.

Claims are normally allocated to either the small claims track, fast track or multi-track according to the value of the claim, although if a case concerns complex issues, it can be allocated to a higher track, even if it is of low value.

Normally, the track allocation is as follows:

  • Small claims track: most claims with a value of under £10,000.00
  • Fast Track: claims of between £10,000.00 and £25,000.00
  • Multi-track: claims for over £25,000.00, or for lesser money sums where the case involves complex points of law and/or evidence.

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27. What is a Pre-Action Protocol?

The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) are the rules which govern civil cases in the courts of England and Wales. They are made up of a number of different Parts and Practice Directions, containing rules and guidance for parties involved in litigation.

When a party is considering issuing formal court proceedings, they should also consider the Pre-Action Protocols. These are further sets of procedures which parties are obliged to consider (and ideally follow) before they resort to issuing a County Court claim.

The main aim of the Pre-Action Protocols are to encourage the parties to try and resolve their dispute without having to issue formal court proceedings. Parties are encouraged to follow the Pre-Action Protocols and if they do not, there can be some costs consequences if a party issues a claim without having considered the Pre-Action Protocols first.

The Civil Procedure Rules contain many different Pre-Action Protocols depending on the type of claim you are considering. If there is not a specific Pre-Action Protocol that relates to your claim, parties should consider the general Practice Direction for Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols. This encourages parties to co-operate with each other and to exchange information with each other at the earliest possible stage in an attempt to narrow any issues between them and to hopefully work towards a settlement without having to involve the courts.
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28. What happens at a County Court hearing?

Attending court can be a nervous experience, especially if you have never been before and do not have legal representatives to help you.

However, it is important that you attend a County Court hearing or trial which affects you. If you do not attend, the County Court hearing or trial is likely to go ahead without you (unless you can provide a good reason for your non-attendance) and the court may make an order in your absence, without you having an opportunity to put your side of the case to the court or your opponent. You may also have to pay the other side’s cost of attending the hearing.

Francis Wilks & Jones have many years of practical experience in attending hearings with or without clients and are able to put you at ease during court hearings.
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29. I have made a County Court claim but the Defendant hasn’t responded?

If you have issued and properly served a County Court claim form on an individual or company and they have not acknowledged receipt of the claim within 14 days of the deemed date of service [link to “What is the deemed date of service?”] or they have acknowledged service, but failed to provide a defence within 28 days, then you may be entitled to request judgment against your opponent for the sums that you are claiming. This is known as “default judgment”.

In order to apply for default judgment, you should calculate the deemed date of service of your claim and then see if the defendant has filed his/her acknowledgment of service within 14 days of the deemed date of service or filed their defence within 28 days of the deemed date of service.

As the acknowledgment of service does not have to be sent to your opponent (it only needs to be sent to (or filed) at the court), upon the expiry of the 14-day period, you should contact the court to see if your opponent has filed their acknowledgment of service indicating whether they are going to defend the County Court claim or not. If they have not, you may be able to apply for default judgment.
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30. I have received a County Court judgment – what can I do?

Receiving a County Court default judgment against you may be the first occasion you become aware that someone had issued a claim against you.

If this is the case, you should not ignore the County Court judgment, as it could affect your credit rating and the person who has the judgment against you (the judgment creditor) may take steps to enforce the County Court judgment against you, which could mean that bailiffs turn up at your home or business premises to try to enforce any monies that are owed or they could apply to court for the monies to be taken out of your wages by your employer to pay the debt owed.
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31. What is a County Court bailiff?

County Court bailiffs are employees of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service and can be used by parties to civil proceedings when someone has not been paid as the County Court has ordered.

For example, if you have a County Court judgment against an individual or company for say, £5,000.00, and that individual or company has not paid the £5,000.00 by the time stated in the County Court judgment, you may then instruct the County Court bailiffs to attend the home of the individual or the business premises of the company to collect the money owed or to take goods, which the bailiffs will then sell to pay the outstanding debt owed to you.

The use of bailiffs is a very effective method of enforcing County Court judgments where the debtor has refused or is unable to pay the sums they owe to you.
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32. Can I recover my legal costs in the County Court? – The small claims track

We are often asked by clients as to whether they can recover their legal costs in the event that they have to go to court to recover the debt owed to them or resolve a dispute with someone else.

The answer depends on which track your case is allocated to. When you issue a claim in the County Court and the claim is defended, it will then be allocated to a particular “track” depending on the value of the claim or the complexity of the matter.

Normally, the track allocation is as follows:

  • Small claims track: most claims with a value of under £10,000.00
  • Fast Track: claims of between £10,000.00 and £25,000.00
  • Multi-track: claims for over £25,000.00, or for lesser money sums where the case involves complex points of law and/or evidence.

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33. Can I recover my legal costs in the County Court? – The fast track

We are often asked by clients as to whether they can recover their legal costs in the event that they have to go to court to recover the debt owed to them or resolve a dispute with someone else.

The answer depends on which track your case is allocated to. When you issue a claim in the County Court and the claim is defended, it will then be allocated to a particular “track” depending on the value of the claim or the complexity of the matter.

Normally, the track allocation is as follows:

  • Small claims track: most claims with a value of under £10,000.00
  • Fast Track: claims of between £10,000.00 and £25,000.00
  • Multi-track: claims for over £25,000.00, or for lesser money sums where the case involves complex points of law and/or evidence.

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34. Can I recover my legal costs in the County Court? – The multi-track

We are often asked by clients as to whether they can recover their legal costs in the event that they have to go to court to recover the debt owed to them or resolve a dispute with someone else.

The answer depends on which track your case is allocated to. When you issue a claim in the County Court and the claim is defended, it will then be allocated to a particular “track” depending on the value of the claim or the complexity of the matter.

Normally, the track allocation is as follows:

  • Small claims track: most claims with a value of under £10,000.00
  • Fast Track: claims of between £10,000.00 and £25,000.00
  • Multi-track: claims for over £25,000.00, or for lesser money sums where the case involves complex points of law and/or evidence.

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35. What is a County Court District Judge?

If you have to attend a hearing or trial at the County Court, it is likely that the hearing will be conducted by a District Judge or Deputy District Judge.

District judges are full time judges who deal with the majority of claims in the County Court. Each district judge will be assigned to a particular area (or “circuit”) and will sit at any of the County Courts or district registries within that area.

The work of District Judges involves lots of different types of cases including, money claims, possession proceedings by lenders against borrowers, divorces, family proceedings and insolvency proceedings.
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36. What is a civil matter in court?

Civil (non-criminal) matters are dealt with in the County Courts.

This can range from anything from housing possession claims, probate claims (dealing with disputes over wills), bankruptcy or most commonly, money claims, where an individual or company is claiming money from another individual or company for breach of an agreement.

The County Courts also deal with small claims (claims for less than £10,000.00), personal injury disputes, consumer and negligence claims.

Certain County Courts may also be attached to a Family Court within the same building. These courts will deal with matters relating to adoption, divorce and other cases involving children, such a disputes regarding child maintenance and disputes over child contact issues.
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37. How long does a County Court Judgment or CCJ last?

A County Court Judgment or CCJ is a judgment made by the County Court normally ordering an individual or company to pay a sum of money to another individual or company within a specified period of time (normally 14 days).

If the judgment is not paid within 1 month of the date of the judgment, details of the CCJ are entered on the Register of Judgements, Fines and Orders, where it will remain for a period of 6 years or until the debt is paid.

This means that if you have a County Court judgment or CCJ against you, lenders and credit reference agencies will be able to check your credit history going back 6 years and may refuse to lend monies to you if you have not paid the sums due under the County Court Judgment CCJ.
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38. How to serve a County Court Judgment?

If the County Court decides that your claim is successful, they will issue a County Court Judgment or CCJ against the individual or company that owes you money. This will provide that individual or company with the details of the amount they owe, together with details of by what date they need to pay those monies.

Following the issue of a County Court Judgment or CCJ, the Court will normally send a copy of the CCJ to the party who has been ordered to pay the money. The court will send the County Court Judgment or CCJ to the same address as the claimant has provided on the claim form.

If the Defendant attends a hearing, then they will of course be aware that a County Court Judgment or CCJ has been made against them. However, the court will still send a copy to their home or business address.

The Claimant does not normally need to send a copy of the County Court Judgment or CCJ to the debtor, although it is a good idea to send them an additional copy in case the debtor argues at a later date that they never received a copy from the court.
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39. Where can I find the County Court forms?

Any form you receive from the County Court will have a form number, normally on the bottom left corner of the form. It should also confirm the title of the form. All of these are available to download and print online.
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40. Where can I find the County Court forms to start a County Court claim?

All of the County Court forms that you will need to start a County Court claim are available from your local County Court. They will be able to provide you with paper copies of these County Court forms, including guidance notes of how to complete the forms.

Alternatively, all County Court forms are available online for downloading or printing at https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/forms
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41. Where can I find the County Court forms to defend a County Court claim?

If you have received a claim form in the post addressed to you, you will need to respond to it within 14 days or face the possibility of a County Court Judgment being entered against your name. All of the County Court forms that you will need to defend a County Court claim are available from your local County Court. They will be able to provide you with paper copies of these County Court forms, including guidance notes of how to complete the forms.

Alternatively, all County Court forms are available online for downloading or printing at https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/forms
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42. My County Court claim is now defended - where can I find the County Court forms for the next stages of my County Court claim?

If your County Court claim is defended, the Court will send you a copy of the Defendant’s defence and you will then need to decide if you wish to continue with your County Court claim or discontinue the claim.

If you decide to pursue the claim, the next stage will be for parties to file Directions Questionnaires and other case management documents.

All of the County Court forms that you will need to continue with your County Court claim are available from your local County Court. They will be able to provide you with paper copies of these County Court forms, including guidance notes of how to complete the forms.

Alternatively, all County Court forms are available online for downloading or printing at https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/forms
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43. My County Court claim has finished – what County Court forms will I receive next?

Once the County Court claim has finished, the County Court will make a County Court Order or County Court Judgment, setting out the outcome of the case and confirming whether you have been successful or not in your County Court claim.

Typically, a County Court Order or County Court Judgment will confirm if the Claimant’s claim is successful and will confirm how much in damages (if any) the Defendant has to pay to the Claimant. The County Court Order or County Court Judgment will also usually specify the timeframe by which any sum of money has to be paid and will also usually confirm which party has to pay costs.
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44. I have obtained a County Court Judgment against someone, but they haven’t paid – what forms do I need to enforce the County Court Judgment?

If you have been awarded a County Court Judgment against someone and they have not paid the money they owe to you, there are various methods of trying to enforce that judgment to ensure that you receive your money.

These methods vary from trying to recover the money from the debtor’s employer directly via their wages, attempting to place a charge over the debtor’s property or trying to obtain the money from a third party who owes the debtor money (such as the debtor’s bank account)
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45. I have lost my County Court claim, but want to appeal – which County Court forms do I need to use?

If you have been unsuccessful in your County Court claim, but want to appeal the County Court’s decision, they you need to act fast as you normally only have 21 days to appeal. It is important that at the end of the hearing or trial where the judge has made their decision, if you have been unsuccessful, you need to ask the judge for permission to appeal the decision. The judge will either agree to this or not.

If the judge agrees to your request to appeal his decision then you must appeal within 21 days of the date of the original decision.

If the judge refuses at the hearing to grant you permission to appeal, then you need to apply for permission to appeal first, before embarking on the actual appeal itself.
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46. Who works at a County Court?

As well as judges, there are many other staff employed by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service that work day to day at a County Court. These range from the security guards who ensure that only authorised people can access the County Court, to Circuit Judges, District Judges and Deputy District Judges who actually preside over County Court hearings and trials.
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47. Will a CCJ affect my credit rating?

We are often asked whether having a County Court Judgment (or CCJ) registered against you will affect your credit rating and your ability to borrow money or obtain a mortgage in the future.

The answer is that the CCJ or County Court Judgment will usually have an adverse effect on your credit rating and lenders and credit reference agencies may not lend money to you, or may lend on less favourable terms if you have a CCJ registered in your name.
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48. Clerk of the court

A clerk of the court is responsible for managing the courtroom and assisting the judge generally, to ensure that the court runs smoothly and all the parties are in the correct place at the correct time.

The clerk of the County Court will also prepare all the papers for the judge prior to the hearing to ensure the court file is up to date (as best it can be) and the judge has all the papers he or she needs for the hearing.
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49. County Court

A County Court is a courthouse in England and Wales that deals with civil claims. Civil claims are those which concern non-criminal matters and normally involve one person or a company bringing a claim against another person or company for a sum of money or some kind of other remedy.

The County Court system dates back to the 1800’s but the current County Court system was established in 1984, via the County Courts Act 1984 and has subsequently been updated since then, most notably in 2014, when the County Court was reclassified as a “single civil court”, although there of course remain hundreds of individual County Court buildings across England and Wales.
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50. County Court Judgement

We are often asked what is a County Court Judgment?

A County Court Judgement is an order made by a County Court ordering one party to do something in relation to a claim bought by another party.

Normally, the County Court Judgement orders the party to pay a sum of money to the other party within a specified period of time.

However, a County Court Judgement does not have to relate to the payment of money. It could also order a party to give another party possession of their property or order that one party deliver up goods to another party.
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51. Local County Court

We are often asked by clients “where is my local County Court”? or “how do I find out what my local County Court is”?

In many cases, your local County Court will be the County Court that is nearest to your home or business address. However, there are often many County Courts in a particular county and therefore if you live in a location which is in between a number of different County Courts, it is not always clear where your local County Court will be.

If in doubt, it is always a good idea to contact one of the County Courts to ask them if they are the local County Court for your postcode.
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52. Courthouse

In most large towns or cities, you will often find a courthouse building which is the home of either your local County Court, Crown Court or Magistrates Court.

In quite a few cases, the courthouse will be a combined court centre, dealing with both civil and criminal matters in the same building.

Both civil and criminal judges will work within the same courthouse building, although the cases they work on are entirely separate from each other.
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53. County Court claim

We are often asked by clients “what is a County Court claim”.

The answer is wide ranging and a County Court claim can cover a wide range of matters. All matters are however civil and not criminal and involve an individual or company (as opposed to the State) bringing a claim against another individual or company.

The most common form of County Court claim is a money claim, in which one party is claiming money from another party.
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54. County Court Money Claims Centre (CCMCC)

All money claims of £100,000.00 or less must now been issued in the County Court Money Claims Centre.

Prior to March 2012, to issue a County Court money claim, you had to send your claim form and Particulars of Claim and court fee to your local County Court, which would then issue the claim and send it to the Defendant.

However, the process is now centralised and the CCMCC will deal with all aspects of a paper money claim until the claim is defended. If a defence is received, the case will be transferred to a County Court. In a money claim, where the Defendant is an individual, this will be the local County Court to where the Defendant lives.
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55. Money Claims OnLine (MCOL)

Money Claims OnLine (MCOL) was set up to allow individuals and companies to issue County Court claims online, in an attempt to speed up the County Court claim process.

The County Court MCOL system allows potential claimants, both individuals and companies to commence County Court claims online and also save some of the issue fee, as opposed to issuing the claim on paper.

When you issue a claim via Money Claims OnLine (MCOL), it will be processed by the County Court Business Centre (CCBC) in Northampton.
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56. How long will my County Court claim last?

The length of time from issuing a County Court claim to a County Court Judgment depends entirely on whether the claim is defended or not and whether the parties are able to agree a settlement before a County Court hearing is required.

Typically small claims track cases should be able to be resolved from start to finish in a fairly short timeframe, but more complicated fast-track and multi-track cases can take many months and years to resolve.
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