The defendant may disagree that:
and decide to defend your claim by having the case heard in court.
To do this, the defendant files a Defence form and the court will send you a copy. The Defence should state why the defendant believes they don't have to return the goods or pay you any money.
If the defendant hasn't filed a defence within 28 days of being served with the Statement of Claim you can apply for judgment without going to a hearing. For more information, see
It is important to read the Defence carefully so you know why the defendant disagrees with your claim. If there is not enough information in the Defence, you can write to the defendant or their lawyer to ask for more information. This is a 'request for further and better particulars'.
The court will send you a letter with the date for your Pre Trial Review once a Defence is filed. The date of the Pre Trial Review will usually be within six weeks.
If you and the defendant can come to an agreement, you may be able to settle your case at the Pre Trial Review. If you can't agree, the court will usually list the case for a hearing. Your case may be listed for another Pre Trial Review if:
If the case does settle, you may not have to attend court again.
You should get
legal advice about the strength of your case and whether you should consider settling your case when you receive the Defence.
For more information see:
By clicking on the links above you will move to the 'Debt - small claims' topic of this website.