How to sue as a consumer

Any court action should be brought in a County Court. For any claims relating to money only and where the value is under £5,000. See Small Claims

Otherwise, for claims relating to goods or, to re-open or enforce a regulated agreement the Consumer Credit Act procedure must be used in the County Court as described below:

In the case of Hire Purchase (HP) Agreements under the Consumer Credit Act, a court action to recover goods must be started in a County Court for the district where the debtor lives or carries on business.

In any other claim for recovery of goods, the claim must be started in the court for the district where the defendant lives or carries on business.

A claim is started by a Claimant who uses a Claim Form which includes a Particulars of Claim, (a separate Particulars of Claim document can be used together with the Claim Form.) The Particulars of Claim must contain certain information. See Consumer Case Examples for examples.

The Claim Form and Particulars of Claim are then served on the Defendant by post or another method together with details of the hearing date.

When the Claim Form and Particulars of Claim are received by a Defendant, it is not necessary for the Defendant to file a Defence, but if he/she wants to, they must send their Defence to the court and the Claimant within 14 days of receiving the Claim Form / Particulars of Claim.

As it is not necessary for the Defendant to file a Defence the Claimant cannot apply for Judgment simply because no Defence is received.

At the hearing, if the Defendant has not filed a Defence the court can either decide the case or set a timetable which will include a time for the Defendant to file a Defence.

If the Defendant has filed a Defence the court can allocate the case to one of three Tracks, depending on the value of the claim:

  • Small Claim Track under £5,000.
  • Fast Track over £5,000 - but under £15,000
  • Multi-Track over £15,000

Ownership of goods under consumer law

Consumer Law

 

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