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Making a property law claim

When you’re seeking advice or making a claim in relation to your property, whether it be due to trespassing or a dispute with your neighbour, your claim will follow the civil litigation process, which is a journey established by the courts.

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Your claim journey

We will always advise on the best way to help resolve the situation you’re going through. Our priority is on getting you the swiftest, most effective resolution we can so our first option will always be to go through mediation to settle any disputes. Should your case still proceed to court we will support you through the following process.

Your claim is registered

Whether you first come through to Minster Law through our legal helpline or as a private client the first thing we will do is access your case and pair it with the perfect expert to support your claim.

Whether you first come through to Minster Law through our legal helpline or as a private client the first thing we will do is access your case and pair it with the perfect expert to support your claim. We will gather all of the relevant information we need to make sure you are working with the right person and in some cases will be able to provide you with the advice you need in our first conversations.

Pre-action

While you are not prevented in law from going straight to court without corresponding and attempting to resolve a dispute first, this is frowned upon. In some cases, this may even stop your ability to claim back your legal costs from the defendant, even if the case succeeds completely.

While you are not prevented in law from going straight to court without corresponding and attempting to resolve a dispute first, this is frowned upon. In some cases, this may even stop your ability to claim back your legal costs from the defendant, even if the case succeeds completely.

The guidelines set out for property law claims provide a number of requirements which should be met prior to a claim being issued. This includes sending a detailed letter before a claim is made outlining the factual and legal basis of the matter, giving the defendant an opportunity to respond.

Both parties are also required to consider Alternative Dispute Resolution and attempt to resolve the dispute amicably, through means such as without prejudice discussions which we can support with.

Taking a case to court should always be the last resort. People are encouraged to resolve the dispute out of Court or, at the very least, narrow the dispute so only the real issues go before the Court.

Issuing Court proceedings

If court proceedings are necessary, we will support you in filing a claim form and the accompanying Particulars of Claim.

If court proceedings are necessary, we will support you in filing a claim form and the accompanying Particulars of Claim. These documents clearly set out your case and state the nature of the remedy you’d like following the claim – this could be a payment of a specific sum, or for another order. At this stage the appropriate court fee has to be paid and copies are provided for the court to send to the defendant.

The Court will then issue the claim and send it on to the defendant, who then has 14 days to file an admission, accompanied with a proposal to pay if applicable, or an intention to defend and potentially outline a counter claim.

If the defendant chooses to defend the claim, they then have a total of 28 days to file a defence, unless the claimant agrees, or the court allows a further extension of time. Following a defence being filed at the Court the claim will be allocated to an appropriate claim track at a Case Management Conference. This could be either small claims fast-track or multi-track.

Court orders to trial

Once the claim has been allocated the court will provide directions to yourself and the defendant. In the small and fast-track these are usually standard with the fast-track directions all taking place in the 30 weeks between issue and trial.

Once the claim has been allocated the court will provide directions to yourself and the defendant. In the small and fast-track these are usually standard with the fast-track directions all taking place in the 30 weeks between issue and trial.

If the claim has been allocated to multi-track, then a case management conference will often take place and tailored directions will be provided. The directions will include the exchange of witness statements, disclosure of documents and may deal with expert advice.

No matter which track your claim falls into our experts will be able to advise on the best approach to take and support you through the process that takes.

Trial and enforcement

The length and complexity of the trial will depend on the track the claim has been allocated to.
However, as a general rule, a small claims court hearing is a relatively informal process and will last 2-3 hours. A claim which is allocated to fast-track will last one day at trial and multi-track claims can last several days, as both of these involve a more formal process.

The length and complexity of the trial will depend on the track the claim has been allocated to.

However, as a general rule, a small claims Court is a relatively informal process and will last 2-3 hours. A claim which is allocated to fast-track will last one day at trial and multi-track claims can last several days, as both of these are a more formal process.

During the trial the court will hear legal submissions, witness evidence and expert evidence – where appropriate. The court will often reserve judgment, except in straight forward cases, and the judgement will be given later, in an additional short hearing.

If you receive judgement in your favor the other party will be ordered to do or pay whatever the court has decided within a set period. If you receive judgement against you then you will have the opportunity to appeal this decision.  The time frame for appealing, provided the right to appeal is granted, is usually 14 days from the date of the decision.

In most instances, the Judgment and costs payment will represent the closure of the matter however there are instances when the person ordered to pay fails to make payment or comply with the Court Order. In this situation there are a variety of options to enforce the judgment, ranging from a warrant of execution, attachment of earnings and so on.

Help & Advice

Whether you’re a customer, acting on a customer’s behalf, or just wanting to find out more - check out Minster Law's help and advice. Our frequently asked questions, claims journey, and glossary will get you started.