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What is a statement of case in court proceedings?

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A statement of case is to define the legal issues which the court has to decide upon. It sets out the essential facts supporting the party’s position. The first statement of case is called the particulars of claim; followed by the defence; and then subsequent others may be served. To ensure your statement of case is accurate and effective it is vital that you provide your legal representation with all of the facts relevant to your case. Your legal representation will then determine which facts should be mentioned in your statement of case.

Every statement of case in concluded with a statement of truth which is where the party certifies that they believe the facts in the document to be true. It is vital that the facts within the statement of case are correct.

Amending statements of case:

At various stages it is possible to amend a statement of case. This can usually be done without a hearing for permission to amend as long as the other party consents. If the other party does not consent, then permission of the court is usually required. Generally, an amendment will be allowed at any point up to the trail and in very limiting situations during the trial, as long as it does not prejudice the other party, or the trial date. However, amendments usually come with the condition that the party seeking to amend pays all the costs which occur due to the amendment.

Defences:

When defending a claim brought against you it is vital that you serve a formal defence on time. If you fail to do this, the claimant may succeed in securing a judgment against you in your absence and may also begin the process of enforcing that judgment against you and your property.

Preparing a defence can involve enormous pressures and large amounts of time. The courts do not find it acceptable to serve a defence that consists wholly of bare denials and refusals to admit damaging allegations made in a claim. If the claimant has served a very full particulars of claim or you work for a large organisation based in one location and the matter relates to another division in another location, you may find it difficult to put together a full defence in the time frame stated in the CPR. It is possible to agree an extension of time with the other party of up to 28 days. A further extension may be obtained by making an application to the court.

Attacking your opponent’s statement of case:

Occasionally a statement of case may be missing essential parts of a particular claim. Failure to provide those details can be fatal to a claim. To bring to light these details a party attacking a statement of case my ask for “further information” and if it is not supplied, apply to the court for an order to strike out that part of the claim. Further information can also be asked for to allow the party making the request to be clearer about the case.

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