Step 5: Issuing Proceedings
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Are they in time?
General information applicable to most Court proceedings
If it is not possible to settle a dispute amicably via mediation, then it may be that your only option is to initiate Court Proceedings. If so, it is often tricky as a Litigant in Person (“LiP”) to know where to begin or how to do this. diyLAW aims to alleviate these difficulties.
We cover here some basic information which is generic to most claims.
Where there is no relevant pre-action protocol, the parties should exchange correspondence and information.
Thereafter the steps will usually include:
(a) the claimant writing to the defendant with concise details of the claim. The letter should include the basis on which the claim is made, a summary of the facts, what the claimant wants from the defendant, and if money, how the amount is calculated;
(b) the defendant responding within a reasonable time - 14 days in a straight forward case and no more than 3 months in a very complex one. The reply should include confirmation as to whether the claim is accepted and, if it is not accepted, the reasons why, together with an explanation as to which facts and parts of the claim are disputed and whether the defendant is making a counterclaim as well as providing details of any counterclaim; and
(c) the parties disclosing key documents relevant to the issues in dispute.
Are they in time to bring a claim?
The guidance for this is set out in the Limitation Act 1980 but the important information is set out in the table on the next page.
If the timeframes set out have expired, no further action can be taken. The claim will be considered as time-barred. If it seems likely the matter cannot be dealt with by way of ADR ensure Court proceedings are initiated in good time before the limitation time expires.