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Taking court action

Follow these steps if you decide to go to court.

Step one: Write a letter before action

Writing a letter before action before you take a trader to court covering what to put in the letter, sending the letter and what the trader must do after receiving your letter.

Step two: Starting your court claim

Starting a court claim against a trader by issuing your claim online or on paper, and corresponding with the court by e-mail.

Step three: Filling in the claim form

Choosing the correct claim form for your claim, advice on which sections to fill in and what details to include, and claiming interest on the amount of the claim.

Step four: Returning the claim form and paying court fees

Where to send a paper or electronic claim form, how to pay the court fees, and what happens when the court receives your claim form including serving the claim form to the trader.

Step five: Dealing with the trader's response to a claim

What the trader can do when they get a claim form, time limits for the trader to respond, filling in an allocation questionnaire if the trader defends the claim, and applying for a judgment by default if the trader does not respond to the claim form.

Step six: How the court decides what to do with the case

The judge decides if a case against a trader should be heard after receiving the paperwork. If the case is to be heard the judge decides which track the case will be allocated to and a notice of allocation will be sent to you.

Step seven: Preparing for the court hearing – checklist

What the court will ask you to do before a consumer case court hearing (standard directions), fixing the date of the hearing and how to change the date. Checklist for preparing for the hearing.

Step eight: At the court hearing

When you need to attend a court hearing for a consumer case, taking someone with you to represent you (lay representative) and what happens at the court hearing.

Problems with goods - letter before court action

Letter to send as a last attempt to ask a trader to sort out a problem before you take court action.