Step three: Filling in the claim form
When you decide to take court action about a consumer problem, you will need to fill in an N1 claim form. Court forms are also available in the Welsh language.
You must fill in a paper claim form in capital letters and in black ink because the form will be photocopied. If you’re filling in the form online, use capital letters too.
Details of the claimant
You or the person making the claim is the claimant. You need to give all your names and your title, for example: Mrs, Mr or Dr.
If you’re filling in the form on behalf of someone else, you need to add the words ‘representative of’.
Address of the claimant
You should enter the address where you live. You can also add an address where you would like papers to be sent, for example 'care of' a solicitor’s or your local Citizens Advice office, if an adviser is helping you with your claim.
Details of the defendant
The defendant is the person or trader you’re claiming against. If you don’t know the defendant’s full name, you can write their initials and whether they’re male or female.
If you’re claiming against:
- one person trading under another name, you need to add the words ‘trading as’ and the trading name. For example, Jo Smith trading as Smith's Greengrocers
- a firm. This is usually a partnership or group of people who trade under a business name. You should enter the name of the firm followed by the words ‘a firm’
- a company, you should enter the name of the company
You must give the trader’s full address and postcode if you know it. If you don’t know it, you can put the last known address. It’s up to you to try and find out these details.
If your claim is against a firm, you’ll need to put the address that has most connection with your claim. For example, if you bought faulty goods from a shop, you can put the shop’s address.
Brief details of the claim
Details of the claim are also known as the particulars of the claim. You need to describe why you’re making the claim. Make sure you’ve got copies of contracts or documents that support your claim as you’ll need to attach them.
If your claim is based on something that was agreed verbally, you should set out what was said, who said it and any dates when the words were spoken.
This is the most important part of the claim form. If you're not sure, get advice before you issue your claim.
How much you are claiming
If you know the amount you're claiming for, fill in the appropriate section of the form.
If you’re not sure of the amount you're claiming for, you should write: ‘I expect to recover’ followed by:
- not more than £10,000, the small claims limit
- more than £10,000 but not more than £25,000
- more than 25,000.
It’s important you write the amount you're claiming because this is how the judge will decide which track of the county court will deal with the claim if it is defended.
Try to claim interest on the amount of your claim if you can. You may have a contract with the trader which says how much interest you can claim.
If you don't, you can claim the statutory interest rate. This is currently 8 per cent a year. You can’t usually claim for an interest rate higher than this.
Depending on how quickly your claim is resolved and what the outcome is, you can claim interest from:
- the date the problem started to the date when you issue the claim form
- from the date you issue the claim form to the date of a court order
- in some cases, from the date of a court order until the date you are paid.
How to work out interest on the amount of your claim
You'll need a calculator to work out how many days of interest you can claim for.
If you're claiming a set amount of money, the rate of interest is set at 8 per cent a year and its daily rate is 0.00022.
Work out the daily amount of interest owed to you. Multiply the amount you are claiming by 0.00022.
To work out the amount of interest you are owed up to the date you issue your claim:
- count how many days have passed since the money became owed to you
- multiply the number of days by your daily rate of interest.
Your claim is for £2,300 and there has been 60 days between when the money became owed to you and the date of your claim.
The sum to work out the daily interest is £2,300 x 0.00022 = £0.51 interest per day (rounded up to the nearest penny)
The sum to work out interest is 60 days x £0.51 = £30.60 interest to claim.
What to put about interest on the claim form
You must put your claim for statutory interest into the details of the claim. It's important you use the following wording:
"The claimant claims interest under Section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8 per cent a year from [put in the date when the money became owed to you] to [put in the date when you issue your claim form] of £ [put in the daily rate of interest multiplied by the number of days that have passed since the money became owed to you]. And also interest at the same rate up to the date of judgment or earlier payment at a daily rate of £ [put in the daily amount of interest]."
- Find the claim form and a guide to filling it in on the HM Courts & Tribunals Service form finder site