In Scots Law, can the outcome of a small claims civil procedure be taken into account at a subsequent criminal trial relating to the same people and concerning the same event. Can it even be mentioned in court by either of the parties concerned?
State/Country relating to Question: United Kingdom
Thank you for your question.If the outcome is relevant it can be referred to in the criminal proceedings. If the same issue is at stake then it is interesting to note that in a civil case the test of proof is made on a balance of probabilities. In a criminal case the test is proof beyond all reasonable doubt.So a civil court which makes a finding on a balance of probabilities could do so on the evidence but for a criminal court to do so would require a higher standard of proof for the same finding to be made.I hope this helps. Please press ACCEPT so that I am credited for my time.
I lost my claim under small claims procedure a cpl of years ago, however he was subsequently charged with frauding a number of vicitms including me, on the exact same amount that I took him to small claims action for, and concerning the exact same thing. I could not believe that his defence lawyer did not raise the matter when I was in the witness box. Unless he raised it when the accused took the stand, as I was told he was going to do, however I am unsure that this would be allowed without giving me a chance to comment .
He would be allowed under the laws of evidence to put this to his client and not ask you about it but I don't think it would be relevant necessarily as because of the differing considerations applying to a civil claim and a criminal trial.However if he was convicted of fraud and if your small claim was dismissed at the time as opposed to him being absolved from the claim or was raised on grounds other than fraud, such as simple payment or breach of contract, it would be open to you to raise a fresh action in the small claim court and you could rely on his conviction assuming that your small claim action was freshly raised and based on fraud.
There are over 12 people who are on the crown witness list who are victims, for varying amounts. Would this normally mean that each victim would be judged on it's own merits, that there would probably be 12 charges of fraud, it may then be that the jury may find him guilty on some of the charges, i.e, against some of the victims, but not against some of the others?
That is more likely than not, yes, without knowing all the details. Please press ACCEPT so that I am credited for my time.
27 years as a practising solicitor.
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