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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10279
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Edinburgh Council have started proceedings against me regarding

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Edinburgh Council have started proceedings against me regarding not paying a £6k bill with regards XXXXX XXXXX share of Statutory Notices for repairs to my building.

Initially I did complain to the council for a description of works completed, details etc which I got no reply to, and the only way I managed to get any details including a bill of works was through a FOI request.

I now have had a qualified quantity surveyor who specialises in Statutory Notices looking at the bill and he says there are some glaring inaccuracies in the bill, for example the amount of scaffolding and unnecessary work not covered by the statutory notice so I am getting him to do a full audit.


In the meantime Edinburgh have raised an Summons against me which I replied to saying I would defend the action


I now have a date for court, and a letter titled “Intimation of Options” which states I have to lodge my defence by Monday 13th and my question is how do I go about this.

From the Scottish Court Website I have managed to get “Responding to a Summons”

http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/rules-and-practice/guidance-notes/summary-cause-guidance-notes

Which seems to have (Page 12) the form required to reply with my defense.

My question is can I just use this form on pages 12/13 and if so there seems to be 3 headings, that I need some advice on filling in, since I am still working on my defense.

WRITTEN NOTE OF PROPOSE DEFENCE / COUNTERCLAIM

State which facts in the statement of claim are admitted:

State briefly any facts regarding the circumstances of the claim on which you intent to rely:

State details of counterclaim, if any:

Lastly do I then need to also send a copy of this the Councils lawyers.

Ultimately my hope is that I do not go to court and Edinburgh Council agree that I just pay the revised amount.
Thank you for your question.If the council are suing you for £6000 or thereabouts this will not be a summary cause action.They would have served you with an Initial Writ, not a summons. That being the case you have to lodge formal defences under the Ordinary Cause Rules of Court. The summary cause rules that you are looking at are irrelevant. You should be looking at the ordinary cause rules. The reason that you have this wrong is that there are three types of procedure in the Sheriff Court. These are Small Claim and Summary Cause, for actions of £3000 and £5000 and under and then you have Ordinary Action procedure for actions above £5000 which usually require a solicitor as all documents have to be prepared from scratch, not just by filling in forms. You would have to lodge formal written defences and lodge a written report from your surveyor as a production in the case.The way it works is that the court fixes a timetable, giving the last date for you lodging written defences, then both parties have until a particular date to adjust their written pleadings. Another date is fixed for lodging a note of any legal arguments, known as a Note of Basis of Preliminary Pleas, another for lodging a Record and then a date for a procedural hearing known as an Options Hearing. With the best will in the world, unless you are trained in law and court procedures, you should be consulting a solicitor. You can find the correct court rules at the following link:http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/rules-and-practice/rules-of-court/sheriff-court---civil-procedure-rules/ordinary-cause-rulesHowever unless you know how to do the various steps in procedure, and the court will not help you, trying to deal with an ordinary sheriff court action yourself is a bit like trying to remove your own appendix, in the words of a senior judge some time ago.Happy to discuss further but you will need to see a solicitor experienced in civil court matters. I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Quick question can I still just pay the debt?

I would be then looking at a small claims against the council after I have got the forensic audit, as we reckon the over payment would be a couple of grand.
Yes you could but I wouldn't recommend that. I would say that you should get your surveyor to negotiate with the council. However if you decide to pay and then claim back, you would have to make the payment on a without prejudice basis to your rights to claim the council for any excessive charges and your settlement letter would have to reflect that to protect your position.
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