A judgement was awarded against me. I refused to pay a claim as there were issues with equipment that I had already paid for which the merchant refused to resolve. The merchant had also over charged me on paid goods and unpaid goods. The merchant had also charged me for goods not received. All I asked for was proof going back approx 12 months that I had received all of the goods I had paid for as well as the unpaid goods. I also wanted the faulty goods issues resolved before payment. At court it was proven that I had been overcharged and charged for goods not received. I therefore had to pay some of the claim. However the claimant failed to prove whether I had received the goods I had paid for previously. I was shocked having proven that I had been overcharged and for goods not received that judgment was awarded against me and I had to pay costs etc. Can I appeal the costs etc
System of Law: England-and-Wales
Hi there. Thanks for your question, I will help you with this.
This is very difficult to answer, as lawyers need to pour over transcript and assess the law carefully before being able to say whether an appeal is possible. However, if you're talking about costs generally, they are always in the Court's absolute discretion.
As such, it's difficult to appeal an exercise of complete discretion. The only basis upon which you can do so really is that no reasonable Court would have made that decision - which is a very difficult thing to prove!
Costs decisions can be harsh - and sometimes unfair, but the Court does retain an absolute discretion.
If the Court based the costs on an underlying assumption, i.e. that you lost on most of the claim (for example) and this is shown to be wrong, then the issue of costs can be looked at again by an appeal court.
Does this answer your question?
Yes, you do need the court permission to be able to appeal. However, you can ask permission from a higher court, which I assume in your case, would be the Court of Appeal.
Whether you ought to do that would depend upon the real detail of the case, and as I mentioned, you would have to show that the court was wrong for some reason in either its application of the law, or that it had misunderstood or misapplied the facts of the case, or have made a decision that no reasonable court would have made. This is not an easy thing to do in the vast majority of cases.
You say the court did not get the figures right, and that may be grounds for appeal. But, you cannot appeal simply because you believe the judge reached the wrong conclusion undisputed facts. If that were the case, at least one party in every case would have grounds to appeal.
Then this was small claims, why the costs award then?
These are standard costs that are usually awarded in small claims then.
Its difficult to change these unless you can show the Court was wrong in applying the law/facts to the case.
The Court might have taken the view that you should have issued a counterclaim before the final hearing.
Did you make an application on Form N244 for specific disclosure?
Thats what should have been done to apply for this.
It might be that you didn't' follow the strict legal procedure for achieving what you wanted.
TO get disclosure of the docs, you should make an application.
This needs to be done well before the final hearing.
If thats the only case pleaded, then yes, it was right for the court to award that.
The usual thing to do is make the counterclaim and say that you cannot quantify the figures, and you do these at the final hearing. You may have been overcharged but the Court found against you at the end of the day.
You can't litigate again for issues that could have been sorted in the first set of proceedings, it's called an abuse of process.
If this was part of your defence, then he should have dealt with it and if he didn't then its likely that you could appeal.
Ah, well it should have been in your defence really, and the Judge may have not dealt with it for this reason.
Thats only relevant on the issue of costs - which given this is small claims, is pretty irrelevant anyway.
I have to go shortly I'm afraid.
Pre-action is before the claim is issued- it is phrase used to denote what happens before the proceedings are issued.
Allocation fees etc. are AFTER action is issued, this is not pre-action procedure.
Did you mean to say "bad service"?
No, you didn't read my reply. I said pre-action issues are irrelevant to costs - and they are. (Edited by Moderator) Incidentally, there is only one ground on which the Court can make a costs order in the small claims, and I now understand why it did it here.
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