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The original claim is for £3475.91. The defendant isn't asking for anything yet, as I haven't discountinued the case. I'm just thinking about discontinuation as an option, since after viewing the defence they have submitted, their case seems stronger than mine on legal points.
My understanding for Small Claims Court is that to discontinue I simply need to fill in a form N279 and submit it to the defendant and the court and that's it. The defendant can't ask for costs since they are not entitled under the special rules for the Small Claims Court. However, the point of my question was to clarify this.
Your understanding is almost correct however costs can be awardedin the Small Claims Court if the judge thinks that the party has beenunreasonable. I will tell you that a person has to be extremely unreasonablefor costs to be awarded and it is most unusual for them to actually be awarded.
What I would do is write to the defendant and tell them that youare prepared to consider dropping your claim and filing form N279 provided theyagree not to pursue any wasted costs bearing in mind that costs are not awardedin the Small Claims Court in any event.
The reason for mentioning the costs to the defendant is purely tofocus their mind because the last thing you want is for you to withdraw yourclaim and for them to then make an application for an order for costs (which islikely to fail in any event) but with which you will have to deal.
Does that answer the question? Can I help further?
To be honest, the defendant would be stupid not to reply or to makean application for costs.
If he does not reply, I would unilaterally issue the form N279, andif he makes an application for costs, simply defend it.