Small claims court?

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duggat
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:20 am

Small claims court?

Post by duggat » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:53 pm

Hi, I wonder if anyone could give advice?
Your neighbour instigates a boundary dispute and for the next 3 years harasses you, threatens you with court and costs you a massive amount of money through solicitors to stop them deciding where they want the boundary and digging up your drive.
Now they have gone quiet. Our solicitor wrote to them 6 months ago and continues to send their solicitor reminder letters; yet we have yet to hear from their aggressive solicitor or themselves personally.
In our last letters our solicitor had said that they could have the disputed land back. This land is a matter of inches and they had their surveyor value it as less than £5.00!
It would also only be done if they agreed to an independent surveyor looking at all the fences our neighbour had erected between our properties and those fences being moved accordingly.
So this is my question: can we take them to small claims court to get our solicitors fees repaid to us and extra for the distress and fear they have caused us with their ridiculous dispute?

Conveyancer
Posts: 5610
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 3:19 pm
Location: Andalucía

Re: Small claims court?

Post by Conveyancer » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:43 pm

duggat wrote:can we take them to small claims court to get our solicitors fees repaid to us and extra for the distress and fear they have caused us with their ridiculous dispute?
Only a court can award costs; if there is no court case there can be no claim for costs.

The small claims procedure would not be available for a claim for damages for distress.
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Sudynim
Posts: 2242
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:31 pm

Re: Small claims court?

Post by Sudynim » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:40 pm

duggat wrote:Hi, I wonder if anyone could give advice?
Your neighbour instigates a boundary dispute and for the next 3 years harasses you, threatens you with court and costs you a massive amount of money through solicitors to stop them deciding where they want the boundary and digging up your drive.
Now they have gone quiet. Our solicitor wrote to them 6 months ago and continues to send their solicitor reminder letters; yet we have yet to hear from their aggressive solicitor or themselves personally.
In our last letters our solicitor had said that they could have the disputed land back. This land is a matter of inches and they had their surveyor value it as less than £5.00!
It would also only be done if they agreed to an independent surveyor looking at all the fences our neighbour had erected between our properties and those fences being moved accordingly.
So this is my question: can we take them to small claims court to get our solicitors fees repaid to us and extra for the distress and fear they have caused us with their ridiculous dispute?
They no doubt consider that you have behaved ridiculously too, and that you have put them to great expense through your refusal to concede their rightful claim. I'm no saying that's right, but clearly no court is going to easily discern who is most at fault.

If you pay a lawyer enough money, they'll find a way to bring the matter before a higher court, where you and your neighbours can squander another £5,000 each for a bitter 3 day hearing. Then the loser can appeal, and the lawyers will be ordering new BMW's with glee.

My advice is that you've fended off their claim, be satisfied with that.

duggat
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:20 am

Re: Small claims court?

Post by duggat » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:49 pm

Thank you for your replies to my question.
The point is that although one may think we have appeared to have stopped their demand to claim back land that has never been in their title; they, on past history; will at some point take matters into their own hands whilst we are away.
When a fence is in situ prior to both parties and your neighbour simply replaces the fence to his own design many years ago; one just accepts as normal behaviour. That is until you decide to replace your drive many years later and suddenly they want their £5.00 land back to the deeds.
Fine; the old fence had been there for over 35 years but to stop your nonsense we will accept your demands as long as all YOUR fences you erected are properly surveyed.
Nit picking maybe; but when you have tried to appease this kind of neighbour, one has to make a stand at some point. Bowing and tipping your cap for 10 years has not worked.
So; maybe we cannot get anything for them being so obnoxious and vicious towards us but could we at some point get our fees to our solicitor back if they do not want to pursue their original dispute?

mr sheen
Posts: 2508
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:33 pm

Re: Small claims court?

Post by mr sheen » Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:22 am

You are still asking the same question which has been answered already.
When the original claim was made against you, the onus was on them to prove the case and you could have done nothing and incurred only minimal costs until the court case in which case if they could not prove their claim, you would have incurred few costs if they had dropped it or been awarded costs by the court.
However, in your case you seem to have initiated a counterclaim and in view of the counterclaim the original claimants seem to have decided to let the matter drop and leave costs awash to each side. In court, if both claim and counterclaim had been proven each would have probably been left with their own costs, as is the case now so you are no better or worse off than if you had both proven, or successfully defended, the claims in court.
You have the option of pursuing your (counter)claim against them and take the matter to court where the burden of proof is yours, but they will then just counterclaim their original claim and yet another pointless costly case ensues.

Sudynim
Posts: 2242
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:31 pm

Re: Small claims court?

Post by Sudynim » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:08 pm

duggat wrote:So; maybe we cannot get anything for them being so obnoxious and vicious towards us but could we at some point get our fees to our solicitor back if they do not want to pursue their original dispute?
You can ask them nicely, and see if they'll write you a cheque.

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