Small Claims Court Deadlines

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Having evicted a tenant for rent arrears and damages I issued a small claims court claim which went as follows:-

19/08/2014 – Small claims court issued (19/08/2014) and served (22/08/2014) proceedings against 3 defendants (2 tenants & 1 guarantor). Total amount £4,835.06.

11/09/2014 – Defence issued by guarantor “on behalf of” tenants 1 and 2. Only signed by Guarantor. This was on day 21 which was 1 week late for time for defence.

11/12/2014 – Initial Hearing. Judge ordered Tenants to submit their own defence by 23/12/2014 as did not accept the one “filed on their behalf”. Paid a fee and raised claim by an additional £908.87 to £5,743.93.

23/12/2014 – Still no defence issued by tenants.

22/2/2015 – Tenants filed evidence and defence. This was 2 months late.

23/2/2015 – I applied for judgement under Civil procedure rule 12.1 as both defence service deadlines had been missed. This was denied.

10/03/2015 – Judge denied having paperwork for additional amount I had claimed even though I had receipts etc and would only discuss initial amount. Judge refused a judgement on basis of missed defence deadlines even though they had missed both saying “This is an informal court and deadlines don’t apply here”. Judge worked through case and awarded £3,234.40 to be paid within 28 days.

My main concern is that the defendants blatantly missed both defence service deadlines and the judge simply said that “deadlines don’t apply in my court”.

I just wondered if he has power to do that as it seems very one sided to me ?

Advice appreciated.
11/03/2015 15:45

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