Litigant in Person Penalised by Court

Judith Thompson

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A case decided in June this year, highlights the importance of taking professional legal advice, or risk having your claim struck out for procedural reasons. 

A claim was issued against an individual, who issued a defence and counterclaim in response. An application was made to have the counterclaim struck out. 

The judge agreed that the counterclaim should be struck out, largely because the document filed by the litigant in person was not well drafted, mixed together different issues, was not set out properly and did not meet the court's requirements. Crucially, the judge thought that a fair trial would not have been possible. 

The judge made it clear that he was not willing to give any leeway to the litigant in person, simply because they did not have a lawyer to assist them, although the litigant in person had in fact been given more than one chance to plead their claim properly. Despite this, their counterclaim was still not compiled properly and was struck out. 

As pressure on courts increases, the striking out of improperly pleaded claims is likely to become more and more common. Judges will be less and less likely to make any allowances for litigants in person.

If you are struggling with a claim on your own, we may well be able to help. 

We offer conditional (no win no fee) assistance in certain cases and flexible funding options to help clients get the access to justice they require. 

Contact us today for a free discussion about how we can help .