Statements of case are documents which detail to the Court the nature of the dispute they are adjudicating. We will be considering a number of different statements of case as part of this course. The first is the Particulars of Claim.
Particulars of Claim are documents which set out the case on which the Claimant seeks adjudication. It is a statement of the Particulars of the Claimant’s case. Their contents is governed by Rule 16.1 (1) of the CPR. Rule 16.4 provides the following requirements for a Particulars of Claim:
Contents of the particulars of claim
(1) Particulars of claim must include –
(a) a concise statement of the facts on which the claimant relies;
(b) if the claimant is seeking interest, a statement to that effect and the details set out in paragraph (2);
(c) if the claimant is seeking aggravated damages(GL) or exemplary damages(GL), a statement to that effect and his grounds for claiming them;
(d) if the claimant is seeking provisional damages, a statement to that effect and his grounds for claiming them; and
(e) such other matters as may be set out in a practice direction.
(2) If the claimant is seeking interest he must –
(a) state whether he is doing so –
(i) under the terms of a contract;
(ii) under an enactment and if so which; or
(iii) on some other basis and if so what that basis is; and
(b) if the claim is for a specified amount of money, state –
(i) the percentage rate at which interest is claimed;
(ii) the date from which it is claimed;
(iii) the date to which it is calculated, which must not be later than the date on which the claim form is issued;
(iv) the total amount of interest claimed to the date of calculation; and
(v) the daily rate at which interest accrues after that date.
However, the requirements of a Particulars of Claim will vary depending on the type of case being pursued.
In a contract case there will need to be certain particulars pleaded in order for the case to succeed. These will include (a) the status of the parties (b) the existence of a contract (3) the sequence of events (4) the nature of the breach (5) the extent of damages and (6) the calculated interest.
In a case based on negligence the approach will have to be similar, but will have to plead a (1) duty of care (2) facts underpinning the alleged breach of that duty (3) the consequences (4) damages and (5) interest.
In either case the Court will need to have certain facts pleaded in order for the case to proceed so it is always worth checking with counsel whether a particulars of claim is fit to be served. In practice, counsel will often draft the documents on your behalf based on your instructions.
The CPR also places requirements on clients to provide particular details in their defence. Rule 16.5 states:
(1) In his defence, the defendant must state –
(a) which of the allegations in the particulars of claim he denies;
(b) which allegations he is unable to admit or deny, but which he requires the claimant to prove; and
(c) which allegations he admits.
(2) Where the defendant denies an allegation –
(a) he must state his reasons for doing so; and
(b) if he intends to put forward a different version of events from that given by the claimant, he must state his own version.
(3) A defendant who –
(a) fails to deal with an allegation; but
(b) has set out in his defence the nature of his case in relation to the issue to which that allegation is relevant,
shall be taken to require that allegation to be proved.
This makes it very important that ever allegation pleaded in the particulars of claim be responded to in the defence. For every factual claim which is disputed, the defendant is under an obligation to state his reasons for disputing the allegation and an alternative version of events if he intends to put one forward. If he fails to deal with an allegation, then the allegation will be taken to be proved. This could obviously have a catastrophic impact on your client’s case if you fail to respond to an allegation that your client disputes.
In many cases the only statements of claim may be the Particulars of Claim and the Defence. However, in some cases, the defendant may wish to make a counterclaim against the claimant. The procedure for doing so is found in CPR Part 20.
Part 20.2 states that (1) This Part applies to – (a) a counterclaim by a defendant against the claimant or against the claimant and some other person; (b) an additional claim by a defendant against any person (whether or not already a party) for contribution or indemnity or some other remedy; and (c) where an additional claim has been made against a person who is not already a party, any additional claim made by that person against any other person (whether or not already a party).
The counterclaim can be treated essentially as a separate claim so should plead everything that you would expect to be pleaded in a particulars of claim. The counterclaim should be included with the defence and both served as one document. Permission is not normally required from the Court unless a defence has already been filed.
The Claimant can then file and serve a defence to the Counterclaim. The requirements for a defence to the Counterclaim will the same as if the Claimant were defending any other claim.
Amendments can be made to a statement of case. The rules and procedure for amendments are covered in CPR Part 17. The rules are quite straight forward. CPR 17.1 states:
(1) A party may amend his statement of case at any time before it has been served on any other party.
(2) If his statement of case has been served, a party may amend it only –
(a) with the written consent of all the other parties; or
(b) with the permission of the court.
(3) If a statement of case has been served, an application to amend it by removing, adding or substituting a party must be made in accordance with rule 19.4.
An application to amend a statement of case can be made using the N244 form.
Requests for Further Information
CPR Part 18 provides rules for the provision of further information. The rules state as follows:
1) The court may at any time order a party to –
(a) clarify any matter which is in dispute in the proceedings; or
(b) give additional information in relation to any such matter,
whether or not the matter is contained or referred to in a statement of case.
(2) Paragraph (1) is subject to any rule of law to the contrary.
(3) Where the court makes an order under paragraph (1), the party against whom it is made must –
(a) file his response; and
(b) serve it on the other parties,
within the time specified by the court.
So, again, the rules are quite straight forward. If a party requires additional information from the other side then they could request it in correspondence. If no reply is received then an application for an order that the information be provided can be made to the Court. This application will be made under part 18 using the N244 form.