What is a Claim Form?
A Claim Form is a document used to commence proceedings in the County Court or High Court.
There are a number of versions of the Claim Form but the one most commonly used is known as form N1. A copy of form N1 can be obtained from the Court or found on the Court Service’s website.
How do I complete form N1?
At the top right hand side of the form the name of the Court in which the proceedings are to be commenced should be stated. There are restrictions as to where proceedings can be commenced. The value of the claim often determines where the proceedings should be commenced. Generally a claim should not be started in the High Court unless the value of the claim is more than £25,000, or in the case of a personal injury claim £50,000 or more. The type of claim may also determine where the proceedings should be commenced as certain types of cases can only be issued in certain Courts. For example, a defamation claim can only be commenced in the High Court unless the parties have agreed otherwise in writing.
The Claim Number and Date of Issue will be filled in by the Court when it issues the proceedings.
Names of the parties
The Claimant is the person bringing the claim and the Defendant is the person against whom the claim is brought. Their names should be stated in full.
In the case of individuals their titles and, in the case of individuals carrying on business in a name other than their own name, their trading names should also be stated.
In the case of a partnership (other than a limited liability partnership) where partners are being sued in the name of the partnership, the full name of the partnership should be stated and proceeded by the words “(a firm)”. Where partners are sued as individuals the full name of each partner, including their titles, should be stated.
If the Claimant is claiming in a representative capacity or the Defendant is sued in a representative capacity, it is necessary to state what that capacity is.
In the case of companies, corporations and limited liability partnerships the full name including any suffix (for example plc) should be stated.
Immediately below the names the full address or each party should be stated.
Brief details of the claim
A concise statement setting out the nature of the claim should be provided specifying the remedy sought by the Claimant. If the Claimant’s only claim is for a specified sum and interest is claimed this should be stated.
If the claim is for money the value of the claim is the amount claimed not including and interest or legal costs claimed.
Where a specified sum is claimed the amount of money claimed should be stated. Where the claim is not for a specific amount the Claimant, is in general, required to state that he expects to recover not more than £5,000, more than £5,000 but not more than £25,000, more than £25,000 or that he cannot say how much is likely to be recovered.
There are specific rules relating to the statement of the value in relation to personal injury claims, housing disrepair cases and proceedings commenced in the High Court.
Defendant’s name and address
The address upon which the Defendant is to be served with the proceedings should be stated. This may not be the same address as that set out above. For example, the address for service may be the Defendant’s solicitors’ address if his solicitors have asked for the Claim Form to be served on them.
In the box at the bottom right hand side of the first page of form N1 the sums claimed should be set out.
The amount claimed is the principal sum claimed together with any interested claimed.
For example, if the amount claimed is £100 and interest is claimed at the rate of 8% from the date of the invoice, which say was dated 1 January 2010, to the date of the Claim Form, which say is 1 March 2010, the amount claimed will be £101.29 in total (£100.00 being the principal sum claimed + interest of £1.29).
Interest is calculated as follows:
The principal sum claimed (£100.00 in this example) = £100.00
÷ 100 = £1.00
× the percentage rate of interest claimed (8% in this example) = £8.00
÷ 365 (the number of days in a year) = £0.0219
× the number of days in the period during which interest is
claimed (59 days in this example) = £1.29
If the amount claimed is not a fixed amount the words “damages to be assessed” should be entered in the box.
A Court fee is payable by the Claimant upon the commencement of proceedings. If the Claimant is successful in the claim the Defendant will normally be ordered to pay the Claimant the amount of the Court fee.
The Court fee payable depends upon the value or sometimes the type of the claim.
Where proceedings are commenced by solicitors the Claimant is entitled to claim an additional sum known as “fixed costs”. The amount a Claimant is entitled to claim by way of fixed costs will depend upon the value of the claim.
The amount claimed, the Court fee and any solicitor’s costs should be added together and the total stated.
Human Rights issues
On the second page of the Claim form the Claimant is required to confirm, by ticking the appropriate box, whether the claim includes any issues under the Human Rights Act 1998.
The Particulars of Claim
The Particulars of Claim should include a concise statement of the facts on which the Claimant relies. The Particulars of Claim can be set out on from N1 or in a separate document. If they are set out in a separate document the title of the proceedings (the name of the Court, the Claim Number and the names of the parties) should be stated.
If the Claimant seeks aggravated, exemplary or provisional damages this should be stated as should his grounds for claiming such damages.
Where interest is claimed this should be stated and the Claimant should state the basis on which interest is claimed. If the claim is for a specific amount of money the percentage rate at which interest is claimed should be stated as should the period over which it is claimed. The total amount of interest claimed to the date of calculation should be stated as should the daily rate at which interest accrues after that date.
There are specific rules relating to certain types of claim including defamation claims, possession claims,personal injury claims, fatal accident claims, hire-purchase claims and probate claims. Certain other matters should be set out in relation to other types of claim.
The Statement of Truth
The Claimant, or his solicitor if he has one, should sign the “Statement of Truth” at the end of the Claim Form and at the end of the Particulars of Claim if they are contained in a separate document. The full name of the person signing the statement of truth should be stated and if that person is signing on behalf of a firm or company their position in that firm or company should be stated.
Address for service
The Claimant is required to provide an address for service and to where any payments should be sent. If the Claimant is legally represented the address for service should be the business address of the solicitor acting for him. The address must include a full postcode, unless the Court otherwise orders, and can be either within the UK or within another EEA state.
If the Claimant is not legally represented, the address for service should be the address at which he resides (in the case of an individual) or the address at which he carries on business (in the case of a company or corporation). The address must include a full postcode, unless the Court otherwise orders, and must be within the UK. If the Claimant does not reside or carry on business in the UK and is not legally represented, the Claimant must give another address for service within the UK.
The Claimant may include other contact information such as a fax number and an email address.