What are Statements of Case?
These are formal documents used during litigation. These documents provide details and information what each party has about the case. The Civil Procedure Rules defines these documents to be, the claim form, particulars of claim, defence, counterclaim, additional claim under Part 20, reply to defence and further evidence.
Statement of Case is the first document which is served between both the parties. After this document, the claimant serves the particulars of claim followed by a defence which is served by the defendant and then most likely a reply from the claimant. Most importantly, these documents are read by the judge. Hence they have to be well drafted.
What is the purpose of Statements of Case?
There are two main reasons or purposes to serve the statements of case. The first purpose is to inform the other side of the case that they have a trial and the second purpose is to inform the other party of the contentions that will be put forward by the other parties so that the trial judge can understand what the issue is between the parties.
Particulars of Claim
A particulars of claim is a document which defines what facts the claimant needs to prove to establish the cause of action. It must be noted that the facts set out are material facts of the claim. Hence these are the facts which aroused the dispute. Moreover this document should also contain facts which are important as a matter of law for the cause of action on which the case is based. In addition in this document the claimant should also write the remedies they seek from the court. Furthermore it should also include full details of any interest claimed, including the period, rate and the authority for claiming it.
The particulars of claim is served with the claim form or within fourteen days of service of the claim form. But it should be served within this period of fourteen days. Moreover if it is a personal injuries case, the claimant must attach a medical report and statement of loss and expense with the particulars of claim. In contractual claims which are based on written contracts, it is required that the contractual documents must be served with the particulars of claim.
A defence is a document which is a reply to the particulars of claim. In this document, the defendant must state which allegations in the particulars of claim are admitted, hence no longer will be an issue, allegations the defendant is unable to admit or deny, hence in such a situation it is required that the claimant should provide strict proof and allegations which are denied, in such a situation it is required that the defendant gives reasons for the denial and must state any alternative version of the event.
The defence must be served within fourteen days of service of the particulars of claim or twenty eight days if the defendant has acknowledged service.
This document is used by the defendant. It is used to bring a cause of action against the claimant. This document could be used to either offset or reduce the amount the claimant intends to claim against the defendant.
Reply or Defence to Counterclaim
If the claimant would like to deal with any new issues raised in the defence, this should be done in the reply. Moreover the claimant should respond to a counterclaim through a defence to counterclaim.
Statement of Truth
It is a must rule that all statements of case have to be verified by statement of truth, which is a statement declaring that the party which is putting this statement forward believes it to be true. This statement is important as it prevents parties relying on statements which they do not believe are true or which are not supported by evidence. If the statement is not signed, the party is not allowed to rely on it and hence it may be struck out.
Striking out Statement of Case
The court has power to strike out a statement of case if the court believes that the statement of case discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending the claim, that the statement of case is or likely to be an abuse of the court’s process, or a rule, practice direction or court order has not been complied with.