Money Claim Online (MCOL) is Her Majesty’s Court Service online service for Claimant’s and Defendant’s. MCOL is a simple, convenient and secure way of making or responding to a claim via the internet. The service allows you to keep an eye on the status of your/the Claim, Judgment and/or Warrant.
Factors to consider before issuing a claim
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
You should first consider other ways to settle the dispute by way of ADR methods. ADR is the collective term for the different ways which the parties can settle civil disputes without going to court, or if proceedings have been started, without proceeding to trial.
There are a number of different ADR techniques that parties can try such as using a process where a neutral third party makes a decision (arbitration, expert determination, ombudsmen and regulators). Alternatively use a process where a neutral third party offers an opinion, and/or seeks to bring the parties to an agreement (mediation, conciliation, and early neutral evaluation).
It is also important to consider whether the Defendant you are claiming from is able to pay. If they are unemployed, bankrupt, or their company has been wound up, have no money, no personal property and nothing else of value belonging to them; have ceased to trade; and have other debts to pay, it is unlikely that you will recover any monies owed to you. Therefore, it may be uneconomical for you to issue a claim.
If you are still wish to issue a claim then you are required to write a letter before action. You are required to state the amount owed, what it is for, and what steps you have been taken to recover the money. You must also include a warning that you will consider issuing a County Court Claim if they do not pay within a reasonable period such as 21 days.
Eligibility to issue a claim
In order to be eligible to issue a claim you must satisfy the following criteria:
You have access to the internet
You have a claim for a fixed amount of money. However, it must be no more than £99,999.99.
There are no more than 2 Defendant’s
All the parties have an address in England or Wales where all the documents can be delivered to/served on
You have an e-mail address
The claimant is not a child or protected party or funded by the Legal Services Commission.
The defendant is not the Crown or a person known to be a child or protected party.
If the claim does not meet all of the above requirements you cannot use the MCOL service and you should seek legal advice.
Issuing a claim
A Claimant may request the issue of a claim form by completing and sending the online claim form; and paying the appropriate issue fee at the website of Her Majesty’s Court Service.
Detailed particulars of claim must be either (included in the online claim form; or served and filed by the Claimant separately from the claim form. However, the Claimant must state that detailed particulars of claim will follow; and include a brief summary of the claim in the online claim form.
Once you have completed the Claim Form and paid the fees the MCOL will allocate a claim number. This claim number will be the reference used by all the parties in all correspondence between themselves and the court.
When the court issues a claim form, it will serve a printed version of the claim form on the Defendant; and send the Claimant a notice of issue. The Claim Form will be deemed to be served on the 5th day after the claim was issued.
- The Claimant is required to pay County Court Fees when issuing a claim. These are to be paid by Debit or Credit Card.
- Proceedings Fees Order 2008 provides that in certain circumstances a party may be entitled to a remission or part remission of a fee. Her Majesty’s Courts Service website contains guidance with regard to the eligibility for this remission.
- A Claimant who wishes to apply for a remission or part remission must not use MCOL and must file the Claim Form at their local court office.
Service of the claim form
MCOL will submit your claim to the CCBC to be issued. Once issued, a copy of the Claim From and a Response Pack will be sent to the Defendant. The claim pack comprises of an acknowledgement of service, a Defence and an Admission.
The claim must be served on the Defendant within 4 months of the date of issue. If you wish to extend the time for service, you must make an application to the court before expiry of the 4 month period.
Responding to a claim
Once the Defendant has received the claim they can either (1) Pay the claim in full, (2) File a full admission; (3) a Part Admission; (4) an Acknowledgement of Service; (5) defend the claim; or (6) Make a counterclaim.
Acknowledgment of Service
If the Defendant does not admit the whole claim they should file a response to the claim within 14 days of service of the claim.
If the Defendant disputes the claim they must file a Defence within 14 days. However, filing an Acknowledgement of Service extends the time for filing a Defence by another 14 days.
The Defendant must state which parts of the claim are denied and the reasons. If an allegation is ignored and the Defendant fails to deny an allegation they may be taken to admit it.
Where the Defendant is an individual the matter will be transferred to the Defendant’s home court. Where the Defendant is not an individual the matter will be transferred to you or your representative’s home court. MCOL will send you a Notice of Transfer and an Allocation Questionnaire. The Allocation Questionnaire will assist the Judge in deciding how and where the matter should proceed.