The County Court Money Claims Centre is where all money claims must be commenced, if the claim is started on paper. The reason for this is to ease the burden on the local County Courts, as previously, you could start a claim at any County Court of your choice.
Claims started online using Money Claims Online, are issued within the County Court Business Centre, which we address in a separate article.
Starting a Claim in the County Court Money Claims Centre
Money Claims Online, whilst a useful option, it problematic in that it greatly restricts the amount of information that can be included about the claim and isn’t as easy to attach relevant documents to. In all but the very most simple claims, it is better to complete the N1 claim form with particulars of claim in a paper form and sending the proceedings to the County Court Money Claims Centre for issue with the appropriate fee.
The current address of the County Court Money Claims Centre is PO Box 527, M5 0BY.
Starting a claim in the County Court Money Claims Centre involves completing the N1 claim form and posting it with the appropriate issue fee. Provided the claim form is properly completed and the correct fee is sent, the court will issue the claim.
Once issued, it will be given a unique reference number which is referred to as the claim number. The court will then post out a notice of issue to the Claimant confirming the date the claim was issued and by what date the Defendant must respond to the proceedings.
The court will post to the Defendant the claim form and also a bundle of documents referred to as a response pack. The response pack includes an admission form, defence form and an acknowledgment of service form.
It depends upon what the Defendant does in response to the claim as to what the Claimant can do next. If the Defendant does not respond, the Claimant can complete the request for Judgment in Default and send that to the court.
Emailing Documents to the County Court Money Claims Centre
When sending documents to the County Court Money Claims Centre after a claim has been issued, in our experience it is better to scan and email them to the court. When emailing the court you should receive a very prompt email acknowledgment, so it gives a good receipt that the court has received it. The receipt will also attach some guidance to follow when filing documents by email.
The County Court Money Claims Centre email guidance is fairly lengthy but the main points to ensure are:
- You send the email to the correct email address (the usual email address for filing documents is email@example.com).
- You put in the header the claim number, names of the parties (Claimant and Defendant) and the description of the document (for example request for judgment in default).
- If filing a document at court and the other party has confirmed an email address, you should ensure you copy the other party into the email.
- The size of the document being filed, including the email itself, cannot exceed 50 printed pages of paper. If more than that, you need to send it by post. You cannot cheat the system by breaking a document down into sections and sending multiple emails.
Transfer to a Local County Court Hearing Centre
If a claim is defended by the Defendant and the parties complete their directions questionnaires, the County Court Money Claims Centre will transfer the claim to one of the local County Court hearing centres.
If the Defendant is an individual, it will usually be transferred to the County Court hearing centre most local to the Defendant. Once notice of transfer is given, you must send any further documents to the County Court specified.