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What if one of two defendants doesn't turn up for a hearing?

What if one of two defendants doesn't turn up for a hearing?

Postby steve » Tue May 02, 2017 5:56 pm

I've issued a claim against a married couple which I assume will be heard as a small claim.

The husband is a liar and is happy to psychologically manipulate his family. The wife has a strong religious commitment which results in her deferring everything to her husband.

I suspect that she will find it hard to back up his lies in Court if she feels she is compelled to say something.

But what happens if she doesn't turn up at all?

I understand that a sole defendant *may* be allowed to send a representative and not attend, but that it is not normal. But is it easier to get a dispensation if there are two defendants who are married?
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Re: What if one of two defendants doesn't turn up for a hear

Postby atticus » Tue May 02, 2017 7:37 pm

Assuming this is on the Small Claims track, CPR 27.9 applies:

https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/proce ... art27#27.9
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Re: What if one of two defendants doesn't turn up for a hear

Postby steve » Wed May 03, 2017 8:56 am

Thanks.

So, in short, if she does not comply with the requirements and does not attend:

the court may decide the claim on the basis of the evidence of the claimant alone.

The "may" is the awkward bit, I guess. If the husband makes an oral argument that is accepted by the Judge would a pragmatic Judge judge against the non-attending wife? That's mainly a rhetorical question - we'll have to see...
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Re: What if one of two defendants doesn't turn up for a hear

Postby atticus » Wed May 03, 2017 9:19 am

The may is the bit that allows the nudge to exercise judgement. And there is more to the rule than you have selected.

If your claim is brought against two people on the basis that thay are jointly and severally liable for the same thing, then is it just that you should get judgment against one, who does not show up, and yet lose your case against the other after a full hearing?
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Re: What if one of two defendants doesn't turn up for a hear

Postby steve » Wed May 03, 2017 10:00 am

is it just that you should get judgment against one, who does not show up, and yet lose your case against the other after a full hearing?


In many cases no. In this case yes because the husband is a liar who has been harassing people who have provided evidence. (I don't think the husband will win the whole case which involves a clear rent shortfall and several separate items of damage).
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Re: What if one of two defendants doesn't turn up for a hear

Postby atticus » Wed May 03, 2017 10:40 am

You answer yes, but change the premise of the question.

Make sure you are able to prove all you need to prove if you are to win your case.
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