The Claims Process – Acknowledgment of Service
In our previous article we discussed issuing the claim commencing court proceedings and service of the Claim Form upon the defendant.
The Response Pack
When the Claim Form is served on the Defendant , it ought to be accompanied by a bundle of documents called a “Response Pack” (although those forms can also be downloaded from the Government website N9 - Response pack (publishing.service.gov.uk)). Included within the Response Pack are the Acknowledgment of Service, Admission Form, Defence and Counterclaim and Notes for the defendant on replying to the Claim Form.
The defendant must complete the appropriate form depending on their position as follows:
- The defendant admits the claim or the amount claim and/or wants time to pay it must complete the admission form.
- The defendant admits part of the claim it must complete the admission form and the defence form.
- If the whole of the claim is disputed or the defendant wishes to make a claim (a counterclaim) against the clam they must complete the defence form.
- The acknowledgement of service
Time limits for filing an Acknowledgement of Service
Filing an Acknowledgment of Service same gives the defendant more time that could prove invaluable to them to prepare their defence or approach a solicitor for advice. The period for filing an Acknowledgment of Service is:
- 14 days after service of the particulars of claim where the defendant is served with a claim form which states that particulars of claim are to follow; and
- 14 days after service of the claim form in any other case.
This essentially means that if the defendant requires longer than 14 days to prepare their defence or to contest the court’s jurisdiction to hear the claim, they must complete the Acknowledgment of Service and send it to the court within 14 days. This will allow them 28 days from the date of service of the particulars of claim to file their defence or make an application to contest the court’s jurisdiction. The court will tell the claimant that the defendant’s Acknowledgment of Service has been received.
Consequences of failing to file an Acknowledgment of Service (or responding to the court at all)
If no Acknowledgment of Service is filed the Defendant must file their Defence within 14 days of service of the Claim Form/Particulars of Claim pursuant to CPR 15.4 (further details surrounding the Defence and Counterclaim will be set out in our next article in our series of articles in respect of The Claims Process).
On a final note, it is important to remember, that if a Defendant fails to file an Acknowledgment of Service or a Defence within the relevant CPR time limits as set out above (or fails to admit the claim within 14 days of service of the Claim Form/Particulars of Claim) the Claimant will be entitled to apply to the court for a judgment in default.”