In order to bring a claim in the County Court or High Court you have to complete a claim form and prepare particulars of claim. This is a summary of what your case is about. Once issued by the Court the defendant is required to put in a document in answer to your Particulars of Claim known as a “defence”.
If the defendant does not put in firstly the Acknowledgement of Service Form or file a separate defence within the set time limits you can apply for a judgment in default. This means that the Court will order judgment without there having to be a hearing at Court.
Once you have judgment, if the defendant does not settle your claim you can seek to enforce the judgment
Normally when you issue a claim form you will use a procedure known as the “Part 7 Procedure”. However if you are claiming something where there is unlikely to be a factual dispute you can use the alternative procedure which is called the “Part 8 Procedure”. This is also appropriate if you have some specific issue other than a money claim which you need the Court to rule on. The defendant will still be required to put in an Acknowledgement of Service Form but no defence.
The Court will then fix a hearing date or have a preliminary hearing to give directions for preparing the case for a final hearing. The directions will set out the timetable for the parties to prepare for the final hearing date, to include disclosure of relevant documents, preparing witness evidence and providing costs information.