Draft Direction Order
Draft Directions Order
Guide to the new AQ strategy
In section G (H if N150) of the AQ, you get the opportunity to add any other information you think may help the judge manage the claim, or make a request for specific orders that you want the judge to consider making.
Until now, we have always requested an order of standard disclosure in this section, as per the AQ guide notes in the templates library.
A standard disclosure order, if it were ordered by the judge, would oblige the bank to fully substantiate exactly how its charges are made up and provide costings and documentary evidence, etc.
Trouble is, that standard disclosure is not availible in small claims cases - it is only usually ordered in the fast and multi-track. Judges do have the power to order it in small claims cases if they see fit, but up untill now they have been very reluctant to do so. In fact I'm only aware of a handful of cases in which it has been ordered dispite it being requested in hundreds of AQ's.
So now, instead of requesting an order of standard disclosure in the AQ, there is the option of requesting the directions as per the draft order above
If ordered, this would still oblige the bank to produce all the important documentation that a standard disclosure order would - but, in a form that is far more likely to be agreed by the judge.
These directions are already being routinely ordered by some courts in small claims track cases, and it is fairly likely that if proposed most judges would agree to them. There is certainly no obvious reason why they would'nt, as is the case with standard disclosure.
So, if you want to request the directions rather than standard disclosure, you need to attach the draft order to section G of the AQ. In the section G ('other info') itself, see below.
If you have a N150, attach it to the 'proposed directions' section and see below for a suggestion of what to put in 'other info'.
The AQ will then go off to be looked at by the judge to consider the case file and AQ's and to allocate your claim - set the date, issue directions, etc.
You will then in a couple of weeks receive your notice of allocation from the court, which will contain the track, the date and the directions the judge has ordered.
If the judge has aceeded to your request and ordered the directions as proposed, you will THEN have to submit the claimants documents as per a), b), c) and d) of the order.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that you then know exactly what you need to provide and submit it to the court and the other side within the date specified on the order.
If you don't submit it, or don't submit it on time, your claim will then be struck out!!!
Once you've filed and served your documents, the bank will then have to submit theirs within their specified timescale. Going on past evidance, it is highly unlikely (although not inconcevable) that the bank will comply. They will probably either settle before the deadline, or default and have their defence struck out.
Tthe other big advantage of these directions is that the defendants documents have to be submitted within 28 days of the order. Therefore, the claims timescale would be considerably shortened as opposed to the standard small claims track directions, which don't require document exchange to take place untill 14 days before the hearing - which obviously in some cases could be months!
Passage for section G/H - 'other information'
(you'll need a seperate sheet)
Attach it to the AQ followed by the draft order. Then in the actual 'section G' box of the AQ, write this;
Then obviously send a copy of the AQ and attachments to the defendant as well as the court.