Any legal case can involve a lot of paperwork, especially in large cases or cases in which one party is attempting to make a large number of claims against the other. Both parties may present evidence or make statements to help tell their side of the story, and this evidence may be presented in the form of a statement of case. While some countries, such as the United States, use a single form for these statements and use them merely to provide background information about the case being heard, English law gives a much more significant role to these statements in civil legal proceedings.
ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma course covers Civil Litigation, and Students learn exactly what statements of case consist of. One of our achievement test questions covers this area of practice, so we would like to support our Students’ studies with this article.
In English law, statements of case are an essential part of legal proceedings and come in multiple forms. The most common of these are the claim form, the particulars of the claim, the defence and reply to the defence forms, the counterclaim, and requests for further information and clarification. Additional statements for Part 20 filings are also used. The statements filed for these actions are used to initiate different parts of a suit, with both the one making the claim (claimant) and the defendant using them to present new evidence.
The claim form and the particulars of the claim are used to establish the initial claim in a case and document exactly what the case covers. Without these statements, the case cannot proceed, as its purpose has not been defined within the court. Once claims and their particulars are entered into the court, the case truly begins and the defendant is aware of exactly what claims are being made against him or her.
Once a claim has been made and its particulars have been entered into the court, the defence uses a statement of case to establish his or her stance against the claim. This allows the defendant to present evidence that contradicts the initial claim or to present other evidence on his or her behalf. Once this has been entered into the case, a reply to the defence can also be entered that addresses evidence or specific information contained within the defence statement.
In some cases, the defendant also wishes to file a claim against the individual who brought him or her to court. When this occurs, a counterclaim statement is entered into the court that lays out the specifics of this claim. The counterclaim is handled separately from defence statements, to prevent information from the defence and the counterclaim from becoming confused and to ensure that the counterclaim isn’t simply a reactionary move if the defence goes poorly.
While these statements are used to keep court proceedings organised, they may not always contain enough information to satisfy all parties involved in the case. When this occurs, statements requesting more information or clarifications to vague or confusing information are entered. These requests allow both the initial claimant and the defence to determine exactly what is being said by the other party and to ensure that they won’t lose the case due to vague wording or missing information.
Part 20 Filings
Certain types of counterclaims and other claims in civil courts fall under Part 20 rules and as such require statements specific to Part 20 filings. These filings can fall under the heading of counterclaims, claims against third parties who were not originally named in a case or claims made by third parties who were not originally named. These statements are not as common as others but are important, as they make sure that Part 20 filings are handled efficiently and brought into the case in an orderly manner.