How To Take Someone to Court

A free independent guide to taking somebody to the Small Claims Court in the UK - 2013

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Small Claims Court Forms (from hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk)


It's actually quite difficult to find relevant court forms & information on the all-encompassing official govt website (justice.gov.uk), in fairness the 'justice' website has to deal with all possible court case scenarios and is necessarily complex - finding the right form can be a hit-and-miss affair. This is my guide to the main forms needed to see a small claim through to a hopefully successful conclusion.

Initiating a small claims action (known as making/starting a Claim) is easier than you might think - simply use the N1 form, or alternatively use MCOL (see below). 
If you're not quite at that stage yet, I'd suggest reading the 'EX' prefixed documents EX301-EX304 (below) which provide a simple, clear description of court procedures - recommended.

Starting Your Claim

The N1 Claim Form (click here) can be used to start your court action (make your claim) download this form along with the N1A Notes (below), and send it to the County Court Money Claims Centre; Although personally, I wouldn't use the N1 - I'd use Money Claim Online (MCOL) instead, which is effectively a web-based version of this form.

The N1A Notes for claimant on completing a claim form is a worthwhile read even if you don't use the N1 form (as I advise).

Small Claims 'EX' Documents

HM Courts 'EX' Documents/Forms describe Court procedures and are a very worthwhile read:

EX301 I'm in a dispute - what can I do?
EX302 How do I make a court claim?
EX304 I've started a claim in court - what happens next?
EX306 The small claims track in civil courts.

Enforcing a Judgment

Assuming you win your case (and the defendant doesn't pay) the next step is to Enforce the Judgment and there are various enforcement options available; for general advice see my guide to enforcing the judgment and the HM Courts document: EX321 I have a judgment but the defendant hasn't paid - what do I do?

For information on specific enforcement options:
N323 Request for Warrant of Execution -  For more info see: EX322 How do I ask for a warrant of execution? 
N337 Request for Attachment of Earnings Order -  For info: EX323 How do I ask for an attachment of earnings order?
N349 Application for Third party debt order -  For info: EX325 How do I apply for a Third party debt order/Charging order? 
N379 Application for a Charging Order on land or property (For info see EX325 above)
N380 Application for a Charging Order on securities (For info see EX325 above)

Court Fees

EX50 is the Master Listing of all HM Courts fees; i.e. in the High Court, County Court, Civil and Family Court. 
EX50 Civil and Family Court Fees. High Court and County Court

EX160A Describes the various exemptions to Court fees, e.g. for people on Low Income/JS Allowance etc.
EX160A Court fees - Do I have to pay them?

Other Forms

N149 Allocation Questionnaire (Small Claims)
You will be sent the AQ by the Court in due course, I wouldn't worry about it for now, but it's useful if you want to get an understanding of what the Court requires later in the process, when things start getting serious.

N225 Request for judgment (specified amount)
For use when the Defendant does not respond to your Claim or admits your Claim; under those circumstances use this form to request the judgment and formally end the Case.
The term 'specified amount' above means for claims of a fixed sum, e.g. £1000. If your claim is for an unspecified amount (i.e. the amount is to be decided by a Judge) use N227 to request the judgment.


The official 'Master List' list of all available HM Courts Forms can be found here: http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/FormFinder.do (select County Court from the 'Available types' pull-down list).