Taking up where Nye Moloney left off, I have found the County Court Money Claims Centre (CCMCC) to be lacking. I am uncertain as to how the interaction between the centre and the Northampton Bulk Issue Centre pans out in practice.
On 30 August, I was instructed by a client who was being pressed by a sheriff’s officer in respect of a judgment debt that had been wrongly entered against him. I sent an application to the Northampton Bulk Issue Centre where the judgment was issued for it to be set aside and for the matter to be transferred to my client’s local court for a hearing. That letter was marked ‘very urgent’.
After chasing up the matter with telephone calls and emails, it was not until 17 September that I received an email from Northampton suggesting that I should contact the CCMCC in Salford, notwithstanding that the judgment had been made in Northampton.
On the same day that I resubmitted the papers to Salford, I received an order from Northampton stating that the application had finally been transferred to the defendant’s local court. There is still no sign of a hearing and the sheriff continued to press my client. Fortunately, I was able to agree with sensible solicitors instructed by the claimant that the judgment had been wrongly entered, and a consent order setting aside judgment has now been filed and the claimant has called off the sheriff.
I feel certain that all of this could have been resolved in days gone by with a telephone call to the local court office. My fear is that those days are never to return and that, rather than saving money, the system has become less efficient and more expensive.
Peter Hatvany, Parker Bullen, Salisbury, Wiltshire