This book is a straightforward and practical guide for those bringing or defending a civil case in the county courts of England and Wales. It does not pretend to be a comprehensive guide to the law and procedure rules, but contains an overview of each stage of bringing or defending a civil claim. It covers the basics and will help you prepare, manage and present a civil case, and understand where more specific help or research is needed and how it can be obtained.
Being a litigant in person can be a daunting experience, but fortunately 90% of what is needed to run a case is either common sense or administrative work, which most people can carry out themselves with minimal guidance. A judge is required to ensure a level playing ground and make sure that a litigant in person is not unfairly disadvantaged. It is, however, for each side to prepare and present their case themselves, as the judge must remain impartial. This book shows you how to do this.
The author’s intention is for the book to tread the middle ground between a law book and an ‘idiot’s guide’. It is written on the presumption that although you may find knowing a bit about the law and court procedure useful and interesting, your main purpose will be dealing with your case rather than becoming an amateur lawyer. It is a book intended for the litigant in person who will deal with a legal matter themselves, and contains what needs to be known, explained in everyday language.
Remember that you will not be alone. The near abolition of legal aid for civil cases and the high cost of legal representation has of necessity resulted in many people having to represent themselves in court without a lawyer. It is either that or not having access to the courts. Our hope is that this book will make the task of dealing with a court case a little less formidable.