judgment in default of defence

Discussion in 'Askaboutlaw' started by begbie55, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. begbie55

    begbie55 New Member

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    4
    hi,
    i just got this letter because i failed to respond to civil bill with defence. Country Registrat sitting is in a week, i wonder if it is possible to show up at the sitting and explain i need more time to prepare defance. I cant afford solicitor, wanted to defend myself and just found i cant do it because im limited company director.
    thank you
     
  2. Ravima

    Ravima Frequent Poster

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    2,371
    Why can't you defend yourself because you are a company director?

    Is it you or the company is being sued?

    Has judgement been granted or is it a hearing for judgement?
     
  3. mf1

    mf1 Frequent Poster

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    4,075
    Legal citation why a Director cannot represent the Company and why there must be legal representation.

    Judge Gilligan analysed both Irish and international authorities on the issue. The Judge noted the decision of the Supreme Court in Battle v Irish Art Promotion Centre [1968] IR 252 and stated:

    “In Battle, the Supreme Court were of the view that as a company director, in setting up the company, availed of a separate legal persona from the company, one cannot then come before the court and seek to reverse that and speak on the company’s behalf. Fennelly J. stated that in such circumstances, the only option available to a company director was to use his own funds to place the company in a position whereby it could engage legal representation.”

    Judge Gilligan went on to draw his conclusion and found that he was obliged to follow the position set out by Fennelly J in Battle. In doing so Judge Gilligan quoted Fennelly J as follows:

    “This ruling proceeds from the fact that the incorporated company is as a strict matter of law a legal person separate from its members and from its directors and management. Nonetheless in practice the courts have to deal on a daily basis with difficult cases involving unrepresented companies frequently because they are simply no funds to provide for legal representation. The company being a purely legal or notional person cannot speak except through a representative of some kind. If it has no legal representation, it will not be represented at all. Although that is far from ideal, it represents the present law.


    mf
     
  4. Jim2007

    Jim2007 Frequent Poster

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    No you can't just turn up and explain things to the County Registrar. Like all legal hearsing there is a procedure to be followed, parties to the case must be notified and the case listed for hearing at a given time and place.

    It is clear what you mean by you got a letter... but from the title one can assume that you failed to put in a defence and a judgement was made against your company. If that is the case then the next step would be to appeal the decision. However it is extremely unlikely that any judge will entertain the argument that you could not afford a solicitor and did not have time to prepare your defence. That ship has sailed. You should have turned up at the hearing and explained yourself then.
     
  5. begbie55

    begbie55 New Member

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    4
    thanks Jim for your input ;
    yes, i failed to put in defence, because i found (the day i wanted to put it in) that i cant defend myself, and unlikely any solicitor will like to defend me if i write defence myself. my plan was to sort it out asap and i thought Long vacation will help me with that. I was wrong. I will turn up at the hearing and explain the situation, just wondering if i shoud explain the situation or go with full defence and all info i have about the case.
     
  6. begbie55

    begbie55 New Member

    Posts:
    4

    im director of sued company. No judgment. I entered an appearance and failed do respond with defence . There is a motion for judgment in default of defence. I went for an advice to solicitor just to make things clear in my head and was told from solicitor experience i need solicitor in this matter. Different solicitor before who gave me nice quote for his services and barrister and got paid for and advise said i can defend myself. It is messy now.
     
  7. Ravima

    Ravima Frequent Poster

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    If the company is being sued, can the company afford a solicitor?

    Are you as director being sued alongside the company?

    If company is being sued and cannot afford a solicitor, then there is probably little chance that they will be able to pay any Award?
     
  8. Jim2007

    Jim2007 Frequent Poster

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    1,981
    Hmmm... It looks like this is going to open up a big can of worms now. If you are the director of a company that can’t even afford a solicitor to defend it in a court case, then the obvious question that will be asked is should the company even be trading? If it is considered insolvent and you are continuing to trade then you may well be considered personally liable for the debts of the company.

    I think you are going to have to sort your story out before you turn up in court. Either the company is viable and can conduct it’s own defense or it is not. In which case the judgement does not matter since there is no alternative but to declare bankruptcy and see the company dissolved.
     
  9. begbie55

    begbie55 New Member

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    4
    thanks Jim, company is one person self employed business which can conduct defense. Company gets quote 3k for solicitor on top of that barrister fees, and is told by that solicitor that can represent itself which is totally wrong. Many small businesses would struggle to pay that fee. The worst part is that plaintiff tries to chance it and make some money in court. We all know those stories... If i knew i cant defend myself i would try to find solicitor i could afford and he would entered his appearance, but that is to late.
     
  10. DirectDevil

    DirectDevil Frequent Poster

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    497
    In short, if the defendant(s) fail(s) to comply with time limits there will be a judgment by default.

    If that happens the defendant will be deemed to have accepted liability for the plaintiff's claim.
    The matter will then be set down for a separate hearing for assessment of damages.