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is it worth taking someone to court?

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old-wos-is-name | 21:34 Mon 30th Jan 2012 | Law
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been totally stitched up by a so called, "architect" Paid Him £1300 to submit plans, long story but several months went by,nothing happening. He said the council were slow, so i phoned them, they new nothing about the plans. I phoned him, He said they must have been lost in the post, and He would sent them again. a few weeks later I got a letter from the council planning dept. which was a copy of the letter they had sent to him, rejecting the plans, saying they were rubbish, and returning the application fee cheque as it was made out for the wrong amount.( safe bet, I now realise)
I looked at the plans, they were wrong,measurements etc. even to the point where the car parking for the new house was now in next doors garden. I have since found out that He has stitched up many customers, some more elderly than me. He now advertises in the local paper without his name, just " architecteral services". Now, I know He doesn't appear to have any money
( car worth about £200. house falling apart, dresses like a tramp, and smells like one, but full of bull sh##) So, is it worth taking Him to the small claims court? He at least owes me the £350 plans submission fee, as I gave it to him as part of the £1300 but the council did not take it.
thanks for any views and advice,
alf.

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Have you contacted him to request the money back yet? i would write to him asking for a full refund, explaining that he owes it to you as a result of the plans he submitted being innacurate and not fit for purpose. He should definitely refund the £350. He appears, from what you've said, to be in breach of sale of goods and services legislation. if he doesn't respond to your first request, send him a "letter before action" and then issue a claim at the Small Claims Court - can be done on-line as it is a money claim worth less tha £5,000. Think the issue fee is quite low for these claims too - its worth a go. good luck x
In my experience it depend on whether anyone else has already taken him to court. If they had then his credit rating will be sh1te and he won't care, so best nto to bother, as anyone can arrange for there to be nothing for a bailiff to take posession of. If on the other hand he values his credit rating, then yeah certainly send him a threatener and a before court as chance are for such a small amount he won't want to screw up his credit rating.
Seems like one for the councils trading standards to me. Failing that the citizens advice bureau will write letters on your behalf.
My husband took someone to the Small Claims Court some time ago. All they do is recognise that someone owes someone else some money. It is up to you to get it back and all he has to do is say he has not got any and is living off the state. You will never get your money back and will have spent more money trying. This is what happened to us. You should either forget it or find some other way of getting - no sorry, I just realised I can't suggest anything like that or I will be in the wrong.
going by the description you've given of him I doubt he's got a pot to pee in. Try finding out if he's got any other CCJ's against him and if he has your monies probably lost. Also inform local trading standards so they can at least warn others so hopefully no one else will get stitched. Failing that if I was ever owed money I used to keep going to their house at inoportune times and knocking on the door and basically bugging the hell out of them.
Dom Littlewood would love to hear of this, go for it.
Have you checked that is(was) an actual archittect?

Try here

http://www.architecture.com/
No-one (sadly) has to have a recognised qualification, or be a member of a professional body to submit plans to the Local Authority.

He certainly shouldn't be advertising himself as an *Architect*, though, unless he has RIBA accreditation. He can, however, offer *Architectural Services*.

In your shoes I would certainly follow the advice of Nini74 and NOX. It may mean a little additional outlay on your part, but if that means you can claw any monies back.

Also, it may be worth having a word with your local bobbies. Depending upon all the circumstances this could also be viewed as 'theft' which takes it out of the Civil Court.
Question Author
Hi All,
thanks for all the answers. I have written to Him twice, and He puts a hand written note through the door saying that He couls put some other plans in, for an extension or something, that I don't want. I will find out if He has any ccj's
and see how much it will cost to take Him to the small claims court, may just be worth it to see if He comes up with any bright ideas. I think its really sad that there are con artists out there who have no problem in taking money for nothing.
It is never worth going to court if the other party do not have the means to pay.
It is a commonly held view that once you obtain judgment you have won and will get your money with the court fees you have paid, in fact the court will do nothing to recover your money, you will have to take all action yourself. If you think he may have some money, some people are very good at hiding it, start action in the small claims court.
Yeah write to Dom Littlewood

Dom Littlewood to man who had ripped people off:

"You have caused misery to lots of people by taking their money what have you got say"?

Man who ripped people off:

Silence

Good luck with the CAB by me its a 6 week waiting time just for an appointment

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