Requests for further information

Using Part 18 of the CPR

Sometimes it may be necessary to request specific information about things to be able to respond appropriately to a claim. This information should be requested in writing from the claimant as stated on Part 18 of the CPR.
Part 18 requests

ContractYou may want to ask for information relevant to your account, for example, the date of the last payment made into the account to establish whether the account is statute barred.

For a request to be valid, it must state that it is a request made under Part 18 and it should be concise and confined to matters which are reasonably necessary to enable you to assess your case or prepare a defence.

Practice Direction 18 deals with requests for information and how they should be presented.

Preliminary Request for further information or clarification

1.1  Before making an application to the court for an order under Part 18, the party seeking clarification or information (the first party) should first serve on the party from whom it is sought (the second party) a written request for that clarification or information (a Request) stating a date by which the response to the Request should be served. The date must allow the second party a reasonable time to respond.

1.2  A Request should be concise and strictly confined to matters which are reasonably necessary and proportionate to enable the first party to prepare his own case or to understand the case he has to meet.

1.3  Requests must be made as far as possible in a single comprehensive document and not piecemeal.

1.4  A Request may be made by letter if the text of the Request is brief and the reply is likely to be brief; otherwise the Request should be made in a separate document.

Paragraphs 1.5 and 1.6 set out the correct format for the Part 18 request letter.

1.5  If a Request is made in a letter, the letter should, in order to distinguish it from any other that might routinely be written in the course of a case,

(1) state that it contains a Request made under Part 18, and

(2) deal with no matters other than the Request.

1.6

(1) A Request (whether made by letter or in a separate document) must –

(a) be headed with the name of the court and the title and number of the claim,

(b) in its heading state that it is a Request made under Part 18, identify the first party and the second party and state the date on which it is made,

(c) set out in a separate numbered paragraph each request for information or clarification,

(d) where a Request relates to a document, identify that document and (if relevant) the paragraph or words to which it relates,

(e) state the date by which the first party expects a response to the Request.

14 days is a reasonable time to allow the claimant to respond
Response

Paragraph 2 sets out how the other side should respond to your request.

A Part 18 Requests for Further Information response must be in writing and signed by the party or legal representative.

  • If a request is made in a letter a second party may give a response to a letter or a formal reply, such a letter should identify itself as a response to the request and that it deals with no further matters other than the response;
  • a letter in response as described in paragraph 1.6(2) , the response must
  • be headed with the name of the court title and number of the claim;
  • identify each of the respondents to that request
  • repeat the text of each separate paragraph of the Request and set out under each paragraph the response to it;
  • refer to and have attached to it a copy of any document not already in the possession of the first party which forms part of a response
  • a response should be verified by a Statement of Truth.
Objections and orders

Objections

If the other side objects to the request or the time given to respond, they should inform you of their objection promptly and within the time stated for their response.

Paragraph 4 deals with objections.

General matters

4.1

(1) If the second party objects to complying with the Request or part of it or is unable to do so at all or within the time stated in the Request he must inform the first party promptly and in any event within that time.

(2) He may do so in a letter or in a separate document (a formal response), but in either case he must give reasons and, where relevant, give a date by which he expects to be able to comply.

4.2

(1) There is no need for a second party to apply to the court if he objects to a Request or is unable to comply with it at all or within the stated time. He need only comply with paragraph 4.1(1) above.

(2) Where a second party considers that a Request can only be complied with at disproportionate expense and objects to comply for that reason he should say so in his reply and explain briefly why he has taken that view.

Orders

If the request is not responded to, you are entitled to apply to the court for an order to require them to reply within a certain period of time. See applications.

(1) Where the second party has made no response to a Request served on him, the first party need not serve the application notice on the second party, and the court may deal with the application without a hearing.

(2) Sub-paragraph (1) above only applies if at least 14 days have passed since the Request was served and the time stated in it for a response has expired.

5.6

Unless paragraph 5.5 applies the application notice must be served on the second party and on all other parties to the claim.

5.7  An order made under Part 18 must be served on all parties to the claim.

Although Part 18 of the CPR does not apply to the small claims track, a claim is not allocated to any track until after a defence has been submitted, therefore it is possible to take advantage of Part 18 requests for claims below £10,000 at the pre-allocation stage.
Example request

An example Part 18 request letter can be found below.

Example documents are provided for reference only. It is your responsibility to make sure you have included all the relevant information and you should double-check your facts, dates, numbers, etc. before sending them out. If in doubt, seek professional help.
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To avoid default judgment, you need to file a defence in time even if you have not received any documents.
See defending a claim.
You have a maximum of 33 days from date printed on claim to file a defence.
Calculate your date.
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