What trips up English litigants in person?


Below are some hurdles that I believe can trip up English litigants in person (LIPs).

  1. A lack of funds;

  2. A lack of organisation;

  3. A dislike of confident people;

  4. A misunderstanding of rules and deadlines;

  5. The use of euphemisms and confusing language;

  6. A lack of understanding of the legal foundation for a case.

As a litigant in person, you also have be able to spend the time as and when required and you may need access to resources you don’t have or are not aware of, such as databases.

You cannot afford to run out of money for ink, paper, postage or court fees.

You have to be able to find any relevant document instantly.

You cannot allow yourself to be intimidated or get sidetracked by a dislike for someone’s confident attitude, or the fact that they seem to know even less than you do.

It is, for example, no use to file an application before the day after which you can file them, in anticipation of events.

You have to call a spade a spade. The use of euphemisms and overly flowery language often wastes everyone’s time – and money.

You have to be able to tell the judge which laws and specific bits in them you are basing your case on, and show that events were in violation of them.