Without Prejudice

  powerless 17:25 24 Oct 2004

In consumerwatch when people are having problems and the idea of sending a letter, email to a company. I've seen "without prejudice" mentioned and to include it in the correspondence.

Can someone remind me why?

[without prejudice - i think its that]

  spikeychris 17:30 24 Oct 2004
  Forum Editor 17:44 24 Oct 2004

that what follows is without prejudice to your rights in law, and stops you from needlessly giving away something to which you might be entitled, should a dispute come to court. Prejudice itself means that you are anticipating a decision or ruling that may be arrived at by a judge.

Another way of saying the same thing is that you "Reserve all my rights in the matter".

  powerless 22:22 25 Oct 2004

So what you're saying is that you use the term to allow a judge to give the final verdict [if it goes to court].

  Dorsai 18:45 27 Oct 2004

I think is sortof means that if you said in your letter to whoever

'i dont want X'

and then realised later that your did want 'X',

Then letter could not be used in court by 'whoever' as an argument by them for not giving you 'X'.

for example you say in a letter:

"I dont want my mony back, i want you to fix it."

They say "ok we will fix it, and it will take 2 years to get the bit."

You take them to court for a refund, and they produce the letter, and the judge says "wait two years, you dont want a refund!" even though you would have been legally entitled to a refund, but gave up the right to one, with the letter.

i guess.

  Forum Editor 19:32 27 Oct 2004

is protect your position in law.

If you are in dispute with someone, and it looks as if it might eventually go to court you need to be careful when writing to the other side. You might want to offer a compromise - "You pay me two thirds of what I say you owe, and we'll call it quits".

In that situation you might put the "Without Prejudice" statement on your letter as a way of reserving your rights in law, so that if the case subsequently goes to court the judge can rule on the case as if you hadn't ever made the offer. The other side can't use the fact of your offer as evidence of a weakness in your argument - "Why did you make the offer if you thought you were entitled to all the money?" The offer was made without prejudice to your rights, and can't be held against you, so to speak.

Does that help?

  Dorsai 20:53 27 Oct 2004

In other words, "i think i am intitled to a full refund, but will take 2/3 rds to avoid going to court"?

So to say?

  Dorsai 20:55 27 Oct 2004

Then when it goes to court, you have not made a statement that weakens your position?

  Forum Editor 01:13 28 Oct 2004


An alternative is to put - at the end of the letter this time - a statement thus:

I/we reserve my/our rights in this matter. I always put that statement at the bottom of pages on web sites I design for clients. It goes with the copyright statement:

"Copyright xyz Ltd. 2004 - all trademarks hereby acknowledged. All rights reserved."

You'll see it at the bottom of this page.

  Dorsai 20:16 28 Oct 2004

Thanks for responding. I suspect i may need to make use of 'Without Prejudice' in a dispute that has as yet not arisen, but i can see arising, very soon.

Knowing this at least will allow me to offer a solution, without losing any contractual rights. It is an area of 'leasehold contracts' regarding leaseholder rights, so i wont bother to give any details, as this is a Computer site.

But do you know any where i can go too seek advice about how to enforce a lease hold contract?

  spuds 22:49 28 Oct 2004

Some solictors will give a free first consultation, usually twenty to thirty minutes,check your yellow pages then perhaps phone around. In the meantime you could look at the websites for further help. click here click here click here

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