In March I blogged about my court battle with Damien Morley regarding his use of my images on his website. Well winning in court is only half the battle, getting paid the money you're owed is often a very different story, so I thought I would post 'part 2' of the story.
So we pick up the story in the court room in Watford, with Mr Morley being told he has 2 weeks to pay the money he owes. Mr Morley's immediate reply is that he has no money and can't pay anything. The judge is quick to say that non payment isn't an option and it's up to Mr Morley and myself to find a suitable payment plan between us that I am happy with before the 2 weeks is up. He says he'll need to look at all the figures, but will be in touch with a proposal.
Next day, I was quite surprised to see that for someone who has no money to pay the money he owes me, he was able to go out shopping for a new iPad. As such I then expected that he would be paying in full before the 2 week deadline... or not!
So, I waited... for two weeks... and didn't hear a thing. As I mentioned before, the judge stated that either payment should be made or a proposal agreed to within 2 weeks from the court date. So on March 29th 2012 I had still heard nothing... that is until 11:33PM, when I received an email with a proposal. This email was well written and considered, but basically boiled down to him proposing to pay off the debt at £1 per month, and that given his finances, any court would find that acceptable. Well that obviously wasn't acceptable to me, and so I replied stating that I was refusing the offer and due to being beyond the deadline, would be informing the court of his non-payment.
That day I sent a 'Warrant of Execution' to the court, which instructs the court to obtain the money or goods to the value of the debt. Unfortunately, Mr Morley had got there first and had submitted a 'Request to vary the order'. What this means is that he had to itemise all his incomings and outgoings, benefits, credit card debts and his other outstanding county court order payments. The judge will then decide whether he should pay in full or what kind of instalments should be made over what time period. Once again the judge ruled in my favour and Mr Morley was told to pay in full.
It wasn't until June 26th 2012 that I actually received the money off Damien Morley, along with a request for a receipt and a snide remark about not spending it all at once.
So although the judge set a deadline of 2 weeks for payment to be made, it actually ended up being over 15 weeks before I actually received the money. I can't say I enjoyed this entire process, but I learnt a lot. I now feel much more equipped and experienced. Should I ever be in this situation again, I would totally go through it all once more, although I hope that doesn't happen!