7. If the defendant considers that he does in fact owe the plaintiff some money, what action can be taken by the defendant?
The Defendant can file and serve Form 16 (or Form 16C as the case may be) by filling in expressly how much the amount he is going to admit. If the Plaintiff accepts the amount admitted by the Defendant, he can then file and serve a Form 16A (or Form 16D as the case may be) and request the Court to enter judgment on the amount you offered with costs. Conversely, if the Plaintiff does not accept the Defendant’s amount admitted, he will file and serve a Form 16B (or Form 16E as the case may be) to reject it, and in such circumstances the case maybe proceeded as if the Defendant contests the proceedings. Unless and until the Plaintiff filed the above prescribed forms in response to the Defendant’s admission, his claim will be stayed.
Furthermore, the Defendant may consider making a “sanctioned payment”, i.e. a payment into court pursuant to Order 22 of the Rules of the High Court (Cap. 4A) or the Rules of the District Court (Cap. 336H) as a settlement offer to the Plaintiff.
The advantage of “sanctioned payment” is that if the Defendant’s sanctioned payment is not accepted by the Plaintiff, and the Plaintiff fails to obtain a judgment better than the payment, the Plaintiff may have to pay the Defendant’s costs on an indemnity basis and enhanced interest (up to 10% above judgment rate) on those costs. In addition, the Court may disallow interest on the whole or part of the sum or damages awarded to the Plaintiff. This potential draconian consequence may serve as an incentive for the Plaintiff to reflect on his position and seriously consider the Defendant’s offer.