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Is Your Claim Suitable for the Small Claims Court?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 24 May 2016 |
 
County Court Small Claims Track

The Civil Procedure Rules divide civil court claims into three categories. If you have a claim for a small amount of money (under £5000) your claim will nearly always be allocated to the small claims track, which means that it will be heard in the small claims court. There are exceptions to this, however, and you will need to give consideration to whether your case should be heard in the small claims court or in the normal county court (fast track) instead.

Personal Injury Claims

If your claim is for personal injury, the maximum amount of the value that you are claiming should not be over £1000 for the small claims court. If it is above this, your case will be allocated to the fast track (the normal county court.) If you are a tenant suing your landlord over repairs to a property and any part of the claim is over £1000, then your case will be allocated to the fast track rather than the small claims track. If your claim relates to unlawful eviction or harassment, your case will not be heard in the small claims court and will be allocated to the fast track.

Complex Claims

If your case is unusually complex, but remains within the value limits set out above, you can still have the case allocated to the fast track instead of the small claims track. For example, if your case is likely to last a whole day because of the number of issues that need to be covered, the case may be allocated to the fast track.

Claims With No Financial Value

In cases that do not have any financial value attributed to them, the court will allocate the case to the track that it decides is most suitable for the claim. In determining this, the court will consider:

  • the nature of the remedy that the claimant is seeking
  • the issues involved
  • how many parties there are
  • whether there are any difficult or novel points of law
  • how long the case will take
  • the value of any counterclaim, if applicable
  • the views of the parties involved

Choosing the Right Track

It is important to ensure that in nominating your case for a particular track, that you do not request an inappropriate track. If for example you over exaggerate the complexity or value of your claim and you subsequently lose the case, you could be liable to pay the costs of the other side. Any case that is allocated to the wrong track may be re-allocated to another track by the court. If you are concerned about whether your case should be heard in a particular track, seek advice from a lawyer as to your options.

The Multi-Track

The multi track is the third track, which is reserved for the highest value claims, complex cases, cases in which there will be more than one expert for each side, and for cases that are likely to take more than a full day in court to hear all the evidence. Claims with a value of more than £25,000 will normally be allocated to the multi-track (or for proceedings issued before 6th April 2009, of £15,000 or more.)

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
allan - Your Question:
I have issued a County Court claim against a builder.He is going to defend the claim and has issued a counter claim.I dispute the counter claim.What forms do I need to complete?

Our Response:
Please see link: What if the Other Party Makes a Counterclaim? here. I hope this helps.
AboutSmallClaims - 25-May-16 @ 10:44 AM
I have issued a County Court claim against a builder. He is going to defend the claim and has issued a counter claim. I dispute the counter claim. What forms do I need to complete?
allan - 24-May-16 @ 9:55 AM
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