If you’re owed money or due compensation, the small claims court could help you.
From disputes with retailers who refuse to take the blame for their faulty goods, to contesting unfair parking tickets, you can use the small claims court process for many problems.
Here at First4lawyers, our small claims solicitors will provide you with specialist help, advice and court representation. Just contact us for more information.
In 2014, the average time between issuing a small claim and actually going to court was 31.5 weeks, according to government statistics, so it’s best to move forward with legal action sooner rather than later.
What is a small claims court?
A small claims court is a local court in which claims for small sums of money can be heard and decided cheaply and quickly.
Should I bring my case before a small claims court?
In England and Wales, you may use the small claims court to deal with claims of less than £10,000. In the case of personal injury, you may only bring cases of less than £5,000.
How do I issue a claim at a small claims court?
You must file a brief description of your claim at court before paying the appropriate court fee. The form will include ‘particulars of claim’, which allows you to give an account of why you (the claimant) believe the respondent owes you money.
The respondent must then decide whether they wish to say they owe the money, or else file a defence. If they do neither of these things within 14 days, then you may obtain an order from the court which instructs the respondent to pay in “default” of a response.
When beginning a claim it is important to ensure that your documents give the correct amount of detail and make clear the legal basis for your claim. A good solicitor can be key here.
Can I settle out of court?
The amount you recover through the small claims court isn’t likely to be much more than an out-of-court settlement.
With the prospect of costly court fees in mind, you may wish to consider whether other less costly avenues would be more appropriate.
For example, if your claim relates to the conduct of financial services, you may wish to go to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
A lawyer experienced in the relevant legal area can help ensure you get the right result even if you don’t ultimately need representation at a small claims court.
What is involved in the small claims court hearing?
The small claims hearing could take place in the judge’s room or a county court. It will most likely be a location closest to the home or business premises of the respondent. At court, you will put the matter before a district judge in the form of a witness statement and other evidence.
How can I enforce the judgement if I win?
If you win your case, you may have to ask the court to take steps to collect the payment. In order to do this, you must pay extra court fees. An order to attend court costs £50, while the other steps toward getting the payment cost £100.
I want legal advice about a small claim – what should I do?
Our solicitors are experienced in dealing with a range of issues at small claims courts and can provide all the advice you need. You can contact an advisor directly, or we can call you if you use the Request a Callback feature at the top of the screen or fill in our enquiry form.
First4lawyers can help with all your small claims matters through our fixed fee services, be it checking the validity of your claim, or producing letters and documentation to help your case through the small claims process.
Contact us today to discuss the costs of these services and how we can help you.