The Small Claims Court in the UK

 By: Martyn Tomkins
A small claims base is a case that has been placed in the small claims track by the court, and certain rules apply when this occurs. Generally speaking, the small claims court UK will not require the losing party to pay the solicitor's costs in these circumstances, and if you work with an attorney, you will responsible for those fees. To be spared this expense, claimants often seek the assistance of a friend or what is referred to as a "lay representative." For example, your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is prepared to advise you in regard to your small claim, and this legal expertise is made available by the legal help scheme.

Importance of a case's financial value.

In determining whether your case belongs in the small claims track, the court will consider a variety of factors. The case's financial value will be given top priority, and this usually applies to one that amounts to •£5,000 or less. Also, note that a personal injury case will only be allocated to this track if the assessed value of those injuries is less than •£1,000. If you are a tenant and file a claim against your landlord for necessary repairs or maintenance valued at •£1,000 or less, it will also be placed in the small claims track.

At times, when the value of a case exceeds •£5,000 and both the claimant and defendant agree, it could still be allocated to the small claims track. In these circumstances, the standard rule regarding costs is not applicable, and when a claimant fails to win the case, he or she may be responsible for the defendant's solicitor's fees. The reverse is true if the claimant succeeds in winning the case, and the court may order the defendant to pay the claimant's expenses.

Claims that are used designated as small claims in the UK include the following:
* reimbursement for unsatisfactory services provided by construction companies, auto mechanics, dry cleaners, and others,
* compensation for defective products, such as televisions or computers,
* settlement of disagreements between tenants and landlords, such as neglected repairs or rent payments that are past due, and
* payment for wages owed.

Your final hearing in small claims court UK.

You will find that this is informal, and the "strict rules of evidence" will not apply. Judges conduct these hearings in a manner that seems appropriate, and they are sometimes the first to question witnesses and limit the time that anyone has to present evidence. In addition, as long as you are present, a lay representative will have the right to speak on your behalf. When the hearing concludes, the judge will provide the reasons for the judgment that is made. This must be given in a manner that is both brief and understandable, and it is usually presented orally to those who attend the hearing.
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