Small claims in civil proceedings is seen as a relatively cheap, fast and easy way for a claimant to pursue damages.
The parties to the claim are usually encouraged to take their own case to court in order to keep the overall costs down. However, it is still possible for a person to have a lawyer to act on their behalf in small claims procedure with the understanding that a person using a representative cannot claim the cost back from any damages awarded of using a lawyer.
If a person wishes to have someone representing them in court, but cannot afford the expense of a lawyer they may wish to a lay representative, who is not a legally qualified representative , but is able to help on cases.
Advantages of small Claims in civil proceedings
- The cost of taking proceedings to court is low, especially for claims under the £1000
- If you loose the case you are not responsible for the winning parties lawyers fees
- People can take the action to court themselves, do not have to use a lawyer
- Quicker procedure
- District judge will explain the process
Disadvantages of small claims in civil proceedings
- For cases involving claims over £1000, allocation costs have to be paid
- Legal funding for lawyer costs is unavailable
- If one party is a business and the other is a consumer, there may be an unfair disadvantage regarding one being able to afford legal help and the other not.
The main cases covered in county court include:
- Contract and tort claims
- Any loss for recovery of land
- Disputes regarding inheritance, trusts or partnerships up to a claim of £30,000
The County Court does also have the ability to hear divorce cases, bankruptcy hearings and race relation issues.
For more information on:
- Fast Track cases
- Multi-Track cases
- High Court
- Queen’s Bench division
- Commercial Court
- Admiralty Court