Pearl Lemon Legal
In a small claims court, which is typically a county court, claims for minor amounts of money owed by an individual or business are swiftly and cost effectively resolved. It may also be known as simply “making a court claim.”
You can sue for up to £10,000 in England and Wales, £5,000 in Scotland, and $3,000 in Northern Ireland in small claims court.
The maximum limit is $1,000, though, if you’re filing a claim for personal injury or housing neglect.
In the small claims track, the vast majority of claim types will have a value of less than £10,000. Additionally, they frequently entail one party (the Claimant) petitioning the court to issue an order requiring the opposing party (the Defendant) to pay the Claimant a certain amount of money. In small claims court, common claims include:
When they involve a violation of contract, some employment claims may also be brought in small claims court. There are some employment claims that must be filed before the employment tribunal, and there are frequently strict deadlines for filing such claims. It is best to consult a lawyer as soon as possible regarding any employment claims you might have to ensure that you will be initiating the right legal processes in a timely manner.
Additionally, you will need to see if any of the terms and conditions that apply to the issue mandate that it be settled through a different channel, such as arbitration or adjudication. If so, you might be required to use the designated option rather than the courts, and you might benefit from legal advice and/or legal representation to help you do so.
Before paying a court fee, you must file a brief summary of your claim with the court. In the “particulars of claim” section of the claim form, you can explain why you, the claimant, think the responder owes you money.
The respondent must next choose between asserting their debt or presenting a defense.
You may get a court order telling the responder to pay in “default” of a response if they fail to accomplish either of these within the allotted 14 days, otherwise the matter will proceed to court, and a date will be set for a hearing.
When making a claim, it’s crucial to make sure that your documents provide the appropriate level of information and clearly outline the legal foundation for your contention. Here, an experienced lawyer may be essential.
The Small Claims Court was created to give regular people a place to file and defend court cases without having to hire lawyers and pay their fees. By doing this, everyone will have access to justice. At least, that was the idea when the system was founded.
Many of the small claims we work on increasingly involve contract disputes and matters involving employment claims or misunderstandings over the fulfilment of contractor contracts.
In some of these cases, freelancers, independent contractors and start up business owners can find themselves up against larger businesses with greater legal resources, often in house counsel, and it can begin to feel like they are facing a situation in which they cannot win, even if they are in the right, as they are unsure of how to present their case, or defend against a claim, as eloquently and successfully as a legal professional.
Legal expenses cannot be recovered in a Small Claims Court case, win or lose. However, for many people, the idea of initiating or defending Court proceedings without legal counsel is terrifying due to the ramifications of the possible result.
To a larger business, the sums involved in small claims court proceedings – which must be less than £10,000 in England and Wales, £5,000 in Scotland, and $3,000 in Northern Ireland remember – are insignificant. To a new small business, or individual contractor, the loss of them may derail their career or break their budding business.
Therefore, many people feel the need to hire a small claims lawyer to represent them in order to present their case in the best possible light, and protect them not just from the loss of the sum of money in question in the small claims court action but also to protect their reputation and future income.
At Pearl Lemon Legal, we have a Small Claims Track Fee Structure that enables us to assist you as needed during the course of the proceedings at a clearly outlined cost. This enables you to seek advice or guidance as needed. The amount of input we provide, and the associated expenditures, are then under your control.
We might, for example, only be needed to help you ensure that your intended small claims court filing statements, or your intended defence against such a matter filed against you, are as legally sound, clear, concise and compelling as possible. This done, you can proceed in the matter far more confident of a successful outcome. If you prefer, and circumstances seem to warrant it, we can, of course, also attend court proceedings with you in a representational manner.
It is crucial to remember that going to court should only be undertaken as a last resort. It may be easier said than done, but you are required to make an effort to settle the conflict with the other party beforehand. If the Civil Procedure Rules impose any requirements on you to adhere to any “Pre-Action Protocol,” you should consider whether you must do so. If you are unsure, you should consult a lawyer.
One way that a drawn out – and very public – court process can be avoided is via alternative dispute resolution. There are many ways that an ‘out of court settlement’ can be reached, and the Pearl Lemon Legal team can expertly guide you through them, acting on your behalf or simply providing advice.
The best way to determine if you really need the help of a small claim lawyer is to talk to one. Contact us today to discuss your unique situation – because every case really is different – and let’s talk about solutions.
For a free, no-obligation conversation about how we might be able to help with your current legal issues, please contact us today.