Small Claims Court Solicitors
The small claims court is there to allow anyone to go to the courts for help in resolving issues that can’t be resolved in any other way without the massive costs that can be associated with a major court case. Cases in the small claims court are limited to those worth £10,000 or less.
Although this is called the small claims court, the sums of money may not feel small to those involved. The courts may deal with much larger sums regularly, but most households certainly notice the absence of hundreds or thousands of pounds.
We recognise the seriousness of these claims for you and your life, and we want to help. If you are considering making a claim through the small claims court, call us on 0121 565 4317 or claim online to arrange your free, no obligation consultation.
How Does The Small Claims Court Work?
In order to make a small claims court claim, you will be asked to submit the details of your claim and the evidence supporting your claim, exactly the same as you might with any other court claim. This is then passed to the other party (the person you are making your claim against) for them to explain their side of the story and provide their own evidence.
It may be possible to settle your claim before going to the small claims court. In general, it is a good idea to attempt to resolve your small claims court claim without the involvement of the court, whether through an out of court settlement or through mediation. If the judge believes that you have not made sufficient effort to resolve the issue without going to court, they may reduce the amount you are awarded at the end of the case.
If the other side does not reply to the court documents, or if they don’t offer a defence, the court will almost always rule in your favour. If the other side offers an alternative explanation and counter evidence, you will have to go to court and put your case to a judge. Judges in the small claims court are used to people representing themselves and will try to make sure that they understand both sides of the story before making their decision.
If the judge rules in your favour and the other party still doesn’t pay, you may need to apply to the court to enforce the judgment. This can include sending bailiffs to recover the debt or through the other party’s employer deducting the amount from their salary.
You will need to pay a fee for making a claim through the small claims court. How much you have to pay depends on the amount you are claiming and whether you arrange your claim online or through the post
Can A Small Claims Solicitor Help Me With My Claim?
Although you are able to represent yourself in the small claims court, and many people are happy to do so, there are times when it might be a good idea to take advice from a small claims solicitor. The small claims court is set up with individuals in mind, meaning that the judge will attempt to ensure that you understand what is going on and will work to ensure that the judgement is fair, but it is still a court and does have to abide by the strict letter of the law. A small claims court solicitor is able to ensure that you are making the best possible claim and can significantly increase the chances of you winning your small claims court claim. In some circumstances, the judge may decide to require the other party to pay your costs, but this is not guaranteed. In many cases you may decide that the cost of receiving legal support may be worth it for the increased likelihood of winning your small claims court case. This advice may also increase the value of your small claims court claim, because your small claims court solicitor may be aware of things that you are able to claim for that you hadn’t considered.
Clients seek the help of a small claims court solicitor for a wide variety of reasons. For some clients, it is because they are concerned that they might not be able to make a clear case. Sometimes the emotional aspect of your case can prevent you being able to be clear and concise. It can also be difficult to understand exactly which aspects of your claim might be relevant to the court. When you are working with a small claims court solicitor, they can help to make sure that your case is straightforward and that the important issues are fully explained to the judge. This can be particularly important if your claim is particularly complex, although if your case is too complicated, the judge may decide that it is not appropriate for it to be addressed by the small claims court.
Working with a small claims court solicitor also means that you can receive guidance as to what evidence is considered relevant to your case, and whether the evidence you have collected is likely to be considered sufficient.
For many people, one of the most difficult aspects of making a small claims court claim is the idea of having to speak up in the courtroom. If you are worried that your nerves, or even your anger over being treated unjustly by the other party, might mean that you are not able to do present the information about your case clearly, it might be a good idea to obtain help from a small claims court solicitor. Making a small claims court claim is supposed to help you feel that justice has been served, but it is important that you do not suffer with undue stress as a result.
Speaking in court is only one of the stressful aspects of making a small claims court claim by yourself. While many people will find that the process of making a claim is straightforward and easy, many more will find it emotionally draining, stressful and highly time consuming. If you are worried about making a small claims court claim, it can be helpful to gain the assistance of a small claims court solicitor to help, as they will be able to achieve the results you want with far less stress and worry. Given that small claims court cases have to be relatively straightforward, we are able to offer very reasonable rates to ensure that you can get the help you need to obtain justice without breaking the bank.
What Kinds Of Claims Can I Make In The Small Claims Court?
The small claims court is there to help to resolve minor legal disputes. Although the courts may refer to these as minor, we do recognise that they can be hugely important to you, both emotionally and financially. The main feature of any claim through the small claims court is that any monies sought must be less than £10,000. The case must also be reasonably straightforward. The small claims court is not designed to deal with complex legal issues.
The small claims court also does not deal with personal injury claims (though it may be possible if your claim is under £1,000) or with the return of tenancy deposits (as these should be dealt with under the schemes available through your deposit protection scheme). There are a wide variety of issues that can be dealt with through the small claims court, including:
- Breach of contract or negligence. Breach of contract occurs when someone does not stick to the terms agreed in a contract, and this has led to you suffering some form of loss. Negligence is when someone does not perform a task with the due care and attention you can reasonably expect and there are negative consequences or losses as a result. The losses could be financial or it could be the loss of services that you have paid for. Associated losses may also be recoverable. If you are claiming against a mechanic for not replacing the cam belt on your car that you had paid for, for example, you may be able to claim for the full costs of repair of the whole engine if the cam belt fails and causes damage as a result. You may also be able to claim for the cost of a hire car for the period that your is unusable. Obviously, the total value of the claim will still need to be below £10,000.
- Non-payment of debts. Whether you are a small business or sole trader (or even as an individual in certain circumstances), you may need to use the small claims court to force those who owe you money to make payment. In the majority of situations, the threat of the small claims court will encourage the other party to pay what they owe, but if they do not believe that they owe you the money for whatever reason, the case may well have to go before a district judge to decide who is right.
At Claim Justice, we want to be sure that you have access to affordable advice form experienced small claims court solicitors when you need it. If you are considering making a claim through the small claims court, call us on 0121 565 4317 or claim online to arrange your free, no obligation consultation. We will listen to your claim and give you honest, unbiased advice. If we believe that we can help you with your small claims court claim, we will explain our fee structure and ensure that we give you the best possible value for money.