Small claims paper determination pilot...

Small claims paper determination pilot...

Small claims paper determination pilot...

A new small claims pilot scheme has been launched to deal with the backlog of low value claims. The pilot allows the Courts to determine on paper (without a hearing) the outcome of the claim, even where parties are not in agreement.

This pilot scheme is in place for 2 years, commencing 1st June 2022 and is applicable to cases issued thereafter at selected courts only.  The Directions Questionnaire (Form N180) will be updated to include a section allowing parties to agree whether they consider their case suitable for a determination without hearing oral evidence.

Courts

The courts that are taking part in the pilot are: Cardiff, Manchester, Guildford, Bedford, Luton and Staines and the pilot will apply to cases issued after the pilot has started, but it will not apply to existing proceedings.

If one or more of the parties are not in agreement to have the matter determined without a hearing, they can file a short written objection to that decision no less than seven days before the date of the determination. The judge will then reconsider the suitability and decide whether to continue with the paper determination.

"Which claims are suitable?"

The type of claims that may be suitable for this new pilot scheme include:

  • Any claim of £1,000 or less where there is no significant factual dispute or complexity that requires oral evidence or advocacy;

  • Flight delay compensation; and

  • From the issuing of a parking ticket on private land.

 

Dispute Resolution Solicitor, Madhvi Panchal, comments:

“I think this pilot is a great way to allow the more straightforward and smaller claims to reach a conclusion without the added expense or what some may consider a stressful experience of a hearing. Small claims where the claimed value is under £1,000 are considered to be more ‘straightforward’ and the Small Claims Track is a system designed where many individuals and companies prefer to remain litigants in person, because of the usual limited costs recovery. I am hopeful that the paper determination will aid the civil legal justice system in a quicker turnaround of matters given the post Covid-19 delays spanning several months.”

Madhvi Panchal
Madhvi Panchal
Dispute Resolution Solicitor

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