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Lady Margaret road and Brent Cross Gardens Legal Service can advise you through the whole small claims process. In this article we talk about the cases which are likely to be allocated to the small claims track.

Cases that have an upper limit value of £10,000 will be those allocated to the small claims track except in the following cases;

1. Personal Injury cases in which the upper financial limit in this track is £1,000 in value of damages in pain, suffering and loss of amenity;

2. Claims by a residential tenant against his landlord for repairs or other work to the premises with an upper limit of £1,000 in value of those repairs and an upper limit of damages;

3. Cases involving claims against landlords for harassment or unlawful eviction;

4. Disputes involving an allegation of dishonesty.

Once a court office has determined that a case is suitable for the small claims track it will send Form N149A to the parties, who will then be required to complete the DQ Form N180 (Form N181 will be used for cases allocated to the other tracks.

What are the main features of cases in the small claims track?

The main characteristics of small claims track cases are as follows;
1. Hearings will be less formal. The court has the power to conduct the hearing in a way that it considers is fair. Evidence will often not be taken on oath and the court may limit cross examination. The judge may act as advocate and may ask questions of witnesses, and he may limit or exclude cross-examination. The hearing will be tape recorded and a party may obtain a transcript upon payment of the fee. CPR 27.10 permits the court, at the request of the parties, to hear the case without the parties being present-that is, as a paper hearing.

The path a small claims track case will take from issue of the case to its final hearing is short circuited and the district judge may well set a final hearing date when the case is allocated to this track and a directions order for the case is made. All small claims will automatically be referred to mediation where both parties have consented to mediation on their DQ.

For further advice on your civil case please contact Lady Margaret road and Brent Cross Gardens Legal Centre on 0208 575 0061.

Source: Civil Litigation Handbook Susan Cunningham- Hill and Karen Elder