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Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Civil Procedure

27. Small Claims Track  

The Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR) provide for the allocation of claims with a limited financial value to what is known as the small claims track. This is intended to provide a streamlined procedure with limited pre-trial preparation, with very restricted rules on the recovery of costs from the losing party, and without the strict rules of evidence. It is appropriate for the most straightforward types of cases, such as consumer disputes, accident claims where the injuries suffered are not very serious, disputes about the ownership of goods, and landlord and tenant cases other than claims for possession. This chapter discusses provisions of the CPR that do not apply; standard and special directions of the court; determination without a hearing; final hearings in small claims track cases; cost restrictions for claims allocated to the small claims track; and rehearings.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

15. Issuing Proceedings, Track Allocation, and Directions  

This chapter begins with a discussion of court selection. The issue of proceedings, and to some extent the choice of court, is increasingly being streamlined, with the procedure for County Court money claims and bulk claims being moved online. For the larger multi-track cases, however, the High Court and the County Court have concurrent jurisdiction for many types of proceedings. The chapter then explains the issuance of the claim form, which marks the start of formal litigation; the service of proceedings, i.e. the formal process by which the defendant is notified of the claim; the claimant's selection of the court in which the claim is brought; and the court's allocation of the case to a particular ‘track’. The final section deals with the directions questionnaire (form N180), which should not be seen as a formality but as a key step in defining how the case should move forward.