Small Claims Court: How to bring a claim
The final option in many consumer rights claims worth under £10,000 is the Small Claims Court so we thought it would be useful to outline what you need to do if you have exhausted your other options.
Fill out the form
In order to bring a claim to the Small Claims Court you first have to complete and submit a Money Claim Form. You can do this online (takes about 30 minutes) or download a claim form. If you download a claim form you will need to send it, along with a cheque for the court fee, to:
County Court Money Claims Centre, PO Box 527, Salford, M5 0BY.
Pay the court fee
When you submit your claim form you will also need to pay the court fee. The court fee is based on the amount you’re claiming, plus interest. It is worth noting court fees are cheaper when submitting your claim form online.
|Claim amount||Money Claim Online||County Court Centre|
|up to £300||£25||£35|
|£300.01 - £500||£35||£50|
|£500.01 - £1,000||£60||£70|
|£1,000.01 - £1,500||£70||£80|
|£1,500.01 - £3,000||£105||£115|
|£3,000.01 - £5,000||£185||£205|
|£5,000.01 - £10,000||£410||£455|
If there is a court hearing or you require a judgement to be enforced there may be additional charges. You may be able to claim back all or some of the costs if your claim is successful.
Don’t forget: In addition to the money you are owed, you are also able to claim the interest. This is typically 8% so make sure you take this into account when you calculate your costs.
A quick maths lesson…
To calculate the interest owed:
Claim amount x 0.08 / 365 x Number of days the debt has been outstanding
So if you were owed £5000 for 60 days…
5000 x 0.08 = 400 | 400 / 365 = 1.09 | 1.09 x 60 = 65.75
You’re also owed £65.75 in interest
If the other person refutes your claim, you may have to go to a court hearing (although some cases can be assessed using written evidence). The court will send you a questionnaire asking for more information. You will need to complete and return this as soon as possible.
If the court decides there is to be a hearing, you can:
- Represent yourself
- Ask someone to speak on your behalf
- Pay a barrister or solicitor to represent you.
Once the hearing has taken place, the court will send you a letter with its decision. If your claim is successful, the other party has 14 days in which to respond. If they fail to respond you can get the court to order them to pay either by using the Money Claim Online (if you originally submitted your claim online) or by completing a Request for Judgement Form. You will need to pay additional court fees for this service. If they still refuse to pay, you can ask the court to:
- Use bailiffs to retrieve the money
- Send an order to the person’s employer to deduct wages
- Freeze their bank account
- Charge the person’s land or property.
If your claim is unsuccessful, you may be able to appeal. In this instance you should speak to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau for further advice.