If you are considering raising an action in the simple procedure court, formerly the small claims court, it is always best to get legal advice. Whilst self-representation is available, it is not advisable as the court procedure and rules can lead to confusion and ultimately hinder the claim.
The simple procedure court allows non-injury claims with a value less than £5000 to be resolved in a cost-effective and informal legal proceeding. Despite being considered less formal than a traditional court, the simple procedure still takes place in the Sheriff court, with the decision being made by a Sheriff or Summary Sheriff.
The simple procedure court is used for a variety of situations. For example:
An individual can lodge a claim using Civil Online on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals website. However, this is not recommended. The application and court process still requires significant legal knowledge and understanding of the simple procedure court.
We have a team of experienced solicitors at Thompson Family Law ready to assist with your simple procedure claim.
To initiate the action, the claim must be lodged on Civil Online through Form 3A. This provides the court with information about both the claimant and the respondent, what the facts of the claim are and why the claim should succeed based on the relevant law.
This further stresses the need for professional advice due to the complex legal interpretation required. Along with this information, the claimant should prepare any evidence and witnesses they hope to rely on to support the claim. The form can then be submitted to the court and served to the respondent.
The court will produce a timetable indicating the relevant dates for when the claim must be served to the respondent and when the respondent must submit their response. Here, the respondent can either accept liability for the claim or dispute the liability or sum of the claim. If there is no response by the respondent, the claimant can request that the court makes a decision in their place.
There are several decisions the Sheriff can make about the claim. They can dismiss the claim altogether, arrange a hearing or for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to take place.
There tends to be a case management discussion between the claimant, respondent and the Sheriff to discuss what direction the case will be moving. This is arranged in the hope that a settlement is reached before a hearing.
If the case management discussion comes to no agreement, an evidential hearing will occur. Here both parties have the opportunity to present their case. The claimant and respondent may call witnesses and produce supporting evidence to strengthen their argument. The Sheriff will then decide on the outcome and enforcement of their decision.
If you have experienced some form of wrongdoing and believe that the simple procedure court could provide you with a remedy, get in touch with us today. Our experienced solicitors can provide expert knowledge and build the strongest claim possible to allow your action to succeed. Fill in our contact form online or call today on 0141 404 6575.