Small Claims Tribunal
If you have a claim arising from a sale or purchase of goods, the provision of services (eg repairs renovation works), tortious damage to property (but not including damage arising because of a motor vehicle accident) or any contact relating to a lease of residential property for a period of less than 2 years, and your claim does not exceed $10,000, you can file a claim in the Small Claims Tribunal. However, you can also file a claim more than $10,000 but not exceeding $20,000 if both parties consent to it in writing. You must file your claim at the Small Claims Tribunal within 1 year from the date on which the incident you are complaining of took place.
The procedure is informal, easy and inexpensive. You will first attend a Consultation before the Registrar, who will mediate the claim and assist the parties in resolving the dispute. If a claim is not settled at the Consultation before the Registrar, it will generally be fixed for hearing before a Referee within 7 days from the date of Consultation. The Referee will also explore the possibility of settling the claim before adjudicating on it.
If you choose to bring a claim to the Small Claims Tribunal, your lawyer will not be allowed to come with you, as lawyers are not permitted to represent any of the parties in proceedings before the Tribunal.
You may appeal against decisions in the Small Claims Tribunal to the High Court on points of law. You will first have to apply to the District Judge for leave to appeal within 14 days of the Referee’s order, and only if the application is granted can you then file a Notice of Appeal to the High Court. This Notice of Appeal must be filed within 1 month of the District Judge’s order granting leave.