“When you go into court you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.”
The UK Court System offers 3 different tracks in which a Claim can be referred to, and these are dependant upon the Claim amount, or the nature of the Claim.
Small Claims Track
Cases allocated to the small claims track tend to be up to, but not over the value of £10,000.
Mostly ‘minor’ personal injury cases, road traffic accident cases and non-monetary claims are allocated to this Track.
Cases which are ‘not’ allocated to the small claims track are:
- Personal injury claims were the claim for damages is worth over £1,000
- Housing dis-repair claims of where the tenant is seeking an Order to compel their Landlord to carry out repairs as well as claiming for ‘breach of covenant’ which is caused by the tenant having to live in unfit accommodation. (If the value of the Damages or Repair Claim exceeds £1,000, the case will not normally be Tried under the Small Claims Track.
- Tenancy claims where the tenant is being harassed or unlawfully evicted by their landlord.
- Claims involving allegations of dishonesty.
- Cases, which in the opinion of the Court; would take more than one day at Hearing.
It is also good to note before submitting a Claim – within this track, Parties to the action ‘are not usually’ able to claim back their costs or any legal costs.
Cases allocated to the Fast Track are usually worth over £5,000, but less than £25,000. Certain claims can also be allocated to this Track, so far as the amount claimed does not exceed £25,000. Personal injury claims in this Track should not exceed more than £5,000.
Generally speaking, if the Judge determines at any stage a Trial would last more than 1 day, it will ‘not’ be tried in the fast track, and maybe transferred to the multi-track.
Certain cases above £25,000 can be tried on the fast track, however, this is dependant upon whether all Parties to the action agree. Usually however; it is transferred to the Multi Track.
Cases allocated to the Multi Track tend to be worth over £25,000. These cases are reserved for those which are likely to incur detailed procedures before Trial, and/or a lengthy Trial.
The rules in allocating a case to multi-track are that that claim is worth more than £25,000, the Trial will last for more than 1 day and/or there are 2 or more individuals to give oral expert evidence at the Trial.
It is also worth remembering – the higher the Track your Claim is allocated to, the more expensive and time consuming the case becomes.