Small Claims Courts
The small claims courts deal with minor civil claims of up to R15 000 in a speedy, affordable and simple manner without using an attorney.
If you want to, you can get legal advice before going to court. Legal assistants and clerks of the small claims courts will assist you for free.
Companies cannot approach the small claims courts to settle disputes.
Any of the official languages can be used in the court and the case is not heard by a judge or magistrate, but rather by a commissioner, who hears each side of the story and asks questions.
Decisions of the small claims court cannot be appealed, however, if you think that the commissioner was biased or unfair, you can ask to have the case reviewed.
Steps to follow
What might happen between Step 5 and 6
• The defendant may comply with the plaintiff’s claim.
b) What do you do if opposing party has satisfied your claim?
• Issue a written receipt immediately
Cautionary principle for persons using the small claims courts:
If you intend instituting a claim in the small claims courts, ensure that the opposing party is able to compensate you should the judgment be in your favour. It is pointless to institute a claim against another person who is unemployed and who possesses no property.
What matters are excluded from the jurisdiction of the small claims court:
These facility categories:
|Government Body:||(The Government of South Africa)|