Tuesday, 19 April 2016

SMALL CLAIMS COURT LIMIT RAISED

THE government has reviewed amounts that can be claimed at the Small Claims Court from $250 to $1,000. The new amount was announced through Statutory Instrument 34 of 2016. The statutory instrument said the changes were made in consultation with the Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, and were effective from January 1. 

“The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, in terms of section 3 of the Small Claims Courts Act [chapter 7:12], and after consultation with the Chief Justice, hereby makes the following notice: This notice may be cited as the Small Claims Courts (Designation) Notice, 2016,” read the statutory instrument.

Summons fees were also reduced from $5 to $2. A lawyer who declined to be named said that there are several reasons behind this review. “There are several reasons that might have prompted these changes. The ministry is trying to reduce the number of claims that go to the High Court.
“People owing each other money can have their issues solved at small claims courts for they take lesser time than formal courts,” he said.

“The establishment of small claims courts in all the provinces is convenient because people will be at an advantage of having their cases dealt with within their proximity.”

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