If you are owed a sum money by an individual or business and are having problems getting that money paid to you, the small claims court can offer you a legal option to claim the money you are owed.
The amount of money you are owed and where you live will impact on the type of small claim you can make. The amounts of money you can claim usually come under what is called the Small Claims Track. The amount of money you can claim using the small claims system depends on your location:
England and Wales
A small claim can be made up to the value of £5,000
A small claim can be made up to the value of £3,000.
A small claim can be made up to the value of £2,000
Before You Make Your Claim
It is important to remember that the courts will want to see documentary evidence that you have attempted to settle the dispute you have over an unpaid debt yourself. If you need help you can contact the National Mediation Helpline on 0845 603 0809 for via their website at: www.adrnow.org.uk.
Also, before you begin a formal small claim through the legal system it's a good idea to read leaflet EX301: Making a Claim? Some questions to ask yourself. You can download this leaflet from the HMCS website: www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/ex301.pdf. This will give you an insight into the process you will have to go through to make your small claim. If you still want to proceed you can obtain the forms you need from your local County Court. Their office is usually open between 10am and 4pm. The forms are also available to download from the HMRC website. You can also consider using the online system Money Claim Online.
Money Claim Online
To speed up the small claims process and to make it easier for the general public to access this service the Money Claim Online system was developed. This is an Internet based service where you can complete your claim and file this electronically online. You can then track the progress of your claim as it moves through the various stages of the judicial system towards a satisfactory conclusion for both parties. You can read more information about this service and begin your claim on the HMCS website: www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk.
Completing the Forms
In the small claims process you are referred to as the claimant. The person you are in dispute with over the money they owe you is called the defendant. It's important to understand the distinction so you have the right forms and ensure that the correct numbers of copies are sent to their right destinations. Generally, you keep on copy of your claim form. One copy is submitted to the court, and one last copy is sent to each defendant you are claiming from as you could be making a claim from multiple defendants.
The forms you have to fill in are divided into sections to make them easier to complete. Each section has supporting notes that you should read before completing your claim form. It's vitally important to ensure the information on your claim form is accurate. Remember that the staff at the court you obtained the small claim forms from cannot help you with advice when filling in your forms. If you need help consult your local Citizens Advice Bureau, or the Community Legal Service Direct on 0845 345 4345.
Small Claim Court Fees
The small claim form you complete must be sent or taken to your local County Court together with the court fee. There is a sliding scale of charges for fees based on the amount of money you are claiming. You can see the current range of fees on the HMRC website: www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/infoabout/fees/county.htm.
Claiming Interest on the Money You are Owed
When you are completing your claim form you will be asked the amount of money you want to claim from the defendant. If you want to claim interest, the amount must be clearly stated in the 'particulars of claim' section of your form. You can see how to work out the interest on the amount you are owed in leaflet EX302 that is available to download from the HMRC website.
I was proposed a plan where my ex's dad had a car for 3 months (while his got fixed) and if I took over the tax and national insurance for that time he would gift me the car after 3 months.
This continued for over a year and I was blackmailed into paying this continuously while her dad kept the car. I was told if I was to approach him and raise this I would not see the kids again.
I was stuck with no car and paying the tax and insurance for someone else. I felt I had no choice as I couldn't risk not seeing my kids and having a huge court battle over it costing thousands.
Now that I am totally out of this toxic relationship would I be able to make a claim for this back?
DCPJ - 24-Jun-21 @ 2:53 PM
My daughter bought a piece of wood for her mantle on Ebay and it was due to be fitted in November.Due to her builder having to self isolate the work was started in late January instead.The wood was supposed to be heat treated and had been kept in the garage but when the builder went to get it it was cracked and couldn't be used.
My daughter contacted the seller who refused to refund or replace the cracked wood, which would have cracked in situ had they fitted it in November.He told her that ebay were on his side, though he offered no proof of that, so my daughter contacted Paypal who told her to return the wood, which cost her £30, and they took the money from the seller's bank account and refunded her the £105 cost of the wood.
She then had a phone call from the seller who told her that her bank had taken his money and she had to repay him or he would take her to small claims court.He wouldn't speak to her husband at all.
Paypal told my daughter that he couldn't sue her because they took the money from his account legally and it has nothing to do with her but the man has sent my daughter a text telling her that he is suing her and she will have to pay the court fees as well.
Is she liable and can he sue her when it was Paypal who took his money, not her?
Ollimae - 2-Mar-21 @ 10:36 AM
Hi, I have booked a holiday and initially I had paid the first instalment for myself and my friend (his name is registered with the booking). It has now been nearly 8 months where I have been chasing for the monthly payment of £68 and he keeps fobbing me off with excuse after excuse. When we do agree to meet up, he either cancels or just doesn't call me. I have had enough, I have pages and pages of messages with him promising to pay and also the booking with his name on it too. Does this sound like something I would win? Thank you all.
JH82 - 10-Dec-20 @ 4:14 PM
If Fred makes a small claim against me Joe for £500 , but I then counter-claim against Fred for £1000 and both are successful, do both parties have to pay (ie Joe pays £500 AND Fred pays £1000) or does the judge simplify it only make Fred pay the difference of £500.
Joe - 4-Apr-20 @ 4:34 PM
I have workwith a company called Smartzi and he didn’t pay me My money ?Thanks
Abdalrahman - 16-Mar-20 @ 1:29 PM
I was just wondering if you could offer some advice.I am being taken to court through the small claims track.I have presented my evidence in the prescribed manner.All witnesses statement have case name and number and at the end the oath saying that it is true.This was set out in the Notice of Allocation.The claimant has not done this and simply presented a couple of e mails.Will the judge allow these as evidence.I spent a lot of time put my case together and making sure it was as prescribed.Do I need to point this out to the judge before the case or will he pick up on it.It seems very unfair if it is allowed.
MissPenny - 16-Aug-19 @ 1:01 PM
Please could Forms EX301 & EX302 be sent to my email address. I have tried to get my neighbours to pay for the damage to my property but they have refused, despite their initial written documentation to the contrary. They have recently put their house on the market, so I would like this matter rectified before they sell & before a new purchaser believes the property to be theirs. Kind regards
Endoftether2 - 15-May-19 @ 4:41 PM
Matt - Your Question:
HiI have just won my small claim case for money owed to me from my ex partner. The judgement however says that she has to pay £1 a month until the £980 is paid back. This is an 80 plus year repayment plan which seems outrageous. Essentially she will never pay it back as she is 35 years old. Is this normal?? Can I appeal this?
You don't have an automatic right to appeal against a judge's decision, so you would have to ask the court (within 21 days) where the hearing took place for permission to make an appeal. You will only be allowed to make an appeal if the court thinks that you would have a real chance of success or where there is new evidence, or you can prove that there was something wrong with the way the court process was handled. In your case much depends upon your ex's ability to pay. If she has little or no ability, this will be why the judge came to this conclusion, therefore an appeal would do little to help further.I suggest you seek some legal advice. Please see CAB link here.
CourtroomAdvice - 8-Dec-16 @ 1:59 PM
I have just won my small claim case for money owed to me from my ex partner. The judgement however says that she has to pay £1 a month until the £980 is paid back. This is an 80 plus year repayment plan which seems outrageous. Essentially she will never pay it back as she is 35 years old. Is this normal?? Can I appeal this?
Matt - 8-Dec-16 @ 10:48 AM
Hi, How do I add another claimant to a claim I issued on MCLO?
dawnkb - 15-Sep-16 @ 6:44 PM
My previous employer is seeking to recoup an alleged overpayment in my salary . I dispute this but have now received A Summons to appear at the Sherif Court . Can anyone tell me if the fact that I have been summonsed has an adverse effect on my credit history or is that dependant on a judgement against me ?
Luvsabiscuit - 13-May-16 @ 5:36 PM
Good evening. I lived with 2 friends in a house and they own money which I gave them for buying a phone, I have also a blu-ray player which is my property which they don't want to return, other money for paying bills.I want only to know which is the time limit for apply for a small claim online.I already sent nearly 5 months ago a letter to ask for my money and they just postpone everyday time.I await a response at your earliest convenience.I will be grateful for any help you can provide.
The Kid - 15-Mar-16 @ 12:13 AM
hi, essex & suffolk water have damaged my property but will not accept liability, i am going to try small claims court, but does anyone have any other ideas they have closed my case.
harley1450 - 16-Nov-15 @ 9:23 PM
I was askedto help out another company at last minute (2230hrs) with 2 jobs, we agreed a price and I set off and delivered (0700hrs) on the promise money would be transferred into my account in the morning. now 6 weeks later I am still waiting for payment. All iam receiving are messages saying that the company owner is in hospital blah blah blah . and that the person I am speaking to is the owners sister who has no control over the monies. I have asked for payment to transferred either by bacs / cheque and even paypaland issued a dead line date. what else can I do , Small Claims perhaps ? the total amount is £960. not including interest or late payment fees.
annoyedGoodGuy - 13-Nov-15 @ 12:43 PM
dougie - Your Question:
A friend asked to buy goods on my argo card which was fine and she paid it back,and she asked again so I let her,she started paying back,then I had trouble getting money from her,she promised to pay £50 a week to start with,then it went to £20 a week for a few weeks,then £10 now and again,then nothing,she still owes me just under £400,i have told her that iam taking her to small claims court.i have proof of all monies paid,and whats owed to me,do I have a case
The main thing you need to prove is that this was a loan and not a gift, which you will be able to if you have previous records of her repaying the loan. Therefore, yes, you will have a case.
CourtroomAdvice - 17-Aug-15 @ 10:17 AM
I've had a double glaze door fitted a few year ago by a local north london company, my freeholder supervised it and signed it was fitted properly, over the years, water pennetred through the bottom of the door frame and rotted my floor and joist and cost me £3,400 to fix. Can i claim back from the company as i had 10 year garantee.
Adam001 - 16-Aug-15 @ 8:58 PM
a friend asked to buy goods on my argo card which was fine and she paid it back,and she asked again so I let her,she started paying back,then I had trouble getting money from her,she promised to pay £50 a week to start with,then it went to £20 a week for a few weeks,then £10 now and again,then nothing,she still owes me just under £400,i have told her that iam taking her to small claims court.i have proof of all monies paid,and whats owed to me,do I have a case
dougie - 14-Aug-15 @ 2:58 AM
Hi thereRecently I have split up from my girlfriend. We lived five years together also we had nothing but we got business together help her finance and staff in the shop. Even in the house i've got everything worked in the shop many months without get paid. Now I need advice from you what to do or What can I do. You can contact to me or you can call my friend he speak better english then me he can explain all and translate it to me.Looking forward to hearing from you.King regardsAdem Subasi
Adam - 28-Jun-15 @ 3:51 PM
I purchased an item on eBay were I was sent items that could not be resold as working by law as everything was broke in some way ie: blown up ect, I reported this to PayPal and they refused to retreave my fund of £500 due to this obviously I could afford all other stock that was been ordered which led to PayPal freezing my account which stopped me from completing any orders I had taken PayPal say for reciptes and invoices which I didn't have so then eBay suspended me now I have no access to my PayPal account were I no there was approx £1- £5k was payed in by customers 2 of these requested refund from eBay the others PayPal has kept not they say I owe them money and eBay have continueosely charged sellers fees which has built up to £188-£190k surely eBay can't charge me whilst they've banned me an PayPal have clearly kept me as they received no refunds, they refuse me any access to clarify anything what can I do legally please
Wizard - 3-Jan-15 @ 3:19 AM
Im considering to Sue an online seller and his company for refusing to refund me as they did not specify all the conditions of selling to me and made mepay extra moneys and still have not got my goods now they are telling me i need import license for personal things which they never mentioned when asked about conditions of buying. i think all they want is cash from me.
Ntsepy - 14-Apr-14 @ 6:46 AM
I split with my ex partner last June and have since been left with a direct debit payment leaving my account every month for a loan he had with the company I work for. As he is Self employed, at the time I agreed that although all the paperwork is in his name the money could leave my account due to me having a guaranteed wage. Obviously it would have been embarrassing if the DD didn't get paid due to me working for the company.
He now doesn't pay the monthly amount and I am stuck as my work aren't being very supportive of me stopping the direct debit. Is there any way I can recoup some of the money I have been paying out for him. He doesn't even pay his maintenance so this seem s so unfair I'm left paying this just so I am not embarrassed at work?
lulu85 - 18-Mar-13 @ 9:50 AM
My common law partner and I split in February last year. Since then he has left me with all the debts/Bills he didnt pay when we were together. He put my name on all the household bills as well as his without my permission. He was the sole earner and responsible for all the bills etc. I now have the bailiffs onto me and as I am on benefits I can not possibly afford to pay off the debts. Can I take him to a small claims court at all? He isnt answering any of my emails. I am very concerned now. Can you advise me what to do? Thanks
Lis - 25-Feb-13 @ 3:16 PM
i have recently split with my girlfriend and she claims she never recieved some moeny back that i had lent her. she can prove the transfer into my account but i have a transaction of removing the cash at an atm when i gave it back. where do i stand as i am now being taken to small claims court?
help? - 16-Jan-13 @ 11:36 AM
In June this year I put in a claim through the Northhampton Court and paid the 100 pound fee. claim No 2QT67702:
The claim was for 3985 pounds rent owing on a house which has now been sold. No response was received from the defendant.
My address has changed to Adlers Straße 10,15566 Schöneiche bei Berlin Germany.
The old address was Birkenfeld 10, Maoldsweisach 96126 Germany.
I need to make contact with the small claims court can you help?
F W Thornton
Frank - 15-Dec-12 @ 10:17 AM
I have been trying to locate a working phone number for Kingston upon Thames small claims court. The only working one I found leaves your call on hold for over one hour with no answer. The last one I found had a message to say it was out of order.
I have now searched endless websites to find out where I canget hold of the forms I need to take a retailer to the SCC, and again, all I get is advice on how to fill the forms in.
Would someone please direct me to a source of real information?
planetsam - 13-Aug-12 @ 2:59 PM
My son was playing tag at break time in a school car park. He ran out from behind a parked car and was hit by a student driving into the school. Thankfully he wasn't injured but the car was damaged. The headmaster told the parents of the driver of the car to get it fixed and they (the school) would reimburse them for any cost. They admitted our son's liability without involving us. The head then sent us a letter saying the school insurance wouldn't cover the claim and expecting us to pay. We refused replying that they had a duty of care and have also prejudiced our son's position by admitting liability.We then received a letter from the parents of the driver telling us to pay for the damage or they would take us to court. We did not respond to this letter at the time and were rather shocked that they now had our address, my husband works away from home during the week so I felt rather vulnerable. We have now received a claim via the county court online service. We wish to defend ourselves as we do not feel it is our responsibility to pay for accidental damage especially as it happened when our son was in the care of the school. We also now know the school gave out our address without informing us and to further complicate matters in three weeks time we will be living in France. Therefore are we right in defending this claim and if so can we have the case moved to France for our convenience and if not will our expenses be paid if we have to come back to this country to defend the claim?
REP - 7-Aug-12 @ 9:10 AM
i have been advised by shelter to make a claim through small claim court against a landlord who refuses to repay my deposit of £350 but am strugling to download the appropiet form
molly - 6-Aug-12 @ 7:42 AM
I am an expat, and two years ago we hired a photographer (who had an amazing website) & a great guy.
He agreed to a fee via email, then shot the wedding on the day, thereafter he told us that he needed to charge us more as the album costs had increased so we paid up (we were told by trading standards this was illegal). Thereafter we saw the pictures - they were something a 10 year old with a digital could have taken people were out of focus, wrong lenses for the wrong light. Just dreadful photography, after this he took forever to edit them, even the edits were god awful. To be frank we were shocked, then he kept uplifting the prices....We had him booked also for our religious wedding, but cancelled in the end due to him holding back on our wedding pics. We still have no album, no pictures, and now he is asking for more money. When we asked for a refund of the album and the extra costs, but told him to keep his fee for the day he disagreed. We appointed a law firm who have not had a response to the last letter and have informed us that we may need to attend court to get this dispute settled in a small claims court.
My question is how likely is it that we will get the partial refund we requested as well as our pics...
Furthermore do we have to attend as we have full time jobs and cannot afford to take time off to travel back (plus the extra costs associated).
I would very much like to get advice on the next steps...
Upset& dissapointed - 20-Jul-12 @ 3:09 PM
Hi there , this is Sonia. I am trying to get back money from a company called CityVisa. They are an Immigration Company. They are based in Birmingham. I live in Newcastle.I paid them £500 in Jan to work on my applicaion for my permanent residenship in Canada. I was vey scared to pay innitially but later one of their advisors convinced me and also my mother in Bangladesh and took £500.They said if I am not eligible , I shall get my money back. In 2 days I spoke to my caseworker called Luke who advised me that according to the points based system Im eligible to get a PR in Canada. They said I have got all the relevant documents except for a test that I need to give on enhlish' IELTS' and get an over all 6.5 in it. I started practicing for my test from and paid for my test £150 and got results in feb with over 6.5. I informed them about the good news when the advisor apologized and said he made a mistake and that I need t get (6.5. specifically in ANYthree categories) I was furuios and asked him for a refund. He apologized again and said they cant refund my money and advised me to pay £150 again and give the test. He wished me luck and I went ahead with it, thinking this time its the correct information. I was off sick from work from feb till april and lost £ 900 from work to practice for the test again. I was stressed about my english test and also about this money that I have invested. My second test was on 12th april. I was hoping and praying that I get ( three 6.5s specifically in ANY categories) as I was in a huge loss already. Just a wk before my test , my friend informed me that I need to get 7.5 specifically in Listening test and also 6.5 in reading writing and speaking) It was few days before my tests when i was furuois and I called Luke to confirm again. And he said ' SORRY WE MADE A MISTAKE AGAIN' you have to get the full marks. I then decided to quit and not go ahead with his company. As I have already lost a lot of money. I still tried and gave the test again on 12th april and got - 6.5 in listening , 7.5. in writing and 8.5 in speaking but 5.5 in reading. So I got what I was told to get for more than a month. But unfortunately was not elgible to apply for it anymore. I was heart broken and in financial crisis as well. On top City Visas still kept on ringing me and harrasing me for further 1500 pounds making mea fool knowing that Im no longer eligible. I was so upset and helpless I told them I should take legal action. They said they ll try and refund my money. They made me wait 2 wks and finally said they CANT REFUND. Then I contacted Contact laws and was advised to fill this form for small claims. I intend to go for this now and hope to get my money back. Is ther anyone here who knows where I stand ? I do have all their emails apologizing over and over again , with wrong informations for 5 months. Can anyone help?
Sonia - 21-May-12 @ 4:15 PM
@chris - do you know the home address of the MD? If they are not responding to anyof your communication, you could get a solicitor's letter drawn up and send it via recorded delivery so you have proof that it was received.