Coming soon...on-line court for claims up to £25,000

Currently people can issue a claim through the ‘Money Claim Online’ System. If the value of that claim is £10,000 or less (as almost 70% of all claims are), it will be allocated to the Small Claims Track. Over £10,000 it will go into either the Fast or Multi Track. All three tracks usually end with a court room hearing if they are not settled along the way. However, plans are afoot for the introduction of a new on-line court system.

The new system will deal with cases up to the value of £25,000. Much of it will be automated (which of course cuts costs) and so the parties involved will need to answer and respond to a series of auto generated questions and directions taking the parties to a basic conciliation stage. If the matter remains unresolved by robot, there will eventually be “human attention” which will come in the form of a Case Officer and, for final determination a judge. It doesn’t seem clear if both parties actually get the opportunity to get in front of a real live judge at some point or if a judge will simply review the papers but no doubt we will hear more in due course.

In the meantime, I tend to agree with one of the comments under the Law Gazette’s report on this story which amusingly suggests that “Before we go down this route can I suggest that we get the courts to a level of efficiency that British Leyland would recognise”. You probably have to be of a certain age to appreciate the comment so if you don’t know much about the legacy of British Leyland, ask your parents.

Lawgistics members can discuss the proposed changes or get advice Small Claims system with a member of the legal team.

 

Authors: Nona Bowkis

Published: 19 Jan 2016

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