Hearings are listed in the mornings at 10.00am or in the afternoon at 2.00pm. Every case case is listed at these times. The Judge decides which case he wishes to hear first. If your case is listed at 11.30 or 3.45, these are precise times for your actual hearing, but may run a little late.
You will either go into Judges Chambers, which is a small room, or you will go into the Court Room. They both serve the same purpose. The claimant will sit on one side, and the defendant the other.
The Judge should have looked at all the court papers before you go in, to familiarise themselves with the case.
If you'd like further information, please contact us at Small Claims for free advice
Who are these people? In the County Court, you will have Deputy District Judges who are solicitors or barristers and generally sit in court 20 days a year. You also have District Judges who sit full time.
In my experience, the District Judges are more knowledgeable, very helpful and are more tolerant. The deputies are generally ok, but I have sat in front of the odd misery who is a pain in the neck, but you have to lump it if you want to succeed in your case.
And the most important factor you must remember - You can present the same case to 3 different Judges and get 3 different conclusions. There is no consistency with Judges !!!
What are CPR Rules? They are a set of rules laid down for all to follow. Civil Procedure Rules. Some are simple, but others are more complex. Primarily Lord Woolf proposed these rules because the court system was too slow, too complex and that the civil justice system should be fair and efficient and that the rules should be simple and simply expressed. They came into force 26th April 1999.
They came with a procedure known as "The Overriding Objective", plainly meaning that cases should be dealt with expeditiously, proportionality, to ensure that all parties are on an equal footing, to limit costs as far as possible and to ensure the appropriate allocation of the court's resources.
95% of all claims start in the County Court. There is no small claims court as such. When a claim is made in court, it is allocated to a "track". So if your claim is under £5000.00, the court will place it in the small claims track.
The hearing is informal and the party who succeeds will not be able to claim their costs, but will get back their court fees. There are a few exceptions to this, such as a party who begins a claim, but has no hope to succeed, then the defendant can ask for their legal costs as "wasted costs".
This track applies to claims from £5001 - £15,000. The party to succeed will be able to claim their court and legal fees and rules of evidence apply, meaning, you will be giving evidence under oath.
This track also allows for the hearing to last for a maximum of one day.
The process in this track has additional court fees and more processes to complete.
This track is for claims over £15,001.00 and where the hearing will last for more than one day. The processes listed above in the fast track also apply to this track.