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How To Take Your Own Action Through
Small Claims Court


The small claims court was set up to deal with cases speedily and cheaply, without a lawyer and without all the procedural rechnicalities usually involved in the other courts. You may find the Small Claims Court useful if you have a civil claim to the value of about R3000; if your claim is less than three years old; and you cannot afford a lawyer.

Who may sue and be sued?

You may only sue as an individual. Close corporations, companies and statutory bodies may not sue in the small claims court. However, you as an individual may sue these bodies. A partnership may also bring a claim jointly in the name of all the individuals who makeup the partnership.

How do you bring your claim?

What sort of cases are heard by the Small Claims Court?

The following types of cases or "causes of action" may be heard on condition that the value does not exceed R3000:- The following are types of cases which may not be heard by the small claims court:

The Small Claims Court is not an effective tool for purposes of debt collecting. The law states that in the Small Claims Court, a summons issued by a plaintiff may not be delivered to a defendant where the claim arises from debts owed to a business or profession, until the previous case by the same plaintiff has resulted in judgement.

How to locate your local small claims court.

Enquire at your local magistrate's court office or legal aid office.
Members of the Mallinicks Women's Forum write the articles, which offer basic legal advice.
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