Increase in Local Court Small Claims Jurisdiction

Increase in Local Court Small Claims Jurisdiction

The Local Court Small Claims Division provides a less formal arena for determining civil claims. This Division of the Court previously dealt with claims with a value of up to $10,000 however as of 28 February 2019, the limit has been increased to $20,000.

The upside of the change is that more disputes can be dealt with in the division which usually determines claims considerably quicker and at lower cost than in the General Division. The rules of evidence do not apply so many parties are self-represented.

The downside is that there are limited rights of appeal from decisions of the Small Claims Division and parties may be disadvantaged as the cap on costs recovery can discourage legal representation. Parties representing themselves often have difficulty preparing their case and may lose as a result of poor documentation rather than an unworthy claim.

If you require any advice regarding a small claim or Local Court civil matter please contact our experienced lawyers.