Small Claims Tribunal
Establishment of the Small Claims Tribunals
The Small Claims Tribunals (SCT) were established on 1 February 1985, under the Small Claims Tribunals Act. The SCT provides a speedy, low-cost forum for the resolution of small value claims.
The SCT hears claims of the following nature:
(a) Disputes arising from contracts for the sale of goods;
(b) Disputes arising from contracts for the provision of services;
(c) Disputes in tort in respect of damage caused to property, except those arising out of or in connection with the use of a motor vehicle and those causing interference with a neighbour’s enjoyment or use of a place of residence under s 4 of the Community Disputes Resolution Act; and
(d) Disputes arising from contracts for the lease of residential premises that does not exceed 2 years.
The SCT has jurisdiction to hear such claims where the amount in dispute does not exceed $10,000 and the cause of action accrued over the last one year. However, where all parties to the proceedings consent in writing, the Small Claims Tribunals may hear a claim where the amount in dispute does not exceed $20,000.
An appeal against a decision of the SCT may only be made on a ground involving a question of law or on the ground that the claim was outside the jurisdiction of SCT. No appeal is allowed against the SCT’s findings of the facts. Appeals against the order of the SCT are heard by the High Court.