Small Claims Court

How to make a claim

To start a claim you complete form N1 and return it to your local county court. On this two-page form you must give your name, the name of the defendant, and the value and brief details of the claim.

You’ll also have to pay the appropriate fee – there’s a sliding scale depending on the amount claimed. From the HM Courts & Tribunal Service website you can:

Alternatively you can start your claim on the Internet using the Court Service Money Claim Online service.

Your claim is forwarded to the person or company you’re taking action against. If they decide to defend the claim, you’ll receive an allocation questionnaire to complete. This will include information such as the amount in dispute and your estimated costs to date.

To gauge how the defendant might respond see deciding whether to fight a claim.

After returning your questionnaire, you’ll receive guidance to help you bring your case, together with details of the date, location and allocated length of the hearing.

You should draw together any key documents supporting your case, such as invoices for an unpaid debt or a delivery docket signed by your customer. You may have to send copies of these to the defendant and to the court.

Sometimes the judge may propose dealing with the case without a hearing, considering it on the basis of written evidence instead. Or they may hold a preliminary hearing if they think:

  • the case requires special or unusual steps to be taken
  • you have no chance of successfully winning the claim, or the defendant has no realistic prospect of defending it
  • there are no reasonable grounds for you bringing the claim, or for the defendant defending it

Small Claims Court business advice based on Crown Copyright © 2004-2013

This guide covers the Small Claims process in England & Wales. The Small Claims process in Scotland can be found at the Scottish Courts web site

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1 Comment

  1. I have been cheated out of £10,000. Can I still take this to the small claims court?

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