Small Claims Court

Deciding whether to fight a claim

If someone makes a small claim against you, you must reply within 14 days using the forms in the response pack provided. All forms are also available from the HM Courts & Tribunals website.

Your options are to:

  • defend the claim
  • pay the amount claimed in full
  • ask for time to pay the full amount using form N9A
  • admit liability for an unspecified claim without offering a fixed amount
  • admit liability for an unspecified claim and offer a fixed amount to settle it

If you think you owe some money but it’s less than the amount claimed, you can make a part admission. You’ll need to fill in forms N9A and N9B. You can pay the sum you agree you owe immediately or ask for time to pay. The claimant then decides whether or not to accept this as a final settlement.

Defending a claim

To defend a claim, you should either complete:

  • form N9 to extend the time you can take to file a defence from 14 to 28 days
  • form N9B if the claim is for a specified amount
  • form N9D if the claim is for an unspecified amount

The case may go to court. If you lose, you’ll have to pay the money claimed plus interest, and possibly costs and expenses as well. If you win, you may get some of your costs awarded – at the judge’s discretion.

Don’t ignore it

Don’t ignore a claim or exceed the 14-day reply limit without filing form N9. If you do, your name could be entered on the Register of County Court Judgments – meaning that you could be refused credit.

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

This small business 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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