SMALL CLAIMS COURTS: SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

INDEX TO SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

Small Claims Courts Rules

SMALL CLAIMS COURTS RULES

 

(section 19)

 

(17th July, 2009)

 

ARRANGEMENT OF RULES

 

   RULES

 

 

Part I
Preliminary

 

   1.   Citation

 

   2.   Interpretation

 

   3.   Application

 

   4.   Forms and process of Court

 

 

 

Part II
Duties of Officers of Court

 

 

 

   5.   Clerk of Court

 

Part III
Commencing Action

 

   6.   Letter of demand

 

   7.   Issuing of summons

 

   8.   Contents of summons

 

   9.   Service of summons by plaintiff

 

   10.   Service of summons by Court Bailiff

 

 

 

Part IV
Defending or Consenting to Action

 

   11.   Written statement of defence

 

   12.   Counterclaims

 

   13.   Consent to judgment before hearing

 

   14.   Judgment by default

 

   15.   Rescission of judgment

 

   16.   Withdrawal of an action

 

   17.   Amendment of process

 

 

 

Part V
Enforcement of Judgment

 

   18.   Enforcement of judgment

 

 

 

Part VI
Witnesses and Oaths

 

   19.   Attendance of witnesses

 

   20.   Oaths by witnesses and interpreters

 

 

 

Part VII
General

 

   21.   Languages used in Courts

 

   22.   Fees

 

   23.   Monetary limit

 

 

 

      Schedule

 

 

S.I. 55, 2009.

Part I
Preliminary (rules 1-4)

 

1.   Citation

   These Rules may be cited as the Small Claims Courts Rules.

 

2.   Intepretation

   In these Rules-

   "clerk of Court" means a clerk of Court appointed under section 9 of the Act and includes Assistant Clerks.

   "Court" means a small claims court established in terms of section 3 of the Act.

   "Court Bailiff" means an officer appointed in terms of section 10 of the Act.

   "Deputy Sheriff" means an officer appointed under section 18 of the High Court Act.

   "presiding officer" means a person designated as such in terms of section 8 of the Act.

   "party" means a natural person who is party to the proceedings and includes a corporate body or association which has been sued as a defendant.

   "property" means movable and immovable property.

 

3.   Application

   These Rules shall apply to all proceedings of the small claims courts.

 

4.   Forms and process of Court

   (1) The forms set out in the Schedule may be used with such variations as circumstances may require.

   (2) A document used in Court shall, where practicable, be on A4 size paper.

   (3) A document used in Court shall be signed by party issuing the same with his or her name and address appearing below.

Part II
Duties of Officers of Court (rule 5)

 

5.   Clerk of Court

   (1) A summons or other document filed in any case shall be numbered by the clerk of the Court with consecutive numbers starting with the number one and the appropriate year of commencement of the case.

   (2) The numbers under subrule (1) shall be recorded by the clerk of the Court in a register.

   (3) Every document afterwards served or delivered in that case shall be marked with such number by the party delivering it, and shall not be received by the clerk of the Court unless so marked.

   (4) The documents referred to in subrules (1) or (3), and all minutes made by the Court shall be filed of record under the number of the respective action.

   (5) The clerk of the Court shall, upon the payment of a fee of P2-

 

   (a)   furnish a copy of any record to an interested party; or

 

   (b)   permit any person to make copies of any record.

   (6) It shall be the duty of the clerk of the Court to-

 

   (a)   issue all such process of the Court as may be sued out by any person entitled thereto; and

 

   (b)   notify the plaintiff forthwith by post or otherwise of a judgment by default having been refused.

   (7) It shall be the duty of the clerk of the Court to sign, date and issue all such process of the Court as may be sued by any person.

   (8) Any action that the clerk of Court is required to perform may be done by the presiding officer except that the presiding officer shall not write out any affidavit, pleading or process for any party.

Part III
Commencing Action (rules 6-10)

 

6.   Letter of demand

   (1) No summons shall be issued unless a letter of demand of the plaintiff's claim in Form 1 as set out in the Schedule has been served on the defendant at least 14 days prior to the issuance of summons.

   (2) A letter of demand may be served-

 

   (a)   personally on the defendant;

 

   (b)    by registered post at the known address of the defendant; or

 

   (c)   by serving it at the defendant's residence or place of business.

   (3) The contents of a letter of demand shall-

 

   (a)   set out the facts upon which the claim is based;

 

   (b)   demand payment within 14 days from the date of receipt of such letter of demand.

 

7.   Issuing of summons

   (1) Where the defendant has failed to satisfy the claim within 14 days, the plaintiff may request the clerk of the Court to issue a summons against such defendant.

   (2) The plaintiff shall prepare a summons and three copies thereof, but if he or she is unable to do so, such plaintiff may request the clerk of the Court for assistance.

   (3) The summons shall be in Form 2 as set out in the Schedule or as close to it as possible.

   (4) The plaintiff shall submit the summons and its three copies to the clerk of Court and shall satisfy him or her either by an affidavit in Form 2 as set out in the Schedule or by the production of a registered-post receipt that the letter of demand was served on the defendant.

   (5) The summons shall be served on the defendant 14 days before the date of the hearing.

   (6) The summons shall be signed by the clerk of the Court and shall bear the date on which it was issued.

   (7) The original of the summons shall at all times be retained in the record in the office of the clerk of the Court.

 

8.   Contents of summons

   (1) The summons shall-

 

   (a)   be signed by the plaintiff; and

 

   (b)   state the full address of the plaintiff.

   (2) The address for service of either party shall not be that of the clerk of the Court or that of the Court Bailiff.

   (3) The summons shall include a notice drawing the defendant's attention to the provisions of section 14 (1) of the Act.

   (4) The summons shall contain particulars of claim and shall state-

 

   (a)   the nature and amount of the claim;

 

   (b)   the defendant's-

 

      (i)   full names,

 

      (ii)   his or her place of residence, and

 

      (iii)   place of business, or employment;

 

   (c)   the rate of interest, if any, which shall not exceed 10 per cent per annum and the amount claimed up to the date of the summons;

 

   (d)   any abandonment of part of the claim; and

 

   (e)   any set-off.

   (5) The Court Bailiff shall endorse the amount of his or her charges for service thereof on the summons.

   (6) Where the summons contains more than one claim, the particulars of each claim and the relief sought in respect of each claim shall be stated separately.

   (7) Where the particulars are lengthy, they may be contained in an annexure served with the summons, which annexure shall be taken to be part of the summons.

   (8) Where the defendant is not an individual it shall be sued by its corporate name with its place of business or headquarters and its tax number, if any, stated.

 

9.   Service of summons by plaintiff

   (1) A plaintiff may serve the summons on the defendant-

 

   (a)   where the defendant is an individual by personally handing a copy to him or her at the defendant's residence or place of business; or

 

   (b)   where the defendant is not an individual, by handing a copy to a responsible employee at the defendant's place of business.

   (2) The plaintiff shall return a copy of the summons and an affidavit of service in Part III of Form 2 as set out in the Schedule to the clerk of the Court within three days after service.

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