SMALL CLAIMS COURTS – YOU CAN NOW SUE FOR UP TO R20 000

The monetary jurisdiction of Small Claims Courts has been increased from R15,000 to R20,000 as of 1 April 2019.

Not all claims can be pursued in a Small Claims Court –

  • against the State (including municipalities);
  • of a criminal nature;
  • for damages in respect of defamation, wrongful imprisonment, wrongful arrest, and seduction;
  • for dissolution of a marriage, customary marriage or civil union (divorce);
  • concerning the validity and interpretation of a Will;
  • concerning the status of a person in respect of their mental capacity;
  • regarding interdicts, for example, a domestic violence interdict; or
  • in which specific performance is sought without an alternative claim for payment of damages, except in the case of a claim for rendering an account, delivering or transferring of property.
  • Claims over R20,000 must be pursued in the ordinary courts (you can if you like reduce a larger claim to the R20k to avoid having to do that).
  • Only individuals can sue in a Small Claims Court, i.e. not companies, close corporations etc.

Even if your claim qualifies for the Small Claims Court, think of asking your lawyer for guidance on whether it is your best course of action. Sometimes even seemingly minor claims can have wide ramifications, and there is no substitute for professional advice!

BY: RANDLES ATTORNEYS

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