CHAPTER 47
SMALL CLAIMS COURTS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
ESTABLISHMENT OF SMALL CLAIMS COURTS

   3.   Establishment of small claims courts

   4.   Composition of a small claims court

   5.   Jurisdiction of small claims court

   5A.   Agreement to exclude jurisdiction of court to be of no effect

   6.   Appointment of arbitrators

   6A.   Incidental Jurisdiction

   7.   Qualifications for appointment as commissioner

   8.   Tenure of office

   9.   Conflict of interest

   10.   Appointment of small claims courts officers

   11.   Sittings

PART III
PROCEEDINGS IN A SMALL CLAIMS COURT

   12.   Proceedings to be in open court

   12A.   Individual may commence action

   13.   Parties to appear in person

   14.   Aim of small claims court when adjudicating

   15.   Language to be used

   16.   Court not to be bound by rules of evidence

   16A.   Institution of actions

   16B.   Prohibition of splitting of claim

   16C.   Withdrawal of claim

   16D.   Abandon of claim

PART IV
POWERS OF A SMALL CLAIMS COURT

   17.   General powers

   18.   Issue of summons

   19.   Counterclaims

   19A.    —

   20.   Powers relating to orders

   20A.   Review variation correction of judgement

   21.   Enforcement of judgement

   22.   Finality of awards

   22A.   Review of judgement by panel of Commissioners

   22B.   Powers of panel of commissioners

   23.   Costs

   24.   Writ of execution

PART V
OFFENCES RELATING TO ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

   25.   Contempt of a small claims court

   26.   Obstruction of officers of small claims courts

   27.   Adjudication without authority

PART VI
MISCELLANEOUS

   28.   Funds of a small claims court

   29.   Administrative expenses

   30.   Immunity of commissioners and officers of small claims courts

   31.   Rule

   31A.   Code of conduct of commissioners

AN ACT

to provide for the establishment, constitution, jurisdiction, powers and procedure of small claims courts; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[31st July, 1992]

Act 23 of 1992,

Act 13 of 1994,

Act 14 of 2008.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Small Claims Courts Act.

2.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

[“arbitrator” rep by s 2(a) of Act 14 of 2008.]

[“award” rep by s 2(a) of Act of 2008.]

“Commission” means the Judicial Service Commission established under Article 109 of the Constitution;

"commissioner " means a person appointed by the Commission under section 6;

[Ins by s 2(b) of Act 14 of 2008.]

"'judgement" means, the decision made by the commissioner under section 20 in favour of either party to a claim; and

[Ins by s 2(b) of Act 14 of 2008.]

“legal practitioner” shall be construed accordingly;

“practitioner” shall have the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of the Legal Practitioners Act; and

"small claim " means, a liquidated claim that does not exceed such sum as the Chief Justice may, by statutory instrument, specify;

[Ins by s 2(b) of Act 14 of 2008.]

“small claims court” means a court established under section 3;

“small claims court officer” means an officer appointed under section 10;

“subordinate court” means a subordinate court constituted under the Subordinate Courts Act.

PART II
ESTABLISHMENT OF SMALL CLAIMS COURTS

3.   Establishment of small claims courts

There is hereby established small claims courts which shall be situated in such areas as the Chief Justice may consider necessary, having regard to the needs of a particular area.

4.   Composition of a small claims court

A Commissioner, sitting alone, shall constitute a small claims court.

[S 4 am by s 3 of Act 14 of 2008.]

5.   Jurisdiction of small claims court

   (1) The jurisdiction of a small claims court shall be limited to liquidated claims that do not exceed such sum as the Chief Justice may, by statutory instrument, specify.

   (2) Notwithstanding the generality of sub-section (1), a small claims court shall have jurisdiction in respect of the following causes of action-

      (a)   proceedings for the delivery of movable or immovable property whose value does not exceed the amount specified;

      (b   proceedings for debts that are due and payable;

      (c)   proceedings for rentals that are due and payable in respect of any premises;

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