CHAPTER 47 - SMALL CLAIMS COURTS ACT: SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

INDEX TO SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

Small Claims Courts Rules

Small Claims Court, (Limit of Jurisdiction) (LiquidAted Claims) Rules, 2009

Small Claims Court Rules, 2009

SMALL CLAIMS COURTS RULES

Arrangement of Rules

   Rule

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
COMMENCEMENT OF CLAIMS AND SERVICE OF PROCESS

   3.   Filing of Notice of Claim

   4.   Receipt of Notice of Claim

   5.   Certificate of Service of Notice of Claim

   6.   Service of Form 2 on claimant

   7.   Filing of notice of admission, defence and counterclaim

   8.   Awards in default of defence and for admitted claims

PART III
HEARING OF CASES

   9.   Notice of Hearing

   10.   Appearance of parties

   11.   Absence of both parties or any of them

   12.   Where both parties are present

PART IV
INTERNAL PROCEDURES OF COURT AND AWARDS

   13.   Notes of proceedings

   14.   Award

   15.   Registration of award

   16.   Particulars of Award and Dismissal of Claim

PART V
APPEALS

   17.   Warrants of Distress

   18.   Appeal and stay of execution

   19.   Notice of Appeal

PART VI
OTHER MATTERS

   20.   Fees

   21.   Court messenger’s expense

   22.   Witness’s expenses

   23.   Sitting allowance

   24.   Subsistence allowance

   25.   Travelling allowance

   26.   Duties and functions of Clerk of the court

      FIRST SCHEDULE

      SECOND SCHEDULE

[Rules by the Chief Justice]

Act 13 of 1994,

SI 85 of 1994.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

 

1.   Title

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

 

2.   Interpretation

   (1) In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires—

“arbitrator” has the meaning assigned to it under sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Act;

“award” has the meaning assigned to it in section 2 of the Act;

“claim” means a civil proceeding brought under rule 3;

“claimant” means a person who has filed a claim in court otherwise than by way of a counterclaim or as a defendant;

“Clerk of the Court” means a person appointed as such under section 10 of the Act and includes an assistant clerk of the court or other officer performing or assisting a clerk in his duties;

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

“court messenger” means a person authorised to serve process and levy distress and otherwise execute orders of the court;

“defendant” means a person against whom a claim has been filed in court;

“expenses” includes allowances;

“fee” means money paid to a court on filing any document;

“process” means any document issued by a court;

“Registrar” means the Registrar of the High court and includes a Deputy Registrar, District Registrar and Assistant Registrar;

“sheriff” has the meaning assigned to it in section 2 of the Sheriffs Act;

“warrant of distress” means a warrant issued by the court under section 24 of the Act;

   (2) Wherever in these Rules anything is required to be done within a specified number of days from the happening of any event, the period shall start to run from the day on which the event aforesaid occurs.

PART II
COMMENCEMENT OF CLAIMS AND SERVICE OF PROCESS

 

3.   Filing of Notice of Claim

A claim shall be commenced by the claimant completing and filing with the Clerk of the Court, upon payment of the prescribed fee, a Notice of Claim, which shall be in Form 1 of the First Schedule.

 

4.   Receipt of Notice of Claim

   (1) A Notice of Claim shall, before being issued, be stamped with the Registry stamp, given a number and the particulars of the claim and the names of the parties entered in the Register.

   (2) A Notice of Admission, Defence or Counter claim in Form 2 of the First Schedule shall be attached to a copy of the Notice of Claim for Service upon the defendant.

   (3) A receipt for the prescribed fee shall be issued to the claimant in such form as may be prescribed.

 

5.   Certificate of Service of Notice of Claim

The court messenger shall personally serve upon the defendant a Notice of Claim to which shall be attached Form 2 of the First Schedule and thereafter file in court a Certificate of Service in Form 3 of the First Schedule.

 

6.   Service of Form 2 of claimant

The Court messenger shall serve a copy of the completed Form 2 upon the claimant.

 

7.   Filing of Notice of admission, defence and counterclaim

The defendant shall within 14 days of service upon him of the Notice of Claim complete and file with the clerk of the court Form 2, which will have been served together with the Notice of Claim, indicating his admission of the claim, his intention to defend the claim or to counterclaim.

 

8.   Awards in default of defence and for admitted claims

The arbitrator shall make an appropriate award where—

      (a)   the defendant fails to file a defence after 14 days of service of the Notice of Claim upon him but an award made under this paragraph shall on sufficient cause being shown be set aside on an application made in Form 4 of the First Schedule by the defendant made to the court within 7 days of the defendant being award of the award.

      (b)   the claim or part of it is admitted.

PART III
HEARING OF CASES

 

9.   Notice of Hearing

The Clerk of the Court shall, upon receipt of Form 2, if any, issue and cause to be served upon the parties a Notice of Hearing in Form 5 of the First Schedule, specifying the date, time and place of the court sitting and the name of the arbitrator.

 

10.   Appearance of parties

The parties shall attend the hearing in person.

 

11.   Absence of both parties or any of them

   (1) If none of the parties attend or if the claimant fails to attend the hearing, the claim may be dismissed except where there is a counterclaim, in which case the court may hear the defendant and make an award in his favour and, if the defendant fails to attend the hearing, an award may be made against him and the counterclaim, if any, dismissed:

Provided that an award in the absence of a party may be set aside on sufficient cause being shown and a claim dismissed may be reopened and restored to the active list on sufficient cause being shown.

   (2) Any application to set aside an award or re-open a claim shall be made within 7 days and shall be in Forms 4 and 6, respectively, of the First Schedule.

 

12.   Where both parties are present

   (1) Where both parties attend, the claimant shall open his case and call witnesses, if any, and may be cross-examined by the defendant.

   (2) At the close of the claimant’s case, the defendant shall present his defence and counter-claim, if any, and call witnesses, if any, and may be cross-examined by the claimant.

   (3) The evidence of the parties and witnesses shall be taken on oath or affirmation.

   (4) At the close of the proceedings no party shall address the court.

PART IV
INTERNAL PROCEDURES OF COURT AND AWARDS

 

13.   Notes of proceedings

The court shall not maintain a case record of the proceedings but shall keep notes of such proceedings.

 

14.   Award

   (1) The court may either dismiss the claim or make an award.

   (2) The decision of the court shall not be reserved to another day and shall be delivered in open court and after delivery shall be reduced to Form 7 of the First Schedule.

 

15.   Registration of award

Every award or dismissal of the claim shall be entered against the claim in the Register opened and maintained for that purpose and shall be open to personal inspection by the parties during office hours.

 

16.   Particulars of award of dismissal of claim

Particulars of every award or dismissal of the award and the claim shall be in Form 8 of the First Schedule and shall be transmitted to the Registrar of the High Court in terms of sub-section (2) of section 20 of the Act.

PART V
APPEALS

 

17.   Warrants of distress

   (1) An award which has not been settled shall be enforced by the court issuing a warrant of distress under section 21 and under sub-section (1) of section 24 of the Act, which warrant shall be in Form 9 of the First Schedule.

   (2) A warrant of distress shall be executed by a court messenger or the Sheriff of Zambia.

 

18.   Appeal and stay of execution

A party aggrieved by the decision of the court may, within 30 days of the decision, appeal to the High Court on a point of law but such appeal shall not operate as stay of execution of the award.

 

19.   Notice of appeal

   (1) A Notice of Appeal shall be in Form 10 of the First Schedule.

   (2) An appellant may at any time after lodging the appeal and before it is heard withdraw it by filing a Notice of Withdrawal in Form 11 of the First Schedule and shall serve a copy on the respondent.

PART VI
OTHER MATTERS

 

20.   Fees

The fees prescribed in the Second Schedule shall be paid by the person at whose instance the document concerned is filed or issued.

 

21.   Court messenger’s expenses

   (1) The court messenger’s expenses for serving or attempting to serve any court process on any party or witness shall be borne by the party at whose instance the process was issued.

   (2) For the purpose of sub-rule (1) the rates applicable shall be those for the time being applicable to Local Courts.

 

22.   Witness’s expenses

A witness’s travelling expenses and subsistence allowance shall be borne by the party calling him and for this purpose rule 21 (2) shall apply.

 

23.   Sitting allowance

An arbitrator shall be paid, out of the general revenues of the Republic, a sitting allowance equivalent to that paid to the Chairman of a Commission of Inquiry appointed under the Inquiries Act.

 

24.   Subsistence allowance

An arbitrator who has to spend a night away from home on account of sitting shall be paid subsistence allowance applicable to a superscale officer in the Civil Service, but where the hotel bill is greater than the allowance, he shall be paid the actual cost of board and accommodation.

 

25.   Travelling allowance

An arbitrator who uses his private transport shall be paid kilometer allowance at the rate applicable to a superscale officer in the Civil Service.

 

26.   Duties and functions of clerk of the court

The duties and functions of the Clerk of the Court at each Registry of the Small Claims Court shall, in addition to any other duties and functions imposed by any of these Rules or any other written law, be-

      (a)   to issue and stamp all documents filed in court;

      (b)   to verify all court fees payable on all documents filed in court;

      (c)   to keep and maintain a Claims Register in which the following particulars shall be entered:

      (i)   the case number;

      (ii)   the names of the parties;

      (iii)   the particulars of the Notice of Claim;

      (iv)   the date of filing a Notice of Admission, Defence or Counterclaim;

      (v)   the outcome of the claim;

      (d)   to issue and stamp Notices of Hearing, Notices of Appeal, Warrants of Distress and Summons to Witnesses;

      (e)   to seal all awards;

      (f)   to remit in Form 8 particulars of any award or dismissal of claim to the Registrar of the High Court;

      (g)   to prepare and remit records of appeals to the High Court;

FIRST SCHEDULE

[Rules 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21 and 26]

LIST OF FORMS

1. Notice of Claim (rules 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 29).

2. Notice of Admission, Defence or Counterclaim (rules 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 26).

3. Certificate of Service (rule 5).

4. Application to Set Aside Award given in default of Defence or in the Absence of a Party (rules 8 and 11).

5. Notice of Hearing (rule 9).

6. Application to Restore Dismissed Claim (rule 11).

7. Form of Award or Dismissal of Claim (rule 14).

8. Particulars of Award and Dismissal of Claim (rules 16 and 26).

9. Warrant of Distress (rules 17 and 26).

10. Notice of Appeal (rules 19 and 26).

11. Notice of withdrawal of appeal (rule 19).

12. Summons to a Witness (rule 21).

FORM 1

NOTICE OF CLAIM

[Rules 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 26]

<TS:7.5,RT,DO>In the Small Claims Court at ..............................................................................................................

Case No………………………………………

Between:

<TS:6.5,NM,DO>1......................................................................................................................................................... Claimant

Name in full

<TS:7.4375,NM,DO>.....................................................................................................................................................................

Residential address

<TS:7.4375,NM,DO>.....................................................................................................................................................................

Business and postal address

<TS:7.4375,NM,DO>2.....................................................................................................................................................................Defendant

Name in full

<TS:7.4375,NM,DO>.....................................................................................................................................................................

Residential address

<TS:7.4375,NM,DO>.....................................................................................................................................................................

Business and postal address

DETAILS OF YOUR CLAIM

<TS:7.4375,NM,DO>3. Amount of money claimed or what is claimed ..................................................................................

<TS:7.4375,NM,DO>4. Nature of the claim...........................................................................................................................................

5. Details of Documents in support of the claim

(attached copies)

<TS:7.4375,NM,DO>1...........................................................................................................

<TS:7.4375,NM,DO>2..........................................................................................................

<TS:7.4375,NM,DO>3. ..........................................................................................................

Signature…………………………………….

Date……………………………………….

NOTE TO DEFENDANT

Judgement may be obtained against you and may be enforced without further notice unless within 14 days of the service of this Notice of Claim, inclusive of the day of service, you complete and file with this court the attached Notice of Admission, Defence or Counterclaim, stating your defence and counterclaim, if any or admission of the claim.

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