Small Claims procedure: How to make a claim
April 29, 2019
If you have made a complaint to a business and you are not satisfied with the response, you may be wondering if the Small Claims procedure is an option.
What is the Small Claims procedure?
The Small Claims procedure (also known as the Small Claims court), is a relatively cheap, fast and easy way for consumers to resolve disputes without having to use a solicitor. As a consumer you can use the Small Claims procedure if you have bought a product or service from a business. It can’t be used if you buy something from another consumer. You can read more about the types of claims dealt with.
You can use the Small Claims procedure if your claim is for €2,000 or less. Only certain claims can be brought using the Small Claims procedure – it doesn’t deal with debts, personal injuries or disputes about leasing agreements. For more information, read our section on the Small Claims procedure.
How to make a claim:
Making a claim to the Small Claims procedure is a straightforward process that involves a few steps:
- Lodge your claim online at courts.ie, or download the Small Claim application form from the site. You must give details of the claimant (you), the respondent (the business), the amount claimed and the details of your claim. It is important when completing the application form to give all the necessary information so the Small Claims Registrar can process your claim and try and resolve the dispute. Also, make sure you submit your claim to the appropriate District Court Office.
- It costs €25 to make a claim through the Small Claims procedure. If your claim is accepted through the Small Claims court, the money is not refunded, regardless of whether it is successful or not. The aim of the Small Claims court is to allow consumers to make a claim without having to use a solicitor.
- Your completed application form together with the fee of €25 is lodged with the Small Claims Registrar. A copy of the completed application form is sent by the Registrar to the business you are making the claim against. The original application form is kept in the Small Claims office.
- The Small Claims Registrar will process your claim. The Registrar will tell the business you are making a claim. The business must then reply within 15 days, otherwise the claim will be automatically treated as undisputed. If the claim is undisputed, the District Court will make an order in your favour – without you having to attend court – for the amount claimed, and tell the business that they must pay you within a specific period of time.