The Summary Court exercises jurisdiction over a wide variety of civil and criminal matters. Civil jurisdiction in monetary claims is limited by the amount of the claim, which at present cannot exceed CI$20,000.
The Summary Court also hears affiliation, maintenance and domestic violence applications.
All criminal cases start in the Summary Court, with more serious cases being committed to the Grand Court for trial on indictment. The Summary Court is empowered to impose sentences of up to four years’ imprisonment, and in certain types of drug cases this power is extended to 20 years or, on second or subsequent convictions, 30 years. Customarily, there are three summary court sittings daily, one of which is usually a traffic court where cases heard comprise mainly of traffic matters.
In October 2007, the Drug Treatment Court was established within the Summary Court. This creation as well as plans for a Family Court, have emphasized the need to organize the work of the Summary Court into divisions.