Assistance at the Courts
Claimants who need assistance for the filing of small claims should attend at the Court Civil Registry (Kirk House, 3rd Floor) and ask to speak to a Civil Clerk. They should have any documentation that might help to prove their claim. The claim must appear to be provable; spurious claims will not be assisted. A written statement in support of the claim must be prepared for putting before the Court.
Small filing fees are payable. If service of claim and summons for attendance before the Court is required, claimants will need to engage a process server.
It is advisable to engage an attorney for claims being brought in Grand Court.
Whether attorney-led or claimant-initiated, embarking on claims through the courts should be considered very carefully. Courtroom actions can be an uncomfortable experience and can cause long-term resentment. Individuals who have legal concerns might first wish to try to reach an agreement in order to settle the dispute outside of court. Before bringing a claim in the Courts, litigants are advised to ensure that there are no other options available.
With a view to assisting litigants or would-be litigants to reach amicable and lasting settlements, the courts will encourage parties to mediate and arrangements have been made for the entire local judiciary to be certified as mediators. Further detailed information on this initiative will soon be available on this website.
At the completion of contested litigation, a successful litigant will usually be awarded costs against the unsuccessful party, whether plaintiff (the person bringing the action) or defendant (the person against whom the action was taken). Where the amount of costs cannot be agreed, the court will order that the costs to be paid by the unsuccessful party be taxed by the Clerk of Courts. The rates at which costs are taxed are set out in Court Costs Taxation rules (Grand Court Rules Order 62).