This is what you need to know…
The Ministry of Justice is changing the way refunds on hearings are paid in the small claims court.
The current system currently allows people to cancel a hearing, they can then request a refund on their fees up to seven days before their scheduled hearing date.
However, the new system will only allow refunds for any cancellation more than 28 days before a hearing date.
Within the small claims court system it is a standard to exchange evidence between both parties 14 days before the hearing date.
Bott & Co flight delay compensation Lawyer Kevin Clarke, said: “Under the old rules, a claimant can obtain a full refund of the hearing fee if they notify the court more than seven days beforehand that the hearing is not to take place – be that because the case has settled, or alternately they wish to discontinue the matter having seen the evidence from the defendant. This allows both parties more time to take stock of their position and make an informed decision.”
“Under the new system, the amount claimants will be forced to pay to see any evidence from a defendant will have more than doubled.”
“This could encourage defendants to file ever more vague defences working on the basis claimants will be reluctant to chance their arm paying the hearing fee on what amounts to the toss of a coin.”