Small Claims Tribunal hearings explained: here are the facts and details you should know

2019-11-04T10:59:13+01:00November 4th, 2019|Publications|

Entering a Small Claims Tribunal hearing means that you have experienced some sort of wrongdoing that has affected you financially and/or morally caused some form of limitation or dissatisfaction. It could also mean that your effort in a business situation, for example, was not recognized and payment is being withheld.

In order to enter a Small Claims Tribunal, Maltese law states that money claims that do not exceed the amount of €5,000 may be claimed through such Tribunal. This small claims system cannot be made use of for cases that deal with immovable property even if the claim falls within the €5,000 bracket.

A Small Claims Tribunal is a case that questions the equity of the inquiring party. It is decided by an adjudicator appointed by the laws of the country who is appointed to the post for 5 years and is chosen from a list of qualified advocates who will in turn be regulated by the Small Claims Tribunal Act of Malta. In other words, it does not entail the services of a judge who usually takes on cases in Malta’s judicial system but by experienced advocates who are deemed fit to undertake such small profile cases.

In order to start a Small Claims procedure, a Notice of Claim needs to be initiated through the lawyers chosen by the party filing for the hearing; this can also be done in person through the Registry or by means of the online claims available to the public. These include the Notice Claim, the Notice Claim Reply as well as the Counterclaim Reply. Having a knowledgeable advocate to work on your legal matters allows for less margin of error that could hinder your case and your claim – the lawyers at SMM Advocates are trained to handle such cases and do so with the utmost professionalism to ensure that their clients are well taken care of; aiming for a positive result in their claims.

Gaining access and information on your small claims cases is vital to the general interest of the situation – learning how cases are handled and tackled by the authorities is possible through Sentenzi Online (Judgements Online). This service is offered by the Office of the Prime Minister and can give its viewers access to the Court of Justice of Malta’s judgements based on Small Claims Tribunals from 1994 onwards. Here, those filing for a Small Claim hearing can look into similar cases such as theirs and evaluate the outcome. Educating yourself on the possible outcomes of your case is a great opportunity but it is always advised to consult your lawyer before going through with any hearings or claims.

Once you’ve consulted your lawyer, weighed out the pros and cons of going forward with the hearing and taken on the claim, the result might not be one that you were expecting and in such cases, an appeal against the Small Claims Court may be filed for. This must be done within 20 days of the initial Tribunal date, signed by an advocate, filed and appealed.

Whenever an unjust act conditions you financially or otherwise, you require a remedy to be sought, the best way to approach it is to get in touch with a trusted lawyer who will guide you in the process. Talk to the experts at SMM Advocates today to sort out legal issues you feel will be solved by means of the Small Courts Tribunal system.

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