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Small claims, mediation and costs.

Small claims, mediation and costs.

Postby caffiene » Mon May 18, 2015 10:23 am

I have been informed that making claims intended for the small claims track will risk costs if ADR is not offered prior to starting proceedings even if mediation is requested as part of the small claims proceedings.

I don't understand then why the mediation service is offered by the court if you are still expected to pay for private mediation before making a claim?

Can a pre-action letter specify that a claim will be made to the court but mediation will be requested to comply with the pre-action protocol?

What if the claim gets allocated to a different track? Can there be a stay for private mediation once proceedings have begun and will such a request protect against costs if it is felt the pre-actin requirement for ADR was not satisfied?

Private mediation is expensive and the cost is as much as the sum claimed. Furthermore, the mediation will have more bite to it once proceedings are started.

What is the correct course of action. I genuinely beleive mediation is worthwhile and not just for the sake of the pre action protocol.
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Re: Small claims, mediation and costs.

Postby atticus » Mon May 18, 2015 10:33 am

The information given to you surprises me. Who gave you that information?

I see no reason why you should suggest mediation in a claim letter. It may be an appropriate early step thereafter. Mediation can happen at any time before trial.

I agree that mediation can cost money and is not always the panacea some people think.
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Re: Small claims, mediation and costs.

Postby diy » Mon May 18, 2015 10:48 am

Quite a few guides are saying alternative dispute resolution is a pre-req to issuing a claim. I'm not sure if private mediation is the only thing accepted as ADR. I wonder if making a without prejudice offer to accept something less than you will claim is acceptable?

Its been a while since I used the small claim service, but in my case the judge was satisfied by my attempts to settle for something less than I was claiming as an alternative to court and didn't reduce my claim for costs as a result. Things may have changed though.
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: Small claims, mediation and costs.

Postby atticus » Mon May 18, 2015 10:50 am

It is not a pre-req[uisite].
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