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Costs in Small Claims Court

Costs in Small Claims Court

Postby Spankymonkey » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:29 am

It is generally accepted that costs - short of court fees - will not be awarded to the winning side in a small claims court, as long as you have not behaved unreasonably. However there is quite a lot of conflicting advice regarding this on certain government sites and the CPR. It appears that the winning side can ask for legal costs capped at a certain limit of approx £80. But they can also ask for travel expenses, days off work, overnight stay and witness expenses, with no cap whatsoever. Is this correct and is there a cap on such expenses?
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Re: Costs in Small Claims Court

Postby iobject » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:48 am

I think that the answer lies in CPR 27.14.

Apart from the court fees, you may also claim fixed costs under Part 45, reasonable costs of travel to attend the hearing, and capped expert fees.
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Re: Costs in Small Claims Court

Postby atticus » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:18 am

See also para 7 of Practice Direction 27, which specifies a number of maximum amounts.
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Re: Costs in Small Claims Court

Postby steve » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:50 pm

But they can also ask for travel expenses, days off work, overnight stay and witness expenses, with no cap whatsoever. Is this correct and is there a cap on such expenses?


In my extensive experience (witness in 2 cases) in the first (sole trader vs sole trader) the winner got £6 travel expenses and I got £50 for half-a-day off work.

In the second (landlord vs tenant) the landlord got court fees but no other costs. The judge said he would not normally award court fees to a landlord and did so only because the tenant had ignored a lower offer to settle. But he ignored the landlord's request for expenses.

It was hard to tell whether either judge had concluded whether the losing party had behaved "unreasonably" (and it appeared that identifying unreasonable behaviour was considered by the second judge to be unreasonable behaviour) so it seems like luck of the draw applies.
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Re: Costs in Small Claims Court

Postby atticus » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:20 pm

Thank you. Your experiences do illustrate the range of possible outcomes, given that costs in small claims cases are very much in the judge's discretion.
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