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Where will my case be heard?
In civil (as opposed to criminal) claims, there are three main sets of court procedures, known as ‘tracks’; which ‘track’ your case will be heard in depends on the total value of the claim. These are:
- Small claims track: a simplified way of dealing with cases with a total value under £10,000. Hearings normally only last a few hours and you don’t need to attend the hearing personally, as long as you give a ‘notice of non-attendance’ and written evidence to the court at least seven days before the hearing. Small claims hearings will be held in the claimant’s local county court (unless you are an individual or sole trader, in which case it will be heard in in your local court).
- Fast track: for cases under £25,000. This is another streamlined way of dealing with medium-value claims, and hearings normally last less than a day.
- Multi-track: for higher-value claims of £25,000 or more. Hearings can take several days and the court is given flexibility to deal with the individual elements of a case as they arise. Multi-track claims can be heard in the High Court or county court, depending on how complex the case is. Because of this, multi-track costs are normally considerably more expensive.