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Small Claims Court (SCC)

The SCC is a civil court but the procedures involved are much simpler and you can only use it for certain ‘small’ civil claims. A ‘small’ claim is a claim with a value of up to R15 000. If your claim is for more than R15 000, you either have to use the ordinary magistrate’s court or you can give up part of your claim so that it reduces to R15 000.

Certain claims cannot be heard in the SCC even if their value is R15 000 or less. Examples of these claims are:

  • Divorce
  • Matters concerning a will
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Wrongful imprisonment
  • Seduction
  • Breach of promise to marry

The SCC will also not hear cases which the Commissioner thinks involve difficult questions of law and so should be heard by a Magistrate’s Court. The state may not use the SCC, and you may not use it against the state, for example, to make a case against the police. You can use the SCC to claim from an organisation, a town council or a company. But an organisation, town council or a company may not use this court to claim against you.


Cases You Can Take To The SCC Include:

  • You work as a domestic worker and have not been paid for three months. You want to claim wages from your employer.
  • You bought a second-hand tape player which stops working after the first month. You can claim against the seller.
  • You are assaulted and have to have treatment for your wounds. You can claim against the person who assaulted you for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical fees, and so on.
  • Someone negligently drives into your car causing R1 800 worth of damage. You can sue the driver of the other car for this amount.
  • You paid someone to do work for you and they did not do it properly. You can claim some of your money back.

Neither you nor your opponent can use an attorney in the SCC.

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