Written Answers. - Court Procedures.

Tony Gregory

Question:

309 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the limits for the Small Claims Court; and if he will consider an increase in the limits in view of the successful operation of this scheme. [3945/03]

The small claims procedure is a special mechanism for dealing with consumer claims within the District Court structure which is designed to handle such claims speedily, inexpensively and informally without involving a solicitor. It is administered by the Small Claims Registrar whose function it is to process the claims and, if possible, reach a satisfactory settlement without the need for a court hearing. The current threshold for small claims applications is €1,269.74, which has been the upper limit since July 1999.

I understand that the Courts Service is considering a review of the operation of the small claims procedure which will include the issue of increasing the monetary limit which applies to claims made under the procedure. On receipt of their recommendations, I will consider increasing the current threshold for small claims applications.