The Small Claims Court: Easy, Legal Way to Handle Friends Refusing to Pay your Debt

Small claims court in Kenya
The Small Claims Court of Kenya

As Kenyans, we have a sour reputation of hardly ever paying back debts. Lots of people on the count have a kind of debt: business debt, digital loans, et al. It’s understandable if a delay occurs in payment, as a huge section is reeling from a financial hangover occasioned by excessive spending.

Financial firms have a legal system in place to recover bad debts. What then, will an individual do to recover a soft loan advanced to a close friend or relative?

Has someone that owes you money refused to pay? Worry not. The law has changed

Unknown to many people, The Small Claims Court has been unveiled. And, it’s structured so well – that it’s possible to recover your money within 4 weeks!

What to know about The Small Claims Court

The Small Claims Court is a newly introduced court by the Judiciary of Kenya Gazette vide Notice 3791 dated 23rd April 2021, governed by the Small Claims Act. The court is designed to settle civil and commercial disputes in a timely manner with regard to minimum rules and fewer formalities. It is also meant to reduce the backlog in the Magistrates’ court.

The Court is mandated to provide a judicial determination of disputes involving small amounts of money not exceeding one million shillings.

This new court is a blessing since it was designed to help ordinary Kenyans access justice without having to know much about the law or the tedious procedures courts use. The process is speedy, and simple unlike that of the Magistrates Court where you might have to wait for 10 years to have your case determined.

Cases are speedily determined, judgment issued – often within 14 days

Halt the exhausting texting and calling to demand your money. Head to the Small Claims Court. There will be auctioneers doing the dirty work for you – and, at the debtor’s cost.

The Small Claims Court Act requires matters to be resolved within 60 days of being lodged.

 The nature of claims this court settles include money from:-

  1. Any contract relating to money
  2. Contract for sale or supply of goods or services.
  3. Compensation for personal injuries, e.g accident claim, work-related accident.

If you have a case falling in any of those categories, you have a legal system in place for assistance.

Read on: Ndindi Nyoro: Why only entrepreneurship will make you wealthy

About the Author
Joshua Kalata

Joshua Kalata

Student Actuary and Blogger

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