If you as the claimant are successful and the other party doesn’t pay, you will have to ask the court to follow through with the method of enforcement you chose (for example, the bailiff seizing goods or an order that the debtor’s employer dock the debtor’s pay for a fixed sum each week or month to be paid to you towards what you are owed). The watchdog Consumer Focus, in a report published in 2010, found that one in four small claims track users who won their case received only part of the money ordered to be paid whilst 6% ended up with nothing.
Thanks to District Judge Stephen Gold, who has presided over the small claims track for some 17 years, for allowing us to use his guide to the small claims.
Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon's books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council's journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year's Criminal Justice Alliance's journalism award