Small Claims Procedures

The Commercial Court Division has developed Small Claims Procedures The Commercial Court Division has developed Small Claims Procedures



What Is a Small Claim?


This is a civil claim whose subject matter value does not exceed Ug. Shs. 10,000,000. For example, the small claims procedure (SCP) can be used for matters arising out of the supply of goods, debts and rent.


What Is the Jurisdiction of the SCP Court?

  • The small claims procedure claims procedure is applicable to claims not exceeding Ug.shs 10,000,000 in value.
  • Every suit shall be instituted in a court in whose jurisdiction the cause of action wholly or in part arises.
  • In case of a rental dispute or claim, a small claim is instituted in a court in whose jurisdiction the property is situated or where the defendant resides.


What Matters are excluded from Jurisdiction of The SCP Court?

  • Claims exceeding Ug. Shs. 10,000,000.
  • Claims against the government.
  • Family disputes relating to the management of an estate.
  • Contracts of service and contracts for service.
  • Suits for defamation, wrongly arrest, wrongful imprisonment, malicious prosecution and seduction.
  • Petitions for divorce, nullification of marriage or separation of spouses.
  • Claims concerning the validity of a will.
  • A claim in which specific performance is sought without an alternative claim for payment of damages, except in the case of a claim for rendering an account or transferring movable property and disputes arising out of tenancy agreements not exceeding Ug Shs 10,000,000 in value.


Who may Institute a Claim?


According to the SCP Rules only a natural person may institute an action in court, but a body corporate may become a party to an action as a defendant.



Against whom may a claim be instituted?


A suit may be instituted against a natural person or a body corporate.


What amount can be claimed?


Any amount not exceeding Ug. Shs. 10,000,000. If your claim exceeds Ug. Shs. 10,000,000 in value, you can institute a claim for a lesser amount in order to pursue your case under the small claims procedure.


Is one compelled to institute a Claim in the SCP Court?

No. You have a choice to institute your claim in the SCP court or in any other competent court. However, bringing your claim to the general court will take more time since the procedures are more complicated than in the SCP court and you will probably have to hire an advocate to assist you.


Is legal representation allowed?

No. Legal representation by an advocate is not allowed under SCP. However, at your own cost, you may obtain legal advice from an advocate before using the SCP. Clerks of the court will assist you free of charge.


How do you Institute a Claim?

  • Contact the opposing party (the person against whom you are instituting a claim) with a request to satisfy your claim. This may be done through a face to face verbal demand or a telephone call.
  • If the opposing party does not comply with your verbal request, address a written demand to him or her, setting out the particulars of the facts on which your claim is based, and the amount of the in accordance with schedule I of the SCP Rules.
  • Deliver the demand notice by hand to the opposing party.
  • If after 14 days the opposing party does not respond to the demand notice, report in person to the clerk of the SCP at your local court, with your proof that the demand notice was delivered to the opposing party.
  • Take along any contract, document or other proof upon which your claim is based or that has a bearing on your claim.
  • Take the full name and address (home and business address if known) and telephone contacts of the opposing party


What are the duties of the Clerk of the Court?

  • S/he will help you to fill the claim form under schedule 2 and will prepare the summons according to the schedule
  • S/he will inform you of the hearing date.
  • S/he will endorse the claim form and summons and hand them over to you for service on the opposing party.