Court of Small Causes – Procedures, Jurisdictions, and Types of Cases
All suits of a civil nature of which the value does not exceed five hundred rupees are cognizable by the Court of Small Causes. The State Government, by order, can also direct that all suits of a civil nature, upto the value of one thousand rupees, can also be cognizable by a Court of Small Causes.
PROCEDURE & DOCUMENTS FOR FILING A CASE IN THE COURT OF SMALL CAUSES:
1. Name of the Court, Nature of Complaint, Names and Address of parties to be suit has to be clearly mentioned.
2. Plaint should also contain the facts constituting the cause of action and when it arose, the facts showing that the court has jurisdiction, the relief which the plaintiff (the person making the complaint) claims, a statement of value of the subject matter of the suit in order to ascertain jurisdiction and court fees.
3. A person/ party filing a case may also represent their own case personally in any court. However, due to lack of knowledge of Law and Technical Procedures, Lawyers are engaged to report the interest of parties.
4. “Vakalatnama” is a document, by which the party filing the case authorizes the Advocate to represent on their behalf. Vakalatnama is affixed on the last page of plaint/suit and is kept along with court records.
On issuance of notice to the opposite party, the plaintiff is required to do the following:
• File requisite amount of procedure-fee in the court.
• File 2 copies of plaint for each defendant in the court, i.e. if there are 3 defendants, 6 copies has to be filed.
• Of, the 2 copies for each defendant, one shall be sent by Register/post/courier, and one by Ordinary post.
• Such filing should be done within 7 days, from date of order/notice.
• When the notice has been issued to the defendant, he is required to appear on the date mentioned in the notice. Before such date, the defendant is required to file his “written statement”. The time period of 30 days, for filing a Written Statement, can be extended to 90 days after seeking permission of the court.
Where an order specified in clause (ff) or clause (h) of sub-section (1) of section 104 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) is made by a Court of Small Causes, an appeal lies to the District Court.
However, there are certain matters which are exclusively exempted from the jurisdiction of Small Causes Courts given under:
1. A suit concerning any act done by the order of the Central Government or the State Government
2. A suit concerning an act done by any person in pursuance of a judgment or order of a Court.
3. A suit for the possession, partition, mortgage, sale of immovable property or for the recovery of an interest in such property;
4. A suit for the assessment, enhancement, abatement or apportionment of the rent of immovable property;
5. A suit for the recovery of rent, other than house-rent.
6. A suit to restrain waste;
7. A suit for the specific performance or rescission of a contract;
8. A suit for the rectification or cancellation of an instrument;
9. A suit to obtain an injunction;
10. A suit relating to a trust, including a suit to make good out of the general estate of a deceased trustee the loss occasioned by a breach of trust, and a suit by a co-trustee to enforce against the estate of a deceased trustee a claim for contribution;
11. A suit for property which the plaintiff has conveyed while insane;
12. A suit to alter or set aside a decision, decree or order of a Court or of a person acting in a judicial capacity;
13. A suit to contest an award;
14. A suit—
(a) For a dissolution of partnership or for the winding up of the business of a partnership after its dissolution;
(b) For an account of partnership-transactions; or
(c) For a balance of partnership-account, unless the balance has been struck by the parties or their agents;
15. A suit for a general average loss or for salvage;
16. A suit for compensation in respect of collision between ships;
17. (34) A suit on a policy of insurance or for the recovery of any premium paid under any such policy;
18. (35) A suit for compensation—
(a) For loss occasioned by the death of a person caused by actionable wrong;
(b) For wrongful arrest, restraint or confinement;
(c) For malicious prosecution;
(d) For libel;
(e) For slander;
(f) For adultery or seduction;
(g) For breach of contract of betrothal or promise of marriage;
(h) For inducing a person to break a contract made with the plaintiff;
(i) For obstruction of an easement or diversion of a water-course;
19. A suit for the restitution of conjugal rights, custody of a minor, or for a divorce; or relating to maintenance;
20. Any such matter for which the Court of Small Causes is barred by any enactment for
the time being in force.
This information has been provided by ALMT Legal.
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