Small Claims Tribunal

About Small Claims Tribunal

The Small Claims Tribunal was established on 30th October 2007 by the Chief Justice in accordance with DIFC Law No. 10 of 2004 (the DIFC Court Law) as a Tribunal of the DIFC Courts with power to hear and determine claims within the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts (please see below regarding the type of claims that may be filed). Lodging a Small Claims Tribunal (“SCT”) case could not be simpler. Short Claim Form can be easily completed in person at the DIFC Courts, via fax, or online at the DIFC Courts’ website (please click here  for further instructions on filing a claim). Claimants should be sure to provide a summary of the remedy being sought and the reasons for claiming entitlement to this remedy on their application and a statement of the monetary value of the small claim. Claims in the Small Claims Tribunal are subject to the DIFC Courts Rules, especially Part 53 (available here).  90% of cases are resolved within four weeks at the Small Claims Tribunal, a track record maintained since 2007. Jurisdiction: Cases filed within the SCT must fall under the DIFC Courts’ jurisdiction and must fall into the SCT’s specific jurisdiction. The DIFC Courts only have the power to hear cases which are civil or commercial in nature and which involve:

1)Bodies of the DIFC or any DIFC registered establishments;

2)Disputes arising from or relating to contracts involving the DIFC; or

3)Disputes in which the parties have consented to DIFC Courts’ jurisdiction.

Parties are also able to opt-in to the DIFC Courts’ Jurisdiction. For more information, please refer to DIFC Courts Practice Direction No. 1 of 2015. The SCT currently operates to hear claims within the jurisdiction of the DIFC where:

The SCT will hear and determine claims within the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts:

(1) where the amount of the claim or the value of the subject matter of the claim does not exceed AED 500,000 or;

(2) where the claim relates to the employment or former employment of a party; and

all parties elect in writing that it be heard by the SCT (there is no value limit for the SCT’s elective jurisdiction in the context of employment claims); or

(3) which do not fall within the provisions of sub-paragraphs (1) or (2) above, but in respect of which:

(a) the amount of the claim or the value of the subject matter of the claim  does not exceed AED 1,000,000; and

(b) all parties to the claim elect in writing that it be heard by the SCT, and such election is made in the underlying contract (if any) or subsequent to execution of that contract

or

(4) such other claims as may be ordered or directed by the Chief Justice to be heard by the SCT from time to time.

Filing fee as mentioned below:

Employment claims:

  • The fee for filing an employment claim shall be 2% of the value of the claim with a minimum fee of USD 100.

  • The fee for filing an appeal to the CFI following an employment claim in the SCT shall be 1% of the value of the claim with a minimum fee of USD 100.


All other claims: 

  • The fee for filing all other claims shall be 5% of the value of the claim with a minimum fee of USD 100.

  •  The fee for filing an appeal to the CFI following any other claim in the SCT shall be 5% of the value of the claim with a minimum fee of USD 100. 

Applications:

  • Applications seeking a fee waiver or suspension shall be free of charge.
  • The fee for all other applications shall be USD 50

Reimbursements:

The below reimbursements are only applicable to filing fees payable under Article VIII(B) and where the claim value exceeds USD 25,000.

For claims in which default judgment is given, 65% of the filing fee will be reimbursed upon application following the expiry of a period of 1 month after the judgment creditor has advised the Court that the judgment debtor has been made aware of the default judgment. The fee will be payable again should the judgment debtor apply successfully to set aside the default judgment in question (see RDC [14.1 to 14.4 – update]); and

For claims which are the subject of a successful immediate judgment application (even after a disputed jurisdiction hearing), 65% of the filing fee will be reimbursed upon application in the following circumstances:

(i) in the event that the judgment debtor is not present at the immediate judgment hearing, following one month after the Court is informed that the judgment debtor has been a made aware of the immediate judgment; or

(ii) in the event that the judgment debtor is present at the hearing, following the expiry of the period within which the judgment debtor can appeal the immediate judgment. 

Notes:

  • For a claim made by way of counterclaim, the same fee shall be payable as if the relief or remedy sought were the subject of separate proceedings.
  • The SCT Registrar or SCT Judge shall have the discretion to suspend, reduce, or waive applicable fees in the SCT if they consider it appropriate in the circumstances.
  • The fees for a Part 7 Claim will apply to cases that are transferred from the SCT to the CFI pursuant to RDC 53.37.

Please see flow chart outlining the procedure for filing a claim

Final SCT

Members

Members of the DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal are :

  • H.E. Justice Omar Al Muhairi
  • H.E. Justice Ali Al Madhani
  • H.E. Justice Shamlan Al Sawalehi
  • Registrar General Mark Beer
  • Co – Chief Executive and Registrar Amna Al Owais
  • SCT Judge and Registrar Nassir Al Nasser
  • Judicial Officer Maha Al Mehairi