Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu on Monday launched the first small claims court at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi.
The Small Claims Court is a special court that will handle disputes with a monetary value of up to Ksh 1 million.
Speaking during the launch, Mwilu said the Judiciary will be rolling out the claims court to other locations across the country.
She told Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed they will need financial support for physical infrastructure to house the courts and registries, personnel to man the courts, and equipment to facilitate their operations.
“The Judiciary will continue to engage our partners in the Executive, Parliament and in the County Governments in this regard so as to deepen our constructive engagements for our mutual benefit and that of the people we are honoured and privileged to serve,” she said.
Mwilu said the small claims court will be key to enhancing access to justice as judgements will be made in less than 6 months.
This, she said, will also reduce the caseload in the Magistrates’ Courts and reduce backlog.
“At Milimani Commercial courts, more than 50% of civil matters are for amounts under Ksh1 M,” noted Mwilu.
“The Courts are informal, simple and straightforward. They are not wholly guided by rules of evidence. They can even allow use of vernacular,” she added.
Industrialization CS Adan Mohamed added: “The Small Claims Court will cut the inconvenience, cost and time spent in lengthy cases. This will support small and medium enterprises.”
Some of the cases that will be handled in the small claims court include:
- Contract for sale and supply of goods and services
- Contract relating to money held and received
- Recovery of movable property (Not Land)
- Loss and damage caused to property
- Compensation for personal injuries
- Settling of debts