The Disputes Tribunal – an option for resolving disputes under $20,000

by Max Clarke-Parker, Rainey Collins

If you have a dispute under $20,000 the Disputes Tribunal may provide a cheap method of resolving your dispute without going to court.

The maximum claim levels in the Disputes Tribunal are $15,000 and with the consent of both parties $20,000.

The only cost involved in making a claim in the Disputes Tribunal is a small filing fee of $30 to $100, depending on the amount of the claim.

Lawyers are generally not allowed to appear in the Disputes Tribunal. However, given the amount that can now be claimed, you may want to obtain professional advice. We often assist clients on how best to present their evidence, find witnesses and make submissions. We can also advise you on what questions to ask the other side to expose flaws in their claim or defence.

When we assist clients with the preparation of their case, it enables the best evidence to be put forward and holes in the debtor’s defence to be exposed. This can result in Judgment against the debtor for the full debt and an order for payment within 10 days.

Please note the Disputes Tribunal cannot be used to hear disputes about rates, taxes, social welfare benefits, ACC payments, parenting or care of children, relationship property, wills, ownership of land, the value of goodwill in a business or trade secrets or intellectual property.

For more information on this topic, please contact the Rainey Collins office (04 4736850) or the article author -  Max Clarke-Parker. 

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