There are different ways you may be able to use to start your claim. You can make some claims online, in particular if someone owes you a fixed sum of money.
When deciding whether to use an online claim system consider the following:
- The court fees are slightly lower than standard court fees.
- You will be taken step by step through the process.
- You need to be comfortable dealing with things online. For example, you have to go through a registration process, there are a number of steps to issuing a claim, and there may be occasional compatibility issues with some web browsers.
1) Online Civil Money Claims
This is a new digital service that is designed to be used by people who don’t have a solicitor to help them (often called Litigants in person). You can use it to make a claim of up to £10,000 or less (these are called ‘small claims’) or respond to a claim started by someone else.
You cannot use this service:
● if you are under 18,
● if you are eligible for help with court fees,
● if you are eligible for legal aid,
● for making a personal injury or accident claim,
● to bring a claim against a government department/agency,
● to get your tenancy deposit back from your landlord,
● to make a claim in Welsh, or
● to bring a claim against someone without mental capacity or under 18.
You will need:
● a debit or credit card to pay the court fees,
● an address in the UK, and
● an email address and regular access to a computer and the internet.
As part of this service, you are offered free telephone mediation to help you come to an agreed solution with the other side. This often includes a payment plan. You don't have to use mediation - you can choose not to use this service. But if you are able to come to an agreement, you will be able to resolve the issue more quickly and will have less fees to pay.
Claims made through Online Civil Money Claims are, on average, resolved much more quickly than those using the paper form.
You can find out more about it and startr your claim Make a money claim online.
2) Money Claim Online (MCOL)
This is another online service run by HM Courts & Tribunals service. You can find out more about this service at Check you can use Money Claim Online (MCOL).
You can use this service:
- if you know the exact amount you are claiming and that amount is under £100,000,
- if there are not more than two defendants, and
- if your claim is against a person or organisation with an address in England or Wales.
The same exclusions apply as for the Online Civil Money Claims system described above.
You will need:
- a debit or credit card to pay the court fees,
- an address in the UK, and
- an email address and regular access to a computer and the internet.
3 - Claim by post using an N1 paper form
This is still the most common way of making a claim although this may change in the future. Currently, if you want to make a personal injury or accident claim, it is the only way of claiming. This guide assumes that you are using an N1 paper form to make your claim but much of the guidance should help, whichever way you choose.
You will need to complete an N1 claim form, attach the necessary documents and the court fee (or an application for Help with Fees) and send it to the right court to start your claim. You can find English, Welsh and large print versions of form N1 together with notes (N1A) explaining how to complete this form at Form N1: Make a claim against a person or organisation (Claim form CPR Part 7)