Dealing with legal issues can often feel like navigating a maze, especially when it involves understanding the specific procedures and rules of county courts. In Northern Ireland, the process of making a small claim in a county court is governed by a distinct set of rules designed to simplify the resolution of lower-value disputes. This article aims to demystify the county court rules in Northern Ireland (NI), focusing on the process of making a small claim, and how Contend, an AI legal tech startup, is revolutionizing the way everyday people approach legal challenges.

Understanding the Basics of County Court Rules in NI

The county court system in Northern Ireland is structured to handle a variety of cases, including small claims, which are typically disputes involving amounts up to £3,000. The aim is to provide a straightforward, less formal procedure for individuals and businesses to resolve disputes without the need for extensive legal knowledge or representation.

What Constitutes a Small Claim?

A small claim in Northern Ireland may involve:

  • Disputes over bought or sold goods
  • Claims for unpaid invoices
  • Compensation for damages or personal injury
  • Disputes between landlords and tenants over deposits or minor damages

The Process of Making a Court Claim

Making a small claim in a county court in NI involves several key steps, from filing the claim to attending a hearing. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

1. Filing Your Claim

The first step is to complete a claim form, detailing the nature of your dispute and the amount you’re claiming. This form is available from the court or can be downloaded from the NI Courts and Tribunals Service website.

2. Paying the Court Fee

A fee is required to process your claim, which varies depending on the amount you’re claiming. Fee waivers may be available for those who cannot afford to pay. You can check if you qualify for reduced fees on GOV.UK.

3. Serving the Claim

Once your claim is filed and the fee is paid, the court will serve the claim to the defendant, giving them an opportunity to respond.

4. Attending the Hearing

If the defendant disputes your claim, a hearing will be scheduled. Both parties will have the opportunity to present their case before a judge, who will then make a decision.

For help with questions related to your issue, you can chat with one of Contend’s legal experts, and get immediate answers to your legal questions.

Tips for Success in Small Claims Court

  • Be Prepared: Gather all relevant documents and evidence to support your claim. This includes contracts, receipts, correspondence, and any photographs or witness statements.
  • Understand the Rules: Familiarize yourself with the county court rules in NI to ensure you follow the correct procedures and deadlines. You can check the Civil Mediation Council for advice on mediation.
  • Seek Guidance: While the small claims process is designed to be accessible, seeking advice can help clarify your rights and improve your chances of success.
Courts and Procedure: county court rules ni

How Contend Can Help

At Contend, we understand that legal processes can be daunting, especially for those without a legal background. Our AI legal experts are trained to provide clear, reliable guidance on navigating the county court rules in NI. By chatting with our AI legal assistant, you can receive personalized advice on making a small claim, tailored to your specific situation, all in 5 minutes or less.

Why Choose Contend?

  • Built by Legal Experts: Our platform is developed by lawyers and legal professionals, ensuring the advice you receive is accurate and trustworthy.
  • Accessible Anytime, Anywhere: Get legal guidance at your fingertips, without the need for appointments or waiting times.
  • Simplifies Complex Legal Jargon: We use simple language to make legal information easily understandable for everyone.

Taking Action with Confidence

Making a small claim in a county court in Northern Ireland doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the right preparation and guidance, you can navigate the process with confidence. And with Contend’s innovative AI technology, you have a reliable partner to help you understand your legal options and take the necessary steps towards resolving your dispute.


Understanding the county court rules in NI is crucial for anyone considering making a small claim. By breaking down the process into manageable steps and seeking the right support, you can approach your legal challenge with greater assurance. Contend is here to demystify the legal process, providing you with the guidance you need to move forward. Chat now with Contend’s legal expert and take the first step towards resolving your legal issue with confidence.

Remember, the journey through the legal system is a path you don’t have to walk alone. With Contend, you have a trusted guide every step of the way, ensuring that legal help is always within reach.

You can click here to chat with one of Contend’s legal experts today.

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