Small Claims Court paves way for hearing cases in vernacular

By Shitemi Khamadi

The launch of the Small Claims Court has paved way to hear cases in vernacular, acting Chief Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu has said.

The courts that were launched today will deal with cases of up to sh1 million, with the judgments delivered the same day or a maximum of two months.

The launch of the courts is hailed as progressive towards easing doing business.

“The Small Claims Court will cut the inconvenience, cost and time spent in lengthy cases. This will support small and medium enterprises,” asserted Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed who attended the launch.

Speaking at the launch, Justice Mwilu said the Courts are informal, simple and straightforward. They are not wholly guided by rules of evidence. They can even allow use of vernacular in their proceedings.

The small claims courts will also significantly contribute to the reduction of case backlog. “Small Claims Court will reduce the caseload in Magistrates’ Courts and reduce the backlog. At Milimani Commercial more than 50 percent of civil matters are for amounts under sh1 million,” she asserted.

Judiciary Registrar Anne Amadi challenged the first team that will set pace. “To the Adjudicators, you are the first team of Small Claims Court. You’ll set the pace and the tone for the rest of the country. We hope clients will have a different expeditious experience,” she said.

How to file a case

Download the Small Claims Court Forms from the Judiciary website.

Fill in all the details as provided for in the form.

All documents shall be filed electronically in PDF format.

All documents filed must have the email address and telephone number of the advocate/party drawing the pleadings and respondent’s contacts. The documents shall be sent to the following email address for processing. and

The second step is that the registry will receive your documents, assess the court fees payable and advice you on payment.

Thirdly, make the payments by following the procedure in the payment advise sent on email. For instance, Go to MPESA Menu Select Pay – Bill. Enter Business Number 522537. Enter the account number in this format 7977. Enter the amount advised. Enter Pin and Confirm.

Fourthly, send the payment confirmation text as a reply to the same email thread (don’t send as a separate email)

Fifthly, the accounts department will verify payments and issue receipts. Original receipts shall be placed in the court file. The court shall print all electronically received documents and file in the physical court file.

Sixthly, the court shall print all electronically received documents and file in the physical court file.

Lastly, extracted orders shall be scanned and sent to the advocates/litigants via the provided email address.


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