Civil courts

Civil cases are those that do not involve family matters or failure to pay council tax. Civil cases are mainly dealt with by county courts and typically relate to debt (these generally being issued for a specified amount of money), the repossession of property, personal injury (these generally being issued for an unspecified amount of money), the return of goods and insolvency. Particularly important, complex or substantial cases are instead dealt with in the High Court.

See statistics at MOJ.


Total claims

The process of taking a person(s) or company to court regarding a civil (non-family) matter begins with a person (the claimant) either completing a claim form and taking it to a court or completing a claim form online.

YearTotal claims
20182,073,957
20172,048,446
20161,802,286
20151,562,065
20141,594,596
20131,445,339
20121,394,230
20111,504,243
20101,550,626
20091,803,221
20081,993,828
20071,944,812
20062,115,491
20051,968,894
20041,723,371
20031,718,883
20021,743,339
20011,805,637
20001,943,513

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 2,073,957


Claims defended

Whether the claim is issued online or through the county courts, a copy of the claim form along with a response pack is sent to (served on) the defendant who has 14 days to respond to the claim. The defendant can: do nothing; pay up (either the full amount of the claim or in part); admit the claim and ask for more time to pay (in full or part); and/or dispute (defend) the claim (in full or part).

YearClaims defended
2018298,055
2017297,936
2016284,328
2015264,545
2014264,701
2013262,872
2012259,585
2011275,918
2010290,889
2009315,963
2008298,796
2007338,616
2006292,115
2005275,138
2004258,096
2003264,379
2002263,384
2001252,176
2000248,167

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 298,055


Claims allocated to track

If the claim is defended, the usual procedure is for further information to be provided by the parties, following which the case is allocated by a judge to one of three case-management tracks, Small claim track, Fast track or Multi track.

YearClaims allocated to track
2018175,888
2017165,221
2016157,140
2015151,260
2014143,529
2013149,637
2012151,120
2011170,615
2010168,693
2009179,983
2008163,905
2007173,751
2006155,149
2005153,328
2004151,527
2003154,705
2002140,721
2001143,486
2000152,641

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 175,888


Claims gone to trial

Defended cases which are not settled or withdrawn generally result in a small claim hearing or trial.

YearClaims gone to trial
201860,218
201758,502
201652,926
201548,192
201445,062
201343,093
201246,993
201152,660
201060,303
200964,078
200863,981
200769,248
200662,968
200563,367
200462,201
200365,026
200268,901
200171,763
200071,233

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 60,218