YUMBE. The Judiciary has launched small claims Procedure (SCP) court in Yumbe district.
Small claim is a civil claim whose subject matter value does not exceed Shs10m for example the small claims procedure can be used for the matters arising out of the supply of goods, debts and rent.
Speaking during the launch at Yumbe court premises on Thursday, Ms Ritah Mukundane a member of the SCP Secretariat said according to the SCP rules, only a natural person may institute an action in court but a body corporate may become a party to an action as a defendant.
Mr Hillary Kiwanuka the grade one magistrate Yumbe said small claims procedure has been operational in Yumbe before it's official launch.
"Before it's launch, SCP has been operational for about a year in Yumbe. During this period, a total of 46 demand notices have been issued of this 8 demand notices have already been satisfied. 12 cases have been registered of this, 8 were concluded in court and 4 were through mediation", he said.
Ms Jackline Kagoya the Ag assistant registrar SCP said unlike the ordinary court procedures, SCP doesn't need a lawyer and all the necessary documents needed can be accessed in court like the demand notices, claim form, summons and affidavit of services will be prepared by someone in court.
"This kind of SCP is very legal and has the rules. The rules were written by a former justice in 2011 so don't think that SCP is coming from heaven, there is law to that effect", she stressed.
According to Ms Caroline Angolere, the Yumbe Resident district commissioner, the small claims procedure will help the residents a lot because they can't afford legal fees in terms of hiring lawyers.
She encouraged people of Yumbe to explore the opportunity of this service and use it often because it will address some of their issues.
"I appreciate the Judiciary arm of the government for thinking about us to launch such a court and it will help to accommodate the majority of the people who may not be in position to acquire legal fees for legal representation", she said.
She added; "I am barely three weeks in office but the claims that I receive from the community are many. Now that we have launched the program, we shall continuously engage with them through Radio program and community Baraza meetings to enhance the awareness about the same".
Justice Isa Serunkuuma, the resident high Court judge Arua who presided over the function said the SCP is intended to act as a fast tracking system in managing simple civil matters concerning direct claims.
"I am happy that we have launched the SCP in Yumbe. This will assist the Judiciary to work on many cases at a faster pace and on the side of the people, it assists them not to delay with their matters in court because they are worked on expeditiously, it saves time on our side, it saves costs on the litigant side", he said.
"Given the inadequate number of staff in the Judiciary, it assists to reduce the number of the workload because if ten SCP remains to go through a longer channel, it over stays in court", he added.
He called upon members of the public in Yumbe to use the SCP program where the claims don't exceed Shs 10million as long as they entered into agreement and have proof.