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Regional Court Jurisdiction : new case law

 

The jurisdiction of the Regional Divisions of the Magistrate’s Courts as opposed to that of the Distrct Courts has been hotly debated since the establishment of Regional Courts. The Regional Divisions have jurisdiction in terms of the regulations in all matters “above R200 000,00 up to R400 000,00”. Most Regional magistrates have ruled that the Regional Division therefore does not have jurisdiction in matters where the District Court would have had jurisdiction. This meant that parties did not have the choice to institute proceedings in a Regional Division where the District Court has jurisdiction, unlike the situation where action may be freely instituted in any Division of the High Court notwithstanding that a lower court has jurisdiction. The High Court of the Western Cape Division has however held (Minister of Police v Regional Magistrate, Outshoorn and Others (15587/2013) [2014] ZAWCHC 165 (6 November 2014) that the Regional Division’s jurisdiction is not ousted by the wording of the regulation and that parties are free to institute action in a Regional Court whether the District Court has jurisdiction or not.

Click here for the full text of the judgment.

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Regional Court Jurisdiction : new case law