Christo Smith Attorneys Incorporated specialises in Magistrate’s Court and High Court Litigation. We also have right of appearance in the High Court.
What is litigation?
Litigation is the term used to describe the deciding of disputes by a court. It mostly involves the recovery of money allegedly owed by one party to the other. It can also involve mainy other types of claims such as contractual disputes, evictions, recovery of rent, motor vehicle claims and divorces. There are many other specialised claims. If you are in doubt whether you have a claim in a particular matter, we can advise you.
The firm does all its own appearances in civil matters in the Magistrate’s Court as well as in some matters in the High Court. It is not cost effective to appoint counsel in Magistrate’s Court litigation. A very small portion of counsel’s fees can in any event be recovered from the other party in the Magistrate’s Court. It however remains the client’s choice.
In most High Court matters we instruct senior and very competent counsel, mainly due to the travel distance of the area’s High Court which is presently in Pretoria and because most High Court matters are time consuming. Once the High Court is established in Nelspruit we will appear more extensively in that court as well. We keep a close check on costs. Where certain matters involve volumous work, we may advise to appoint counsel in the Magistrate’s Court.
The Magistrate’s Court consists of District Divisions and a Regional Division for every region. The seat of the Regional Division for Mbombela is in Nelspruit.
The jurisdiction of the Magistrate’s Court regarding the amount of a claim is up to R200 thousand in the District Court and up to R400 thousand in the Regional Division. All maters beyond the Regional Court’s jurisdiction must be taken to the High Court.
The Regional Court (of the Magistrate’s Court) also deals with divorces and unless a divorce is complicated or the opposing party has commenced action in the High Court, we prefer to institute action in the Magistrate’s Court.