Small Claims Court To be established in Eldoret

Hearing and determination of commercial disputes whose value is below Ksh1 million within the North Rift region are set to be expedited soon.

This follows ongoing plans to establish a Small Claims Court that will be mandated to handle such disputes.

The court has already been gazetted and Chief Justice Martha Koome is expected to officially commission it on February 21, so as to start serving locals within Uasin Gishu County and its environments.

Justice Ogolla.

Eldoret High Court Judge Reuben Nyakundi noted that if all stakeholders will embrace the court established under the Small claims act of 2016  it will help in reducing the backlog of cases revolving around monetary claims below sh1 million.

“If each stakeholder will play his role effectively we are going to significantly reduce the backlog of cases in this country especially if we are all going to embrace small claims courts,” he told an Eldoret Court Users Committee (CUC).

Chief Justice Martha Koome announced the establishment of the Small Claims Court via a Kenya Gazette dated December 10, 2021.

Justice Nyakundi notes that the establishment of the Small Claims Court will help in enhancing objectives of the Alternative Justice System (AJS) to Kenyans.

Court Users Committee (CUC) members in Uasin Gishu have welcomed plans to set up the court which they said should not be seen as a repugnance of justice and morality but a supplement to instant justice aimed at fostering an Alternative Justice System (AJS).

Eldoret will have the Small Claims Court alongside Kajiado, Kakamega, Kisumu, Machakos, Makueni, Meru, and Mombasa.

Nairobi was the first to have the court established in April.

Speaking during the swearing-in of adjudicators of Nairobi courts in July 2021, CJ Koome has said the Judiciary plans to roll out at least ten other stations of the new small claims court in other regions before the end of this financial year.

Hanging sign mockup in front of an escalator

The latest Judiciary monthly report shows that in two months after the establishment of the first Small Claims Court in Nairobi, by July 2021, the court had managed to hear and determine 1,200 cases with just five adjudicators and one court.

It is estimated that adjudicators handle on average 600 cases a month.

North Rift Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Henry Kenei is upbeat that the establishment of the court in Eldoret will unlock billions of shillings held in custodial accounts while commercial cases drag in court.

He, however, challenged the judiciary to incorporate the views of all stakeholders including lawyers to strengthen the operations of the court.

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