MP Marlin-Romeo initiates small claims court proposal

POSTED: 08/19/15 3:06 PM


St. Maarten – Independent MP Leona Marlin-Romeo has requested a meeting to discuss the establishment of a small claims court. Attorney Reynold Groeneveldt has prepared a proposal to this end. Marlin-Romeo supports this initiative that allows this court to handle claims up to 5,000 guilders.

“In every community there are persons who have claims for relatively small amounts of money. These claims remain uncollected or unresolved, mainly because these cases are not brought before the regular court system for various reasons,” the MP said.

“Some reasons are the court entry fees and marshal fee involved with filing a regular court case. Although there is no legal requirement that one must be represented by an attorney, the complexity of the regulations related to filing and the procedural guidelines for handling court cases makes it absolutely advisable to contract lawyers to represent parties in court proceeding.

“The attorney fees act as another obstacle for people who wish to file a claim against a defendant for instance for an amount of a 1,000 guilders. The claimant is usually not able to pay an attorney besides the regular fees to file a claim for such an amount,” Marlin-Romeo said in a press release. “It is not attractive and economically not feasible for the attorney to accept a case to recover such a small amount of money. As a result, these types of small claims remain unresolved.”

“The amounts in question are relatively small, but for the claimant, they are significant. The regular court system and the attorneys do not provide the necessary service to these potential clients. Allowing these types of monetary and other disputes to remain unresolved is undesirable. It could lead to frustration and people taking the law into their own hands. For these and other reasons we believe that it absolutely necessary and justified to establish a small claims court.”

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