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Increase To Monetary Jurisdiction Of Disputes Tribunal

March 2020

On 29 October 2019, the financial limit of the Disputes Tribunal increased to $30,000. The Tribunal had previously only been able to deal with claims up to $15,000 or $20,000 by the consent of both parties (which was, of course, rarely given). 


The increase in the Tribunal’s jurisdiction makes it a significantly more useful forum for seeking recovery of amounts that would otherwise be uneconomic to pursue in the District Court. The process remains faster and cheaper than Court and results in legally binding and enforceable decisions. 


The requirement for there to be an actual dispute has not changed, which means that undisputed debts will continue to have to be pursued through the ordinary statement of claim process in the District Court. 


While lawyers cannot appear on behalf of parties in Tribunal hearings, we are frequently called to assist with preparing legal submissions and written statements of evidence, particularly with claims at the higher end of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction.