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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22888
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I have a dispute over an amount less than $5000. Ive been

Customer Question

I have a dispute over an amount less than $5000. I've been offered a deal to pay less than the total claimed due, and if not they will take me to court.
It's my understanding that I am not required to pay any of the amount, and am quite prepared to go to the disputes tribunal on that basis.
However, now they're saying 'go to court and when you lose, you'll also have court costs to pay on top of the amount claimed'

Am I able to insit that it goes to disputes tribunal rather than 'to court'? Or is it in the hands of the person bringing the case?

If it make a difference, the issue is a commercial lease issue - my landlord died, this person has inherited the property and is billing me for backdated rates and insurance, which, according to my agreement with the original landlord, were already part of my monthly rent and rates payments.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 4 years ago.

christhelawyer : HiWelcome to JustAnswer. My first response will follow shortly. Please feel free to follow up if anything is not clear
christhelawyer : If this goes to the Disputes Tribunal then the are no court costs, as the Tribunal has no power to award costs.
christhelawyer : if they file a claim in the District Court and this is transferred to the Tribunal no costs can be claimed either. This is very clear under the Disputes Tribunal Act.
christhelawyer : If they file in the District Court, you are entitled to ask for a transfer to the Tribunal, and they will certainly transfer this, without costs, especially if you tell the court you asked for this to be filed in the Tribunal first.
JACUSTOMER-x3woze17- :

Thankyou. Jsut to clarify: Am I correct in my understanding that I can request it to be through the Disputes tribunal, even as the respondant, and that it is likely that request would be honoured, [or can the other part insist on it going through the District Court]?

christhelawyer : You can tell them it should be there, but long experience tells me, that if they file in the District Court, the court will be very quick to transfer this to the Tribunal, as no judge will want a small case like this in the District Court. I would be certain this would be sent to the tribunal.

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