Croydon County Court

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Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Croydon County Court

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Description area

Dates of existence

1847 - 1982


County Courts in their modern form were established by the County Courts Act 1846 which followed a report of 1833 by the common law commissioners on the subject of small debts. At the time small debts were dealt with a variety of courts. The new County Courts, which despite their title did not correspond to county boundaries, were presided over by a judge (with no jury) and their role was to provide a quick and cheap resolution to small debt and other civil cases. They were gradually given further responsibilities. Under the Bankruptcy etc Act 1847, jurisdiction for bankruptcy cases relating either to non-traders, or to traders owing relatively small sums, passed to County Courts. The Bankruptcy Act 1883 gave them (in all bankruptcy cases) all the powers and jurisdiction of the High Court. Until 1947, they had reponsibility for cases under the Workmens Compensation Acts.

Croydon County Court opened in 1848 and was first held at the Town Hall in the High Street. Following the demolition of the Town Hall in 1893, it shared temporary accomodation with the Police Court and the Council Chamber in a corrugated iron building on Park Street and remained there until May 1906 when its new purpose built buildings on Scarbrook Road were opened. In 1968 it moved to the Law Courts, Barclay Road and again in 1991 to the Law Courts, Altyre Road. Its area of jurisdiction initially covered the same area as the Croydon Poor Law Union; ie. Croydon, Addington, Beddington , Coulsdon, Merton, Mitcham, Morden, Sanderstead, Penge, Wallington and Woodmansterne. Chelsham, Farleigh, Tatsfield and Warlingham were added to its area in 1859. As a Bankruptcy Court, and for judicial trusts, its jurisdiction extended over a wider area, covering much of Surrey (but excluding the Kingston, Guildford and Farnham districts); and also the Bromley and Orpington district of Kent.

The modern County Court, often referred to as the Small Claims Court, today deals with civil matters, such as claims for debt repayment, including enforcing court orders and return of goods bought on credit, personal injury, breach of contract concerning goods or property, family issues such as divorce or adoption and housing disputes, including mortgage and council rent arrears and re-possession.


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