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County Court

The County Court is the workhorse of the civil justice system in England and Wales. See UK Court System for a full list of the courts.

The vast majority of civil cases are heard in the County Courts, and most major towns have one. The governing statue is the County Courts Act 1984 and procedure is governed by the Civil Procedure Rules, which are common to all all English civil law courts.

The County Court system in its present form has existed for about 150 years. The County courts generally hear matters with a financial value of under 50,000 (US$80,000 and EURO 80,000).

Appeals are to the High Court of England and Wales.

County Court matters can be lodged via the internet (in some cases) and for some cases where a court declaration is wanted by both sides can proceed without a hearing. However, most matters are decided by one District Judge or Circuit Judge sitting alone. Civil matters in England (with minor exceptions, e.g. libel) do not have juries.

Circuit Judges are part of the High Court of England and Wales, but (civil) District Judges operate exclusively in the County court. Deputy District Judges are often part time, generally a local solicitor taking their first steps on the route to becoming a judge. Judges in the County courts are primarily a former solicitor, whereas in the higher courts they are more likely to have formerly been a barrister.

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