The District Courts in Ashburton, Christchurch, Rangiora and Timaru have adopted a fast track process for dealing with earthquake claims. The time periods for steps have been shortened so that the time periods are now:
1. Notice of claim must be served within 10 working days of filing;
2. Notice of response to be served within 10 working days;
3. Plaintiff’s information capsule to be served within 10 working days;
4. Defendant’s information capsule to be served within 10 working days;
5. Upon the filing of a notice of pursuit of claim the Court shall immediately allocate either a short trial or a settlement conference which shall take place witin 20 working days of allocation.
The intention is that an earthquake claim shall come before a Judge for disposition within 50 working days of filing the notice of claim.
The District Court deals with claims up to $200,000. The Court filing fee is $169.20. Once EQC payments are deducted from claims the nett sum due for many homeowners may be less than $200,000. So insureds should seriously look at bringing claims in the District Court. They will be disposed of quickly and economically. Apparently at the moment very few people have taken advantage of the quick process.