small claims
case digest

McLaughin -v- Timber Terminal Ltd 1993 SCLR 176


Issue - Does evidence need to be given on oath at a small claims proof? (rules 16(3) and rule 19).

This case concerned a dispute about condition of goods at the time of delivery; the Sheriff heard evidence from parties - none of which were put on oath.

Sheriff believed rule 19 gave him discretion not to put parties on oath ('Any [small claim] hearing ... shall be conducted ... in such a manner as the Sheriff considers best suited to the clarification of the issue before him; and shall, so far as practicable, be conducted in an informal manner').

On D's appeal to the Sheriff Principal, it was held that evidence had to be given on oath or affirmation in terms of rule 16(3) - 'evidence by a party or witness shall be given on oath or affirmation'.