Alternatives to Court

What can I do before going to court?

How you choose to resolve the dispute will depend on matters such as:

  • the type of problem;

  • the result you want to gain;

  • how you want to go about solving the problem;

  • how much the other side are willing to find a resolution.

By using an alternative to court you may be able to get a resolution, such as:

  • an agreement over a debt;

  • getting something you own replaced;

  • getting something you own fixed;

  • an apology;

  • compensation.

If you go to court you might get:

  • an order that something be done or stopped;

  • compensation;

  • a judgment from the court about who is right or wrong.

Please refer to the mediation section.

What should I do before going to court?

You may wish to try and settle your claim by writing to the defendant and outline your claim. If you do, you should keep a copy of your letter and allow them a week or so to reply.

If you are unable to come to some form of agreement by simply contacting them by letter, telephone or in person then you may be able to try one of the following depending on what your dispute is about: 

The Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme

The Ombudsman Scheme is a free, independent dispute resolution service for customers with a complaint against an Isle of Man financial firm such as a bank, insurance company or financial adviser which you have been unable to resolve. It became fully operational in January 2002. You can find further information about this scheme on the Isle of Man Office of Fair trading website - Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme.


The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading

The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading also offers a mediation service. This can be used, for example, where you have a dispute with a person or retailer where the goods bought have been found to be faulty and you are finding it difficult to get your money back. The mediator is a neutral person who does not act as a judge, rather it enables the parties involved to frame their own agreement reaching a settlement of the case which is acceptable to each party. For further information please see the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading website. This form of mediation should not be confused with the form of mediation mentioned below, which is where a matter has already begun in the courts.


Manx Industrial Relations Service

If you have an employment dispute then you may be able to gain some help from the Manx Industrial Relations Service. They can be contacted on +44 (0)1624 672942 or via the Manx Industrial Relations Service website.

Other than through the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading, mediation may also be available as a way of resolving a dispute prior to the dispute being taken through the court system. You may be able to find a mediator in the yellow pages of the telephone directory or you may be able to use one of the several advocates on the Island who deal with mediation by contacting the Isle of Man Law Society on +44 (0) 1624 662910.

Once a claim has been filed with the court and a defence has been filed, mediation is also available to parties who wish to try to resolve the dispute without the matter going to a full hearing before a judge.

Page last updated on 09 August 2018