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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Summary proceedings: Arranging hearings in the magistrates' court

It is important that you work closely with the court over the flow of cases, especiallyat peak periods. Much is to be gained by planning workloads as far as possible in advanceand taking note of times in the year when you know that you will have a large number ofcases. So wherever possible, make arrangements with the court office for time (even acourt) to be made available specifically for your cases.

The court office will consider your request, provided that you have sufficient cases forwhich you require magistrates’ orders. The number may vary from one court to another butyou should expect it to be at least ten. This excludes cases for which orders are notneeded and have been withdrawn because of payment, or where you know the summons has notbeen served.

Dependent on the quantity of cases for which you require hearings, agree with your courtto have weekly or twice monthly court sessions, bearing in mind that summonses must beserved at least 14 days before the hearing. In offices in which there are fewer cases forhearings you may decide that monthly hearings are adequate.