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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Summary proceedings: SP summons: service by post in England and Wales

The debtor must have clear notice in good time of the hearing date. So you should arrange to serve one copy of the summons, by sending it to the debtor by ordinary post, so that it arrives at least 14 days before the hearing. As a general rule, allow 4 working days for receipt if using second class post.

Keep the second copy with your case papers.

Certificate of service by post

The court will always require evidence of service, but the way in which it is provided may vary, depending on your court. You should complete a certificate of service[]()or use the form supplied on the CD-ROM or equivalent.

For every certificate completed

  • insert the name of the Post Office or Sorting Office that collects your outgoing mail
  • the complainant should sign it accordingly. If the complainant is unable to sign the list they must confirm to the court that the summonses were served to the ‘best of their knowledge and belief’.

If you have agreed with your court that a single certificate listing all the cases to be heard on the same day is sufficient

  • complete one certificate of service and
  • attach to it a list detailing the debtors’ names, addresses and amounts to be heard.

Otherwise, if your court requires it, complete a certificate of service for every case.