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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: summary proceedings: hearings and orders in the magistrates' court: debtor RLS after the magistrates' order made

If a debtor has moved but you do not discover this until after a magistrates’ order has been made, the order remains valid, provided the summons was issued to the last known address, and you can satisfy the court that it was correctly served.

Proceedings in a magistrates’ court cannot be transferred out of the original court. You must therefore continue the proceedings in the original court when you find the debtor’s new address.

You should, however, first re-establish communication with the debtor, and include a copy of the summons and copy minute of the order with your letter.

If payment is not received, enforce payment in accordance with DMBM660620.

If you consider that the summons was incorrectly served, for instance an old address has been used when a new address was known or available, the order is invalid. You should withdraw the case, write off the costs and start fresh proceedings or transfer the case to another office as appropriate.