Enforcement action: county court proceedings: preparation and service of the claim: how to complete the claim form (form N1)
Where the case is suitable for action through the CCBC, use function PROCEEDINGS DETAILS to issue the claim. There is no need to manually complete and issue form N1. Instead the details, including the particulars of claim, required to populate the forms are taken from the appropriate data on IDMS.
This data is passed to the Bulk Centre who use it to:
- print and issue the appropriate forms to the defendant
- create and update their own court records.
All claims and so on issued through the Bulk Centre show the claimant as ‘Commissioners for HMRC’. It has been necessary to abbreviate ‘H M Revenue and Customs’ to ‘HMRC’ for CCBC cases so that the text can fit on one line.
You will not receive copies of claims. The relevant information is stored in ACTION HISTORY and on screens available from the function PROCEEDINGS DETAILS.
The claim form N1
If you have to complete form N1 manually, the importance of completing correctly the form N1 and the particulars of claim cannot be overemphasised. Errors made at this stage can cause serious difficulties that have to be corrected later. This can delay the future conduct of the case and may also result in court fees being incurred that cannot be recovered from the defendant.
All staff dealing with the preparation of court forms should be thoroughly familiar with court form N1A - ‘Notes for claimant on completing a claim form’.
All addresses for all the parties in an action, including the claimant, must be within the jurisdiction of England and Wales and must include the postcode (DMBM665340).
You will use the claim form N1 for the majority of actions but for certain debts:
- Child Benefit overpayments (DMBM696710)
- National Minimum Wage penalties (DMBM570300)
- WFTC/DPTC overpayments (DMBM570210)
recovery is by a modified form of county court proceedings, using form N322A.
You will find guidance on completion of form N322A at DMBM665470.
Points to consider when completing form N1
When you complete form N1:
- include the postcode in the addresses for all parties in the action
- provide the full name and date of birth of each defendant, where known (see DMBM665340)
- show the head(s) of duty in the space under “Brief details of claim”; for example, “Self assessment, penalties and interest” or “Amount payable under the contract attached” (Contract settlement cases)
- always leave the space under “Value” blank
- provide the name of the preferred court for hearings
- enter the appropriate court fee from the table at DMBM668750 in the “Court fee” box
- enter the appropriate fixed costs from the table at DMBM668752 in the “Solicitor’s costs” box
- always answer “No” to the question at the top of form N1 (reverse) - “Does, or will, your claim include any issues under the Human Rights Act 1998?”
- delete the pre-printed text “(attached)(to follow)” at the top of form N1 (reverse)
- include the following text at the top of form N1 (reverse):
“The Claimant in issuing this claim has compiled with the Practice Direction on Pre Action Conduct contained within the Civil Procedure Rules.’’
- set out the particulars of claim in the space on form N1 (reverse)
- delete the pre-printed text “(Litigation friend/Claimant’s solicitor)” towards the foot of form N1 (reverse)
- prepare one copy of the N1 for the court and one for each of the defendants involved
- keep a copy of form N1 securely with the papers.
Form of address
Section 25 (1A) of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 allows authorised officers to bring claims for all debts for which HMRC is responsible in the name of Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs.
In all cases you should complete the “position or office held” on the reverse of the claim form as ‘Officer of Revenue and Customs’.
Joint claims and partnership cases
You should always name all the parties in your claim unless, in partnership cases, you are suing the partnership as a firm (see DMBM665340).
Where one or more of the parties are either:
- resident abroad
- subject to a voluntary arrangement
you should only take action against the remaining (upstanding) party or parties. If you are asked to provide further particulars of the claim to the Defendant or Court, you should explain why you are not suing the other partner(s).
Where one or more of the parties is RLS, issue the claim (for that party) to the last known address and enter judgment in default.
If you do not know the postcode for any address, Royal Mail has an enquiry service on the Internet at . There should be no cases where you cannot provide the postcode.
Once you have found the postcode remember to add it to the address details on the relevant head of duty system.
Particulars of claim
Part 16 of the Civil Procedure Rules requires that particulars of claim must include a concise statement of the facts on which the claimant relies. If the claim includes interest, include:
- a statement to that effect
- a statement as to whether the interest is due under the terms of a contract or an enactment, and if so which
- the percentage rate at which interest is claimed
- the date from which it is claimed
- the date to which it is calculated
- the total amount of interest claimed to the date of calculation
- the daily rate at which interest accrues after that date.
If, exceptionally, there is insufficient space to set out the particulars of claim on form N1, you should prepare a separate document on plain paper headed ‘Particulars of Claim’, which, besides details of the claim, must also contain:
- the names of the claimant and defendant or defendants
- the name of the court
- the claim number (in practice a space for the claim number)
- your office address
- a Statement of Truth that must be signed by a debt manager as ‘Officer of Revenue and Customs’.
In these circumstances, you should delete the pre-printed text “to follow” at the top of form N1 (reverse) and leave “attached” in place.
Examples of particulars of claim
Examples of particulars for claims that arise most often are given in the DMB Guidance Gateway under the ‘Find guidance’ drop-down menu, along with notes on how to complete them. The examples should allow you to complete most particulars of claim, but if you have a claim for which no example is given or if you are unsure how to word your particulars of claim, phone the EIS Bradford CCP Technical Team (Debt Management Bradford) for advice.