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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Enforcement action: county court proceedings: preparation and service of the claim: claim forms issued by CCBC returned undelivered


The CCBC work on the assumption that all defendant addresses provided by the claimant are either the current, or last known, address. The CCBC will not change the status on their systems if claim forms are returned undelivered and claims will continue to be shown in CCBC records as served. Where judgment has already been entered that will stand and enforcement may continue.

Considering whether the address provided was valid

You need to consider whether the claim has been served at a valid address in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules.

The legal position for service of the claim form is governed by CPR6.9.

This provides that if the claimant has reason to believe that the defendant no longer resides (or carries on business) at the address stated on the claim form, then provided the claimant has taken reasonable steps to ascertain the defendant’s current address or place of business, service of the claim form may be effected at the last known address.

Even if the document is then returned undelivered, any default judgment entered as a result of service at the last known address is sound.

Address deemed as valid

If you deem that the address was valid no action is required.

Address deemed as invalid - judgment not entered

In cases where you accept that the address was invalid and judgment has not been entered you should

  • re-serve the claim at a valid address
  • send notification to the CCCU to say that the claim was not initially served at a valid address, and following re-service by the claimant
  • provide a Certificate of Posting and the new address to the CCBC to enable them to update their records.

Address deemed as invalid - judgment entered

In cases where judgment has been entered the claimant must

  • withdraw from any enforcement action
  • prepare an application notice (form N244) for

    • judgment to be set aside and
    • permission to re-serve the claim at a valid address
  • send the form N244 to the CCCU with notification that the

    • claim has not been properly served and
    • form N244 needs to be sent to the CCBC.

The CCCU will send the form N244 to the CCBC, with the appropriate fee, who will

  • set aside the judgment
  • cancel the registration
  • give permission for the claim to be re-served.