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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: country court proceedings: appearing in court: pre-trial reviews

Where your claim is covered by the practice direction to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPRPD7D) (DMBM665800) and has been defended (including partial admissions and particularly for claims over £50K), the court will set the case down for a hearing (under CPRPD7D2.1); normally a pre-trial review (PTR). As its title suggests, a PTR is a preliminary to a full formal trial. In practice almost all cases can be resolved at the PTR without the need to go to trial.

The court will notify you and the defendant of the day and time of the PTR.

The review usually takes place in chambers and is basically a discussion between the district judge and the parties as to how the action is to be dealt with. In most cases it should avoid the need for a formal court hearing. The district judge will consider the evidence and then either enter judgment or direct that the case be listed for trial if the facts turn out to be complex.

You should take full advantage of this opportunity of having your claim determined without the need of a formal trial.

If you do not attend the PTR the action may proceed in your absence, be struck out and, in some instances, judgment and costs may be awarded against you. You must therefore ensure that a foolproof system is in place so that hearing dates are not overlooked.

There is no fee payable for the PTR.