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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: county court proceedings: judgment summonses: time limit for a judgment summons

Time limit for a judgment summons

A judgment summons or a successive judgment summons must be served within 4 months of the date of issue. 

If for any reason you are unable to serve it within that time you may apply to the court for an extension of time. There is no specific limit on the extended time that may be granted but it is unlikely to be extended for more than four months at a time.

Make sure you apply for an extension before the time has expired, on form N244. You will need to provide evidence in support of your claim setting out

  • all the circumstances of the case
  • the date of issue of the judgment summons
  • the expiry date
  • an explanation of the reason for non-service.

Time limit already expired

Where the time limit has already expired, the court is unlikely to agree to an application for extension. If your evidence of means will still support a judgment summons,

  • make a fresh application for a judgment summons
  • pay a further fee
  • treat the fee for the original judgment summons as irrecoverable.