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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: summary proceedings (Scotland): general: introduction

This section of the manual provides information about summary proceedings (SP) in Scotland and the arrangements you need to make with the court when taking SP.

Summary proceedings are a legal process and are used in certain civil actions to secure payment of an outstanding debt that does not exceed the monetary limit set by the court. The legal term summary cause as laid down by section 35(1) of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971 is used to describe this procedure.

SP is both cheap and effective but can be time consuming.

Summary proceedings actions are divided into two categories:

  • “small claims” for debts up to and including £3,000
  • “summary cause” for debts over £3,000.