HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

DMBM676470 - Summary Proceedings (Sc): Actions by sheriff officer on receipt of a request to execute a decree for arrestment

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On receipt of an instruction to lay an ordinary arrestment/earnings arrestment, thesheriff officer will execute the decree in accordance with the provisions of the Debtors(Scotland) Act 1987 and the Summary Cause Rules 2002.

Ordinary arrestments

As with ordinary arrestments executed under summary warrant action, ordinaryarrestments executed under summary proceedings may be laid instantly without a furtherapproach to the defender. A copy of the extract decree is lodged with the arrestee.

Earnings arrestments

The procedure for laying an earnings arrestment under summary proceedings howeverdiffers from that of an earnings arrestment executed under summary warrant. This isbecause before lodging an earnings arrestment schedule in the hands of the defender’semployer under summary proceedings the sheriff officer must first of all charge thedefender to pay the sum in decree plus expenses, within 14 days.

To do this the sheriff officer will serve a document on the defender, requesting paymentand warning of the diligence that will follow should default continue.

The defender is liable for the costs incurred in serving this document where the action isfollowed by an earnings arrestment and it successfully catches funds.

If, for whatever reason, following the charge to pay the earnings arrestment action is notcarried out or it is carried out but no funds are caught then the cost of the charge topay and the arrestment fee cannot be recovered from the defender. In such cases you shouldtreat the costs as irrecoverable (DMBM677080).

If after the expiry of the 14 day period any of the debt still remains unpaid the sheriffofficer will execute the decree by serving on the debtor’s employer, an earningsarrestment schedule (court) form 30 see DMBM671150.