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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Summary Proceedings (Sc): Small claims - court hearings: Defender fails to appear

If the defender fails to appear at the preliminary hearing the court will normally grant decree against the defender but if the defender has stated a defence, the court will fix a date for a special hearing at least 14 days after the preliminary hearing date.

In such circumstances you should

  • telephone HMRC Solicitor’s Office (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) immediately and
  • provide them with the details
  • arrange for a report of the proceedings to date together with all your papers to be submitted to HMRC Solicitors Office
  • complete certificates of debt where necessary and forward them to the HMRC Solicitors Office either with your submission or to link with your papers if these cannot be forwarded at the time of your submission.

Do not delay your submission pending completion of the certificates of debt.