HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

DMBM680040 - Ordinary Cause: How to select the right court

You should check the other guidance available on GOV.UK from HMRC as Brexit updates to those pages are being prioritised before manuals.

Which court is used and how cases are heard

Ordinary cause actions are taken in the local sheriff court(s). There are 49 sheriff courts in Scotland, grouped into geographical areas known as sheriffdoms and cases are heard before a sheriff.

Selecting the right sheriff court

Domestic or business address in Scotland

Your action should be raised in the court in whose area the defender resides or carries on business.

Domestic or business address outside Scotland

Where a defender resides in or carries on business outside Scotland do not start proceedings locally. Instead arrange for the papers to be transferred to the debt management office in whose area the defender now lives. That office will then take any recovery proceedings that are necessary.


If it is a partnership case you should proceed as in DMBM680230.

Address abroad

In cases where the defender resides abroad, as difficult questions may arise with regard to jurisdiction which may result in various methods of service applying, you should in the first instance arrange for the case papers together with a full report to be referred to Debt Management Edinburgh Group Office for advice.