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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Ordinary Cause: Sending the initial writ to the sheriff officer for service

Once you have taken all the actions detailed at DMBM680540 you are now almost ready to send the summons to the sheriff officer for service but before doing so you must

  • arrange for a recovery proceedings (RP) check to confirm that the debt remains unpaid (DMBM615040)
  • record that you have done so on the appropriate computer records.

In accordance with Rule 5.2(1) Ordinary Cause Rules 1993 you must include a notice of intention to defend (court form O7) for each defender with the service papers. Establish what the local procedure relating to your office and your sheriff officers is with regard to this. In some offices their sheriff officers will undertake to do this work for them at no additional charge to the “citation fee” whilst in others you will need to prepare the forms yourself.

If it is the practice for your office to prepare these forms yourself then you will find a copy of it in the Book of Styles disk held in your office. Prepare one form for each defender and attach it to each defender’s copy initial writ and copy warrant of citation (DMBM680090).

You should then send to the sheriff, for each defender

  • the copy initial writ
  • copy warrant of citation and where appropriate
  • the notice of intention to defend (court form O7)
  • a covering letter requesting that he arrange for each of the defender(s) to be cited.

If the sheriff officer serves the documents by post, the period of notice will begin on the day following the date of posting. Where the period of notice ends on a Saturday, Sunday, public or local holiday this period is extended to the first day following that the sheriff clerk’s office is open for civil court business (DMBM680090).