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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Ordinary Cause: No defences lodged - minuting for decree in absence

No defence lodged

If the defender has not lodged a defence you will not have to appear in court.

As long as the sheriff is satisfied that

  • the service and citation of the defender has been executed correctly and
  • no notice of intention to defend has been lodged he will generally, on receipt of the relevant minute from the pursuer, grant decree without requesting the pursuer to appear in court.

This is known as granting “decree in absence”.

Time limit for minuting for decree in absence

Although you can seek decree at any time up to one year after the expiry of the period of notice normally you should lodge your minute for decree immediately to enable you to proceed with early enforcement action (DMBM680090).

Form of minute

The minute should include details of the outlays incurred. (That is the court fees and the sheriff officer costs). Where the defender has made payments to account since the start of the court action you must seek decree in terms of the initial writ under deduction of the amount paid on account plus the outlays.

You cannot claim expenses incurred for

  • any amount of VAT
  • any inhibition.

Attaching proof of outlays

When sending the minute to the court you should also attach copies of the invoices detailing the sheriff officer costs incurred (see DMBM680940).