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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Ordinary Cause: Timetable of events after receipt of Notice of Intention to Defend (NID)

When a Notice of Intention to Defend (NID) or a defence is received the case must be worked by a debt manager (officer grade) or above until Extract Decree is obtained. It is only after a case has moved to the post decree stage that a debt management officer (AO grade) can work it.

Receiving a Notice of Intention to Defend (NID) marks an important stage in the ordinary cause proceedings. There are two reasons for this

  • the action now becomes a defended cause and
  • it starts off the timetable which applies to defended actions.

The sheriff officer will have inserted the details of the date of service of the action and the date of the expiry of the period of notice on the Notice of Intention to Defend (form 07).

That being the case once a notice of intention to defend is lodged the sheriff clerk willfix a date for an options hearing. He will intimate this date as well as the last date forlodging defences and adjustments to all parties to the action.

The time limits fixed by the Rules of Court are

  • for or lodging defences - 14 days after the expiry of the period of notice
  • for adjustments - 14 days before the options hearing
  • for an options hearing - at least 10 weeks after the period of notice has expired
  • for lodging a Rule 22 Note (Note of basis of preliminary plea) - 3 days before the options hearing
  • for lodging the record - two days before the options hearing.

The actual date fixed for hearing may in fact be the first available court day when civil business is heard or the regular day for the ordinary court. This provides an element of flexibility so that hearings may be scheduled on a quota basis so that sufficient time is allocated to enable hearings to be conducted as intended.