Ordinary Cause: Adjustment of pleadings
The adjustment period is the time set within which parties may adjust their pleadings.
It is determined by the period of time between the date when the defender lodges defences and the date fixed by the sheriff clerk for the options hearing.
As defences must be lodged within 14 days after the expiry of the period of notice and adjustments must be made within 14 days before the options hearing the period of time available for adjustment in most cases will be six weeks. This period may be slightly longer where the defender lodges defences early and or the options hearing is fixed for a date which is more than ten weeks after the expiry of the period of notice.
Effect on adjustment period where defences lodged late
The calculation of the adjustment period detailed above assumes that the defender will lodge a defence within the prescribed period.
If however the defender is late in lodging a defence this will reduce the period of time available for adjustment. In other words each day that a defence is lodged late will mean a day less for adjustments to be made.
Another factor of a defence being received late is that the defender runs the risk of the pursuer seeking decree by default. To ensure that this situation does not arise in such circumstances the defender may decide to seek leave of the court (by motion) to either allow the defences to be lodged late or to propagate (that is to “extend) the time for lodging defences.