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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Ordinary Cause: Options Hearing debate

What the sheriff must do

Before fixing a debate on a preliminary plea the sheriff must be satisfied that after having considered the Rule 22 Note and having heard parties that there is a preliminary matter of law that justifies a debate.

With regards to the conduct of the hearing for preliminary pleas, the sheriff is not required to hear full arguments on the substance of the pleas.

Instead, parties should provide the sheriff with the basis of the arguments they would make at the debate to enable the sheriff to assess the likelihood of there being a preliminary matter of law justifying a debate.

Action by the debt manager

As soon as a diet of debate has been fixed by the court the debt manager should record the date in all the appropriate office records and then send the file together with the court papers to HMRC Solicitors Office immediately.