A summons known as a civil bill is issued in the Circuit Court office.
The summons is served on the defendant.
A defendant who wishes to defend the proceedings must first enter an appearance.
If no appearance is entered the plaintiff is entitled to apply for a default judgment.
In that case, the plaintiff must swear an affidavit verifying that the debt is owed.
The affidavit and judgment papers are lodged in the Circuit Court office for judgment and the court office issues an execution order.
If an appearance is filed, the defendant must then file a defence.
If a defence is not filed a warning letter must be sent to the defendant allowing a further 14 days in which to file a defence.
If a defence is not filed at that stage, the plaintiff is entitled to apply for default judgment. The plaintiff swears an affidavit verifying that the debt is owed and the affidavit and judgment papers are lodged in the court office for judgment and the court office issues an execution order.
If a defence is filed and the plaintiff believes that this has been done purely for the purposes of delay, an application can be made to court seeking to have the defence dismissed and for judgment.
If the defendant has an arguable case the matter goes to full hearing. A notice of trial is issued and a hearing date is assigned by the Circuit Court office. The hearing takes place before a Circuit Court judge on evidence. Witnesses are required to attend court with all supporting documentation and give evidence to prove the debt outstanding. If successful, the court awards judgment after hearing all the evidence and the court office issues an execution order.
Chart of Procedure
Circuit Court for debts between €15,000 and €75,000