A summons known as a Claim Notice is issued in the District Court office.
The Claim Notice must contain a statement of claim that specifies the amount claimed, particulars of the demand for payment and a list of all correspondence and documents on which the claimant will rely at the trial.
The Claim Notice is served on the respondent.
A respondent who wishes to defend the action must file an appearance and defence within 28 days of service of the Claim Notice
If the respondent does not file an appearance and defence within 28 days of service of the Claim Notice, the claimant is entitled to apply for a default judgment.
In that case, the claimant must then swear an affidavit verifying that the debt is still outstanding.
The affidavit and judgment papers are then lodged in the District Court office for judgment and the court office issues a Decree for the amount of the debt plus court costs which are based on a set scale fixed by statutory instrument.
If an appearance and defence is filed and the claimant 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 District Court office. The hearing takes place before a District 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 a Decree.
Chart of Procedure
District Court for debts up to €15,000