A Summons known as a summary summons is issued in the High Court central office.
The summons is served on the defendant.
A defendant who wishes to defend the proceedings must first enter an appearance.
If an appearance is not entered, the plaintiff is entitled to apply for 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 High Court central office for judgment and the court office issues a FIFA.
If an appearance is filed by the defendant, the plaintiff must swear an affidavit verifying that the debt is owed and a motion for judgment is issued in the High Court central office. The court office assigns a date for the motion to be heard by the Master of the High Court. The evidence before the Master is by way of affidavit as opposed to oral evidence. A defendant who wishes to defend the motion must file a replying affidavit setting out the grounds for defending the proceedings.
If the Master is satisfied that the defendant has not shown sufficient grounds for defending the proceedings he will give the plaintiff liberty to enter judgment. In that case judgment papers are filed in the High Court central office and the court office issues a FIFA.
If the Master is satisfied that the defendant has shown that there is a dispute which needs to be tried the Master can either transfer the motion for it to be heard by a High Court Judge on affidavit or can send the matter for full hearing in the High Court.
Where the Master transfers the motion for hearing before a High Court judge the Master will assign the date for the hearing of the motion. The High Court judge can either grant judgment or refer the case for full plenary hearing.
A full plenary hearing is a full High Court action which will include the plaintiff filing a statement of claim, the defendant entering a defence and may also involve notices for particulars and orders for discovery. The hearing takes place before a High Court Judge on oral evidence. Witnesses will be 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 FIFA.
Chart of Procedure
High Court for debts in excess of €75,000