A plaintiff or claimant can bring an action for debt or damages before the Magistrate's Court, as a Petty Debt, for a sum not exceeding £10,000 by instructing HM Sergeant to issue a summons.
Claims in excess of £10,000 can only be pursued before the Royal Court.
The Royal Court Rules do allow a plaintiff to issue a summons in civil proceedings before the Royal Court without instructing an Advocate.
The plaintiff must first apply to the Bailiff for leave to issue a Summons. This can be done by completing and delivering to HM Greffier the following two forms:
A written summary of the material facts which the plaintiff will rely on in support of his or her action must be attached to the Summons Form. A Court Fee of £100 must be paid when the application is delivered to the Greffe.
The Bailiff will usually consider the application and HM Greffier will then write to the plaintiff to advise him of the Bailiff's decision.
If the application is granted, HM Greffier will send a letter to the plaintiff enclosing:
The Costs and Fees Rules are sent because the plaintiff needs to be aware of what Court fees may be charged in bringing the action. If the plaintiff is unsuccessful, he or she may also be ordered by the Royal Court to pay the costs of the defendant, including recoverable Advocate's costs.
The plaintiff is then required to instruct HM Sheriff to issue a summons and to lodge with HM Greffier the cause, bearing HM Sergeant's certificate of service of the summons, by close of business on the Wednesday before the Friday sitting of the Court at 9.30am.
The plaintiff is required to pay the appropriate tabling fee at the Greffe when he or she lodges the cause in accordance with the above. These fees vary according to the amount claimed. Full details of the fees can be found in the Royal Court (Costs and Fees) Rules, 2012. The minimum tabling fee is £150.
Copies of the above mentioned forms can be downloaded or obtained from The Greffe.
For further information, please contact the Office of HM Greffier.