If you owe money to a person or business, they might take you to court to get it back.
You'll be sent a document by a sheriff court which will explain why the person or business is making the claim against you. You must respond to the court claim by a certain date.
How you respond depends on the type of case:
- simple procedure – if your case is worth less than £5,000 and isn't complicated
- ordinary cause – if your case is worth more than £5,000 or is complicated (you may wish to consider getting legal advice)
Simple procedure replaced 'small claims' and most 'summary cause' claims on 28 November 2016. If your case involves personal injury or housing, respond using the summary cause procedure.
Help and advice
You can get help from Citizens Advice on responding to a court claim by either:
- phoning Citizens Advice Direct on 0808 800 9060 (find out about call charges)
- making an appointment at your local bureau
- visiting the Citizens Advice website
Debt advice and support is available at any time, even if the court has already ordered you to pay the money.
For business debt advice, contact Business Debtline Scotland.
In-court advice and mediation
At some sheriff courts there are free advice and mediation services for issues such as rent arrears, debt and compensation. This could help you resolve your case before any court action begins.
Mediation is when a trained person discusses a problem with both sides to try to find a solution.
You might be able to get help with the costs of: