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You may be considering raising an action in the Sheriff Court and this information will set out some of the procedures used and the steps to take to ensure that the claim will proceed without delay.

If you are pursuing an action (claimant) there are three types of claims:

  1. Claim to recover money up to a maximum of £5,000
  2. Claim to have goods returned to you
  3. Claim to have a contract completed as agreed

If the goods can’t be returned or the work is incapable of completion then there is normally an alternative claim for a sum of money to cover the loss sustained.

If you are defending an action we can assist you with your defence. It is very important to get proper advice and not to delay.

In certain circumstances our assistance may be limited to advice only.

Before making a simple procedure claim

You must be able to prove that money is owed to you and that you have evidence to support your claim. Has the person who owes you money the ability to pay you back? If they have no money it is not worth taking further action.

Write to the other party asking them to pay and advise them that if they don’t you intend to take court action. Give them a time period to respond.

What to do next

Obtain the simple procedure form from your local Trading Standards Office or local Sheriff Clerk's office.

Which court to use

The powers of a court to deal with cases in their area is known as Jurisdiction. A court will normally have jurisdiction if the respondent is resident in that area.

This means that if the respondent resides in North Ayrshire, Kilmarnock Sheriff Court will have jurisdiction. If the respondent resides in South Ayrshire then Ayr Sheriff Court would have jurisdiction. East Ayrshire cases are heard in both Ayr and Kilmarnock.

In the case of a consumer contract the case may be heard in the court in the area where the consumer resides.

What to do with the form

The completed form should be taken to the Sheriff Clerk's office with the appropriate fee.

They will send a letter with a reference number and two dates, a return date and a preliminary hearing date. Care should be taken to keep a note of this number and these dates.

The number will be required should you need to contact the court regarding your case. The return date is the date by which the respondent should respond to the summons.

The preliminary hearing date will be 14 days after the return date and will be the first date the case calls in court.

The cost of raising an action

The fee for raising a simple procedure claim is £100. If your action is a claim for a payment of £200 or less, the fee payable is £18.

For further advice or assistance please contact Trading Standards or visit the Scottish Courts website.

You may also seek advice from the In Court Advisor who is based at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

Contact Information

Trading Standards Service
Telephone: 01563 576790 for business advice