To formally notify the plaintiff (the person bringing the case) and the court that you intend to defend the case, you ‘enter an appearance’ after a summons is served on you.

An appearance (called a Memorandum of Appearance in General), is a document which must be in the format set out in Order 12 of the Rules of the Superior Courts.  If you are not represented by a solicitor, you can send the appearance by post, including copies and a stamped addressed envelope, to the High Court Central Office.  An appearance for a company may only be entered by a solicitor, see Battle v Irish Art Promotion [1968] 1 IR 252.  A Conditional Appearance may be entered to challenge the jurisdiction (country) where the proceedings are to be heard.

To file an appearance you should check the following:

  • Have you attached the correct stamp duty
  • Is the appearance in the correct format?
  • Have you included three copies of your appearance? - two of which will be returned to you
  • Have included a self-stamped addressed envelope? -  if you are filing by post
  • Have you included the record number of your case in the top right hand corner? -  for example, 2014/0000 P or 2013/0000 S

You must serve the appearance document on the solicitor for the plaintiff or on the plaintiff him/herself if the plaintiff is not represented by a solicitor. You can serve the appearance by post on the solicitor or the plaintiff in person.

If you are served with a plenary summons your appearance should request that a 'statement of claim' be sent to you.  

For information about additional documents that have to be exchanged between the parties before a case can proceed to trial, visit the Citizen Information website.

Sample memoranda of appearance:

Memorandum of Appearance in General

Memorandum of Appearance in General where the Defendant is representing him/herself

Memorandum of Appearance to Personal Injury Summons