You commence proceedings by way of a document called a claim notice. You must pay stamp duty (‘court fees’) on the notice, the amount of which depends of the value of your claim. You will find information about the amount to be paid in the District Court Fees Order.
The claim notice must contain the following information:
- A description of the parties. You must provide full name, address, occupation, solicitor’s details and address for service of documents for the claimant - and for the respondent (including details of their solicitor if they are known).
- A statement of claim. The notice must clearly and concisely set out the allegations being made by the claimant and the amount or other remedy being sought. It must contain a list of all correspondence and other documents on which the claim relies. It should clearly indicate to the respondent that they have a case to answer.
- The appropriate District Court area in which the claim is being brought.
- A statement that if the respondent wishes to admit the claim, they should contact the claimant within 10 days of service of the notice to agree payment of the claim and costs.
- An explanation of the steps the respondent must take if they wish to dispute the claim and details of the relevant timeframes.
- The signature of the claimant or their solicitor.
Note that if the respondent agrees to pay the claim, and costs, the proceedings will be discontinued. In that case, the claimant must notify the District Court clerk in writing.
When the claim notice is issued by the District Court clerk, a copy of the original must be served on the respondent, either by registered prepaid post or by hand (personal service).