Debt Collection Ireland

The District Court Civil Summons Procedure

The Civil Summons procedure is the method of issuing legal proceedings in the District Court.

The District Court deals with claims with a value up to €6,348.69 (IR£5,000) and many people in Ireland will have been served with, or served, a Civil Summons in the last 18 months to pursue a debt.


Debt collection in Ireland has become increasingly active and pressurized in the last two years and an understanding of how to collect a debt or how to defend such an action is important to avoid having a judgment granted against you.


If you want to pursue a debt for less than €6,348.69 you can issue and serve a Civil Summons in your District Court area or in the District Court area of your debtor. Issuing a Civil summons in Dublin is slightly different than outside of Dublin.

Issuing a Civil Summons

To issue a Civil Summons in Dublin you simply bring your Summons along to the District Court office in the Four Courts. You will need two copies and one will need to be stamped with stamp duty of €20.


The District Court office will stamp your summons with a date. This date is called the return date which simply means that you appear in court on that date and will be given a date for the hearing of your claim.

Service of a Civil Summons

It is necessary though to firstly serve the Summons on your Debtor and you do this by serving a copy of the Civil Summons on them.


Service of any summons or legal document is determined by the rules of the various courts. Generally if you are suing a company you serve on the registered office of the company by ordinary post.


Service on an individual can be carried out by registered post or by personal service.


All of the rules in relation to service of legal papers and precedents for drafting your legal papers, such as your Civil Summons, can be found on the courts website at


Once you have served your summons the debtor must file a Notice of Intention to Defend the proceedings in the office of the District Court. Once they do this your case will appear in the Court’s list on the return date and will be given a hearing or trial date.


If no Notice of Intention to Defend is filed by your debtor then you will be free to obtain a judgment against your debtor without any further court appearance.


If this is the case then one you get your Judgment or Summary Decree you send it to the Sheriff of the District court area for him/her to try to recover the value of your Summons.


Clearly if you are the recipient of a Civil Summons for A Debt then you should either make sure to fill out the Notice of Intention to Defend form and give it back into the District Court office and a copy to the person who is suing you (or their solicitor).


If you are not comfortable doing this yourself then you should call to a solicitor who will look after it for you.


But however you decide to act, do not bury your head in the sand if you are served with a Civil Summons or you run the risk of having Judgment granted against you in your absence.

Debt Collection Ireland

Solicitors Fees for Debt Collection

Our solicitor’s fees for debt collection matters are set out below.


There are some cases where we would need to discuss the case with your first to advise you as to the probable professional fee and outlays to expect.



Debtor Demand Letters

Our demand letters, which demand payment within 7 days, are customized to your requirements. We provide three types of 7 day demand letter which we describe as

  • Soft
  • Medium
  • Hard

Our fee for sending debt collection letter is €50 which may have the desired effect; other fees will be discussed with you at your first consultation.


What type of letter you choose will depend on your relationship with your debtor, how long the money is outstanding and your personal preference-you may for example decide that the softer versions is more appropriate in the first instance if you have built up a relationship with the debtor over some years.


Correspondence fee

Our correspondence fee will arise when a debtor contacts us in relation to the demand letter with a query or perhaps looking for additional documentation, an invoice or other information.


When this happens we refer the issue to you in the first instance. If you wish us to deal with the debtor by way of correspondence and organising a payment plan, receipt of the payments, issuing receipts and forwarding the monies to you there will be a correspondence fee to cover this work which is not recoverable from the debtor in the absence of legal proceedings being issued.


Our minimum correspondence fee is €45.



Legal Fees in Defended cases

In defended cases, that is where a Notice of Intention to Defend or an Appearance is entered and the debtor contests the case, our fees will include the Professional fees set out below plus our hourly charge out rate which we will notify you of prior to commencing work.


You will of course receive a section 68 letter setting out our fees and expected outlays or the basis on which we will charge or an estimate of our fees prior to commencing work. Each case will have it’s own particular character, level of expertise, skill and responsibility requirements and for this reason it is impossible to be absolutely definitive as to our fees in respect of defended cases.


Legal fees for enforcement of Judgments

To apply for an instalment order in the District Court for a Judgment already obtained or to bring committal proceedings our fee is €195 plus vat.


We can also

  • Register a Judgment mortgage and
  • Liaise with the Sheriff to have your judgment enforced.

Legal Fees in Undefended Cases

Our legal fees for obtaining judgment on your behalf in undefended cases in the various Courts are as follows:





€318 to €635




€636 to €1,270




€1,271 to €1,905




€1,906 to €2,540




€2,541 to €3,175




€3,276 to €3,810




€3,811 to €4,444




€4,445 to €5,079




€5,080 to €5,714




€5,715 to €6,349




€6,350 to €11,000




€11,001 to €20,000




€20,001 to €38,000




€38,001 to upwards




If you have any queries do not hesitate to contact us and you will find that we are approachable, responsive, professional and competitive.

Debt Collection Ireland

Debt Collection Ireland | Debt Collection Solicitors

If you have a debt collection problem and you cannot get in monies owed to you Solicitors Dublin offers a comprehensive and very cost effective debt collection service.


Regardless of whether your debt needs to be pursued in the District Court, the Circuit Court or the High Court the first step in any debt collection procedure is to send a demand letter to the debtor.

Debt demand letters

There are some essential elements in a demand letter in a debt collection procedure. These include

  • Who owes the debt and what kind of legal entity are they, for example sole trader, limited company, partnership and so on;
  • To whom is the debt owed;
  • How much is owed;
  • Is there interest accruing on foot of a contract;
  • Who are you;
  • For what is the debt owed;
  • Payment should be demanded within a specified time period;
  • What will happen should the debt not be paid;
  • And that the recipient should see a solicitor or legal professional.


District Court debt collection

The District Court has jurisdiction to deal with debts up to €6,348.69. If the debt is not paid on foot of the demand letter then the next step is to issue and serve a Civil Summons.

A District Court Civil Summons must include

  • The District Court Area
  • The District Court Number
  • Details of the parties
  • The amount you are claiming
  • The Plaintiff’s claim
  • That the debt fell due in the last 6 years
  • The goods/services provided
  • That there was a demand made and full particulars of the debt were furnished
  • That the debtor failed to pay
  • And the interest and costs which is being claimed.

Notice of Intention to Defend

If a Notice of Intention to Defend is filed then a hearing date for the case will be given by the District Court on the 1st occasion it comes before the Court.

If no Notice of Intention to Defend is filed you will be able to lodge the appropriate papers in the District Court office and obtain a Judgment against the person who owes the money.

Learn more about the Civil Summons procedure..


Circuit Court Debt collection

The Circuit Court deals with debts of €6,349 to €38,092.14 and involves the Civil Bill procedure.

High Court Debt collection

The High Court has unlimited jurisdiction to deal with debts and the procedure is the High Court Summary Summons procedure and may involve the Master of the High Court and the High Court itself.

Debt collection generally

The procedure used in trying to collect a debt, from issuing your demand letter in the first instance all the way through to enforcement proceedings,  is critically important as a mistake in any step of the procedure can set you back critically or failing to recover anything.

For this reason you may wish to instruct debt collection solicitors to handle the matter for you.

Once you have obtained a Judgment in respect of your debt you will need to attempt to enforce your Judgment. Enforcement procedures can range from obtaining an Instalment Order in the District Court to registering a Judgment mortgage against property of your debtor.

Learn more about District Court enforcement procedures..