You will need to obtain a court judgment (CCJ) before you can use the services of a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO).

You can either start a claim yourself using Money Claim Online or by instructing a solicitor. You can find details of firms local to you on the Law Society website.

When your case is more complex or is for a significant amount of money, we always recommend that you instruct a solicitor, as errors made at judgment stage can prevent successful enforcement.

County Court or High Court?

For all money judgments, you will normally start your claim in the county court local to you, however if the debtor defends the case it is likely to be transferred to a court nearer the debtor. If you use Money Claim Online, then the claim will be processed through one of their bulk processing centres.

If the claim is for £25,000 or more, you may be able to start your claim in the High Court, but this is less common.

Even if your claim starts in the County Court, you can still transfer it to the High Court for enforcement by The Sheriffs Office.

Small Claims Court

The Small Claims track is a part of the County Court system which is set up to handle defended cases that are normally below £10,000 in value. Judgments awarded in the Small Claims Court are County Court Judgments (CCJs), which can still be transferred to the High Court for enforcement, provided they are over £600.

Order to obtain information

You have the right to find out more about the debtor's financial situation. This is done through an order to obtain information, whereby the debtor is ordered to come to court to answer questions on income, employment, property or bank accounts.

If the judgment debtor is an individual, you will need to complete Form N316; for a company it is form N316A.