Staff will check that the fee you have sent/paid is correct and that the Petty Debts Claim Form contains all the relevant information. Cheques should be made payable to "States of Guernsey". If there are any difficulties with the form they will return it to you setting out the amendments or further detail required.
The staff will then decide on which is the next available court date, raise a formal summons with the details of the claim and the Summons section will attempt to serve the summons on the individual or company concerned.
"A Service" is where the summons is handed directly to the person concerned, "B Service" is where the summons is handed to a responsible adult who undertakes to pass the summons to the person concerned, and C service is where the summons is left in an envelope at the address concerned.
The Summons section has up to 2 days before the Petty Debts Court to serve the summons ("A Service" or "B Service"). If they have not achieved good service by this time they will leave the summons at the address of the Defendant ("C Service"). "A Service" or "B service" will allow a case to be heard in Court. If only a "C service" is achieved, the case will be called to ascertain whether or not a Defendant is present but if not then the case will be adjourned for a better service to be achieved.
At this stage there are various choices available to the Defendant:
• They can settle the claim directly with you in which case you must notify HM Sheriff;
• They can attend Court and admit liability for the claim in which case judgment will be entered against them;
• They can dispute liability for the claim in Court;
• They may wish to counter-claim. In which case it would be preferable if the counter-claim could be heard at the date of any arranged hearing;
• They might ignore the claim, in which case the Plaintiff should take the next step to take the matter into Court. (See "What happens in court" link).