Fines Glossary of Terms

Action of Furthcoming

A court action taken by a person who is owed money (the creditor) against a third party. The third party holds money belonging to the person who owes the money (the debtor). The third party can't give the creditor the money unless the debtor allows it or unless the court orders it. The creditor can get a court order by taking this action. For the purpose of this manual, the Fines Enforcement Officer may raise the action to get money arrested in an offender's bank account which the offender will not let the bank release.

Arrestment of Funds Order

AFO - an order made by the court which freezes money in your bank account until SCS instructs the bank to release it to pay your fine.


Amount of financial penalty that is overdue.


The seizure by law, of money held by a third party (for example, a bank or building society), or of a person's wages.

Civil Diligence

The use of a legal process against a debtor (for example, arresting your wages or your bank account). For the purpose of this glossary, the term debtor includes a fine payer.

Collection Order

The English and Welsh equivalent to an Enforcement Order.

Conditional Offer

An offer of a fixed penalty made by the Procurator Fiscal, or the police, to an alleged offender as an alternative to prosecution.

Deduction from Benefit Order

DBO - an order made by the court which allows the DWP (see below) to deduct money from your benefits and pay it directly to the court. The court then pays the money towards your fine.


Failure to pay a fine by the agreed payment terms.


See Civil Diligence.

Earnings Arrestment Order

EAO - an order made by the court instructing an employer to make regular deductions from an employee's wages which are paid directly to the court. The court then pays the money to the employee/your fine.


Execution, carrying out, administration.

Enforcement Order

EO - an order made by the court setting out the payment rate of a fine, explaining what will happen if the fine isn't paid, and giving the Fines Enforcement Officer the power to take action.

Fines Enforcement Court

FEC - a court dealing only with offenders who have financial penalties and who can't or won't pay their fines.


A financial penalty, including for the purpose of this glossary, a Compensation Order.

Justice of the Peace

JP - a lay person who sits in judgement in a JP court.

Justice of the Peace (JP) Court

JP Courts are presided over by:

  • a JP who is not legally qualified, but who is supported by a legal assessor (a qualified solicitor). 
  • The maximum sentence that a JP may impose is 60 days imprisonment or a fine of £2,500.00.

The court may be presided over by one or more JPs. Some courts sit with three JPs on the bench.



Procurator fiscal

PF - the public prosecutor in Scotland.

Sheriff Court

Sheriff Courts deal with cases under both solemn and summary procedure. They are the only courts with this jurisdiction. The maximum sentence that a Sheriff Court may impose is:

  • 5 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine under solemn procedure; or
  • 12 months imprisonment or a fine of £10,000.00 under summary procedure.

Supervised Attendance Order

A SAO - an order made by the Court as an alternative to imprisonment if you default in payment of their fine. You must attend a place of supervision and carry out instructions given by his Supervising Officer.

Scottish Ministers

The Scottish Parliament.


The judge in a Sheriff Court - an experienced solicitor or advocate appointed by the King.


A regional area. For legal purposes, Scotland is split into 6 regions called Sheriffdoms. Each Sheriffdom has a Sheriff Principal who has responsibility for the conduct of the courts in that region.

Seizure of Vehicle Order

SVO - an order made by the court which allows your motor vehicle to be clamped, kept in storage and sold. Money received from any sale is then paid towards your fine.

Transfer of Fine Order

TFO - an order made by the court transferring a fine elsewhere within the United Kingdom.

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warning to pay fines

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service will pursue all unpaid fines.