Summary Applications

What is a summary application?

The summary application procedure is used for a number of different types of action; for example applications for mortgage repossessions, applications relating to adults with incapacity, or antisocial behaviour. It is also used when appealing against certain decisions made by other organisations, and in these cases the legislation will specifically state that the appeal is to be lodged using the summary application procedure. An example of this would be appeals against decisions made by organisations such as the local authority in relation to a decision about the issuing of a taxi licence or by Disclosure Scotland in relation to the contents of a criminal conviction or PVG scheme record.

Which forms do I need to use?

There is no set application form to be completed when using the summary application procedure; instead it is raised using an initial writ.  

Unless otherwise prescribed by any other enactment, a summary application shall be commenced by initial writ in Form 1.

How much will it cost?

Court fees are payable for lodging these applications in court, and the current fees can be found in the Sheriff Court Fees section. You may be entitled to fee exemption, for example if you are entitled to certain state benefits. Further information can be found in the Court Fees section and the fee exemption application form.

You should note that these fees do not include any fees you may need to pay if you have instructed a solicitor to help you. The solicitor can give you information on these costs.


The Summary Application Rules.

The Summary Application Forms

Further Information

As the procedure is complex, we would recommend seeking legal advice. You can get contact details for solicitors from the Law Society of Scotland.

The Citizens Advice Bureau can also assist you; you can find contact details for your local office on the Citizens Advice Bureau website.

If you choose not to seek legal representation you should note the following general points [please note, these are not intended to be a full guide to procedures].

  • When the court returns your summary application with “warrant of citation” attached, you should arrange for formal service of the application on the defender. Formal service requires to be carried out by either a solicitor or a sheriff officer (contact details for sheriff officers can be obtained from the Society of Messengers at Arms and Sheriff Officers (SMASO))
  • Once service has been carried out, the principal summary application, along with proof of service, must be returned to the court prior to any hearing set out in the warrant to cite. Where possible this should be no later than 48 hours before the date of any hearing to assist the court in preparing for the hearing fixed.
  • If the warrant to cite sets a hearing date you and/or your representative must attend the hearing or the application may be dismissed in your absence with expenses of the whole procedure being awarded against you.
  • General procedure rules state that an application shall be determined summarily and that a sheriff may make such order as he/she thinks fit for the progress of a Summary Application.


Where can I get legal advice?

Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service staff are not legally qualified and therefore cannot provide you with any legal advice. If you do need legal advice, the Law Society of Scotland can provide contact details for solicitors in your area.

Please Note: The information above cannot cover every situation which might arise in the course of a claim. You should also note that this information is not the authority upon which the procedure is based. The formal authority is contained in the rules.

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