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What happens once you have issued a summons?

Once you have issued your summons in the High Court Central Office, or if you began the case by originating notice of motion, the next step is to serve the summons or notice of motion.

If you are serving an individual?

You must serve an individual personally - see Order 9 Rules of the Superior Court.

If you are serving a registered company?

  • You must leave the summons at the registered office of the company or serve the company by ordinary pre-paid post and keep postal certificate. - see s. 379 of Companies Act, 1963 available at www.irishstatutebook.ie.

  • Endorse service of the summons, usually on page 3, within 3 days of service of the summons.

  • When the defendant enters an appearance, the document may request a statement of claim to be delivered to the defendant. You must prepare and deliver this document. The statement of claim will provide more details about the case.

  • The defendant may issue a notice for particulars to have the claim set out more clearly.

  • A defence or defence and counterclaim may be received from the defendant.

  • You may need to set out a reply to the defence.

  • You may need to issue a notice of motion for discovery where a party holds documents which you feel are relevant to the case.

  • You can issue a notice of motion for a large number of reliefs (what you are looking for in the motion) - see order 52 of the Rules of the Superior Courts.


If nothing has happened in your case for more than 12 months you will need to serve a notice of intention to proceed on the other party and wait for a period of one month before filing any further documents.

If your case is ready for trial you should serve a notice of trial and endorse service. You must lodge the notice of trial and setting down docket in the High Court Central Office within 14 days of service.

Further information:

Guidelines for setting a case down for trial

Listing procedures



Page updated: 29 November 2016