New rules approved by Scottish Civil Justice Council mandating the use of Civil Online or direct digital submission for Simple Procedure claim forms

Sep 23, 2020

New rules have been approved by the Scottish Civil Justice Council, mandating the use of Civil Online or direct digital submission for Simple Procedure claim forms. The rules have been developed following a request for change made by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) in June 2020. The rules can be found here.

The rule change means that, from 1st December 2020, if agents or party litigants wish to submit a Simple Procedure claim this will have to be done through Civil Online. If agents wish to submit claims in bulk, they can additionally make use of the direct digital interface developed by SCTS. Only if a sheriff considers that a claimant could not have submitted their claim by either of these methods, based on an explanation they provide in a note, will the alternative means of submitting a claim under the Rules be permitted.

The Council considered the request from SCTS at its extraordinary virtual meeting on 9th July and agreed to the policy in principle. The full minutes of the meeting can be found here. The Council agreed that the rule change should be time-limited.  It will therefore cease to have effect on 30th September 2021. In order to assess whether or not to extend the life of the rule change, the Council has requested that SCTS reports to it on the operation of the rule change and the digital interface by 30th June 2021.

The Council considered the need to provide time for court users to adjust to the rule change and around 10 weeks have been provided in the rule change for that purpose.

SCTS is responsible for the operation of the Civil Online portal and the direct digital interface.  Court users with questions about the operation of those facilities should contact SCTS directly at


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