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Civil Bills


To commence proceedings in the Circuit Court, you must issue a "Civil Bill". Your solicitor may prepare the Civil Bill but usually a barrister will be briefed to do so.

There are different types of Civil Bill - your legal representatives will prepare the type of Civil Bill that is appropriate to the nature of the case that you are bringing. For example, if the case relates to personal injuries sustained in a road traffic accident, the appropriate Civil Bill is an "Ordinary Civil Bill". However, if your case relates to removing someone from your premises, the appropriate Civil Bill is an "Ejectment Civil Bill".

After the Civil Bill has been prepared by the barrister, your solicitor will take it to the Circuit Court Office to be "issued" - this involves paying the stamp duty. After the stamp duty has been paid, the Civil Bill is stamped and it is ready to be served on the Defendant.

There are a different ways to serve the Civil Bill:

  • You may hand a copy of the Civil Bill to the Defendant personally and show him or her the original
  • A copy may be given to the Defendant's wife or husband, relative or employee at his/her residence as long as that person is not under 16 years of age
  • You may send a copy by registered prepaid post to the Defendant's last known residence or place of business.

After serving the Civil Bill on the Defendant, you must "enter" the Civil Bill. This means that your solicitor will lodge the original stamped Civil Bill at the Circuit Court Office.


The Civil Bill must contain the following information:

  • A title. The Plaintiff's name and the Defendant's name make up the title of the proceedings.
  • The Bill should also describe the nature of the Civil Bill, for example "Ordinary Civil Bill".
  • A description of the parties. The Bill must state the surname, first name, the residence or place of business and the occupation of the Plaintiff and the Defendant.
  • A statement of the claim. The Bill must state the nature, extent and grounds of the Plaintiff's claim against the Defendant. It should clearly set out the allegations that are being made by the Plaintiff and the damage that the Plaintiff suffered. It should also state what the Plaintiff is seeking from the court.
  • The Bill must either state the specific amount to which the Plaintiff claims he or she is entitled (which cannot be more than €75,000) or it must state that the Plaintiff's claim is limited to the jurisdiction of the court. The Plaintiff cannot seek more than €75,000 from the Circuit Court.
  • The Bill must recite the appropriate Circuit in which the claim is being brought.
  • The Bill must be dated and signed by the Plaintiff or his/her solicitor.


The stamp duty that must be paid when a Civil Bill is issued is €130.

Your solicitor and barrister will also charge fees for their services.

Page updated: 3 February 2014



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  • Delivering the Defence in a civil case
    This document discusses what happens when a Defendant delivers a "Defence" to the plaintiff during a civil case in the Circuit Court or the High Court in Ireland.

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