We are campaigning for a change in legislation to give thousands of individuals and businesses who are owed money their right to a freedom of choice, and a greater chance of enforcing their judgments and recovering their debts, avoiding substantial losses.

At present, any debt under £600 must be enforced via the County Court Bailiff system. A system which hundreds of court users have told us is vastly overloaded with cases causing significant backlogs, which have only worsened with the Covid-19 pandemic. This is subjecting individuals and businesses to long, stressful delays and uncertainty with no other choice.

Government could solve this problem today. A small change to the High Court and County Court Jurisdiction Order 1991 would allow High Court Enforcement Officers to enforce judgments and recover debts under £600. This would give court users freedom to choose another option.

Our solution is backed by court users

This solution is being backed by the Civil Court Users Association and the vast majority of the hundreds of court users who responded in our recent survey.

  • Almost 99% of court users want freedom of choice – to choose whether they want to use a County Court Bailiff or High Court Enforcement Officer to enforce their judgments and recover their debts.
  • 97% of court users are concerned about the backlog of cases in the County Court, with 86% experiencing delays.
  • Just 5% of court users think the current system is effective and meets their needs.
  • 35% of court users would issue more claims for under £600 if they were able to choose a High Court Enforcement Officer to enforce their judgments and recover their debts.

This reform can be delivered simply and easily by the Lord Chancellor and Ministry of Justice. We are asking them to:

  • amend the High Court and County Court Jurisdiction Order 1991 to allow High Court Enforcement Officers to enforce judgments below £600 in respect of unregulated judgments
  • consider future expansion to regulated debt above and below £600 (under the same Jurisdiction Order)

You can read our full report here

Download the appendices here

How you can help

The High Court Enforcement Officers Association is asking for support to give court users a right to freedom of choice. You can do this by writing to the Lord Chancellor, Rt Hon Robert Buckland MP, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., copying in This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you have any questions, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

High Court enforcement activity is being undertaken in an appropriate, flexible and sensitive manner that reflects the challenges we are all facing as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The Association has developed a best practice Covid-19 plan.

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