Enforcement Factsheet

Messengers-at-Arms: Sheriff Officers

Enforcement in Scotland

Scott + Co, part of Marston Group, are a leading provider to court users for the provision of citation and diligence services withstrategically located offices across Scotland and the largest number of Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers. We deal with all instructions in-house and covering the whole country ensures we have no need to sub-contract instructions thus providing maximum continuity of service.

We should point out that our function is to attempt to enforce orders issued by the court. We are unable to guarantee the successful recovery of any monies ordered by the court’s decision.


Question I have been granted a Court Order, what do I do next?

Answer – Please see our Enforcement Factsheet

Question Why do I have to pay for your services, when I have already been to court?

Answer – The fees of Messengers-At-Arms and Sheriff Officers are laid down by legislation, Act of Sederunt (Fees of Messengers-at-Arms) (No. 2) 2002, as amended and Act of Sederunt (Fees of Sheriff Officers) (No. 2) 2002, as amended Act of Sederunt

Question Once you have served my papers, what do I do next?

Answer – Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers are Officers of Court and are not qualified to provide legal advice.


A Charge is a formal written demand for payment of sums owed. After it has been served on a debtor it provides a period to comply (normally 14 days). Should the debtor fail to make payment then further action may take place. The Charge is an important step in the recovery process as unless it has been served you are not permitted to execute an Attachment, Earnings Arrestment or Money Attachment. A Charge for Payment can also be used to establish the apparent insolvency of a debtor where the debt exceeds £3,000.00.

This is a diligence which attaches (freezes) the goods of debtor in the hands of a third party. The arrestment is served in the hands of the third party and orders them not to pay or return to the debtor any movables which they have an obligation to account for. The most common example of an arrestment is where a creditor arrests a bank account in order to attach the funds in the debtors account. Where money has been arrested the arrestee (third party) is required to pay the sums arrested to the creditor within 14 weeks following the arrestment. The debtor can however object to the automatic release and the matter is then determined by the court.