District Court Enforcement Procedures

The following is an outline of enforcement options which can be utilised in the District Court. However, in our experience, the procedure of enforcement in the District Court can be time consuming and uneconomical.We therefore recommend that any judgement obtained be enforced in the High Court.

Garnishee Order

This order is a seizure or attachment of the money due or accruing to a judgement debtor that is owed by a third party. This includes money held in a bank account for the benefit of the judgement debtor. The order forces the third party (called a sub-debtor) to make payment direct to the judgement creditor. If the third party fails to make payment in accordance with the order the judgement creditor has the right to sue the third party for the total amount of the order.

This procedure is not commonly used as it can be undertaken only if the judgement creditor is aware that the judgement debtor is owed funds from the third party. This can possibly be obtained from an Order for Examination.

Charging Orders

This order operates as a "stop order" and does not charge the asset in the conventional sense of the word "charge".

The order prevents the disposal of the land or asset without satisfying the judgment. Over land, a charging order ranks behind, or is subject to, all liens and equities created over the land prior to the date of its registration.

A charging order cannot force the sale of a property affected. To do this, the judgement must be transferred to the High Court and a Writ of Sale applied for.

A charging order expires after two years but can be renewed by application to the court.