Sheriff's Services

The Sheriff is the enforcement officer of the Court. The Registrar of the Supreme Court is concurrently the Sheriff of Singapore. Bailiffs are officers attached to the Sheriff's Section who are empowered under the Sheriff's authority to execute and carry into effect all writs of execution and court orders including:

  • Money judgment
  • Judgment for delivery of immovable property
  • Judgment for delivery of movable property

 

By authority given to the Sheriff and the Bailiffs, they may enter the house of the judgment debtor or premises of a third party to seize goods and movable property belonging to the debtor. The Bailiffs of the Supreme Court carry a warrant card, a badge and wear a Sheriff's jacket for easy identification.

Sheriff's Sale

Once the goods or property have been seized, the judgment debtor (the losing party in the lawsuit who is required to pay the judgment sum to the winning party) is given 7 days to settle the judgment sum or obtain a court order to stop the sale. After this time limit lapses, the winning party will notify in writing to the Sheriff who will then arrange for the sale of the goods or property seized. If the value of the goods is below S$2000.00 the Bailiff will conduct the Sheriff's sale. However, an auctioneer is to be appointed to conduct the sale if the estimated value of the seized goods is above S$2000.00. The auction is usually conducted about 6 weeks after the seizure of the property and will be advertised in the newspapers 2 weeks before the sale.

If any third party has a claim to the goods or property seized, the third party may make a claim to the Sheriff by way of Form 22. If the winning party contests this claim, the Sheriff will make an application for an interpleader summons on behalf of the winning party, to be heard by a Judge to determine ownership of the property. Pursuant to the order made, the Sheriff will either release the seized property to the rightful owner or conduct the sale.

In the case of properties seized by a Writ of Distress, the third party claimant has to apply to a Judge by way of a summons-in-chambers and serve the relevant document to all parties involved. Upon adjudication of the matter, the Judge will give orders to release the distrained property or allow the Sheriff to continue the sale.

Arrest and Release of Vessels in Admiralty Actions

When an admiralty in rem action (to arrest a ship before judgment) is commenced, the arrest and detention of the ship usually follows within 12 months, as long as the vessel is within the port limits of Singapore. Since 1994, solicitors have been authorized to perform the Sheriff's duty to arrest a vessel (Section 65A of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act). Once a ship is arrested, the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and the Police Coast Guard will be notified.

The owner of the ship can provide a security for the claim in order to secure the release of the ship. If the Warrant of Arrest is defective, the owner of the ship may apply to the Court to set aside the arrest of the ship and have the ship released.

Unless the ship is subsequently released, it is sold by the Sheriff pursuant to an order of court. The proceeds of the sale are then used to satisfy the claims of the plaintiff and other relevant parties, after the expenses of the Sheriff and other dues have been deducted. The proceeds of sale of the vessel, if it exceeds the sum of S$250,000.00 after deducting all the Sheriff's costs and expenses, will be placed in a fixed deposit with a reputable bank or finance company in Singapore pursuant to Order 90 rule 12(4) of the Rules of Court to earn the best commercial rate of interest in respect of such deposit.

After the date of payment into Court of the proceeds of sale of the vessel, the Sheriff shall send for publication in the Gazette and/or the Straits Times a notice complying with Order 70 Rule 21(2)(c) and Order 70 Rule 21(3) of the Rules of Court. Any party who has obtained judgment against the ship may apply to the Court to determine the order of priority of the claims against the proceeds of sale of the ship. Upon being served with an Order of Court, the Sheriff will then distribute the proceeds of sale accordingly.

 

For the activation of the duty Registrar outside of the Supreme Court’s operating hours to hear an urgent request for the arrest or release of a vessel, lawyers are to contact the duty Registrar (whose number may be found here) and satisfy him/her of the urgency of the requests. When contacting the duty Registrar, lawyers must inform, inter alia, of the following:

(a) when the vessel in question is arriving in Singapore (for arrest) / departing from Singapore (for release); and
(b) whether ALL the requisite legal documents have been electronically filed.

Where necessary, the duty Registrar will inform the lawyers to attend a hearing at an appropriate time having regard to the urgency of the application.


Issuance of Permit to Inspect Vessel and Supply of Copy of Conditions of Sale of Vessel

When a vessel is put up for sale by the Sheriff, a surveyor will be appointed to value the vessel and the sale will be advertised to the public.

 

The issuance of a permit to inspect the vessel and the supply of the copy of conditions of sale of vessel are services open to the public at large who may have an interest in purchasing the vessel.

For more inquiries or requests for assistance, kindly call 6332 1066 or 6332 4286/7/8.

List of Appraisers

The Sheriff maintains a List of Appraisers (“List”). Please refer to paragraph 130A of the Supreme Court Practice Directions.

If any Appraisers wish to be appointed to the Sheriff’s List of Appraisers, please apply by writing to the “Registrar, Supreme Court”. Please include all relevant information, particulars and details in the application.

Panel of Security Services

The Supreme Court of Singapore had on 19 June 2015 invited suitably qualified security agencies to apply for appointment to a panel of security agencies (the “Panel”) to provide security services for various enforcement actions undertaken by the Sheriff Office/Enforcement Section of the Supreme Court. The Panel has been constituted and will begin operating on 21 September 2015.

The rates for the provision of security services by security agencies appointed on the Panel are as follows:

S/No.

Name of Security Agency

Price per

12 hour block

Price per

24 hour block

Address

Contact Person(s)

Telephone

1.

Dragnet Private Investigation And Security Consultants Pte Ltd

$600.00

$1,200.00

No. 33 Ubi Avenue 3,

#06-31 Vertex,

Singapore 408868.

Ops Control Room (24/7)

Rajandran

Ms. Patma

Amba

6805-8975

9040-2059

9858-0795

9694-1705

2.

Focal Investigation & Security Agency Pte Ltd

$280.00

$560.00

5001 Beach Road, #04-22,

Golden Mile Complex,

Singapore 199588.

Ops Control Room (24/7)

Shaun Lam

Raymond Lee

6222-0110

9799-7995

9128-0120

3.

Frontline Security Pte Ltd

$400.00

$800.00

845 Geylang Road, #04-15,

Tanjong Katong Complex,

Singapore 400845.

Ops Control Room (24/7)

Joe Giovanni Singh

Mohd. Rafi

Joseph Sundram

6747-7551

8321-4551

9711-2695

9022-9607

4.

G4S Secure Solutions

(Singapore) Pte Ltd

$380.00

$760.00

8 Commonwealth Lane,

#04-04, Singapore 149555.

Ops Control Room (24/7)

William Toh

6392-5821 /

6392-8575

9710-9130

5.

Securus Pte Ltd

$360.00

$650.00

130 Jurong Gateway Road,

#04-221, Singapore 600130.

Ops Control Room (24/7)

Michael Lim

Abdul Rahman Bin Jamaludin

Lim Beng Chye

6513-0938

8188-1815

9818-8195

9711-4079

6.

Security & Risk Solutions Pte Ltd

$375.00

$750.00

Blk. 1, YS-ONE, Yishun Street 23,

#06-03, Singapore 768441.

Ops Control Room (24/7)

Amos Kng

Jon Lium

Samy Viknes

Murugiah

6852-9990

9636-6010

9851-7333

8688-8724

8688-8734

 

* Note: Names of Security Agencies are arranged in alphabetical and in no order of preference.

The rates for provision of security services are comprehensive and take into account all disbursements except for the launch fees (where a security guard has to be transported to an arrested vessel out in sea e.g. at the point of the initial arrest and/or at shift changes). Launch fees are charged and payable as disbursements.

In Admiralty matters pertaining to the arrest of vessels, the Arresting Party should select the security agency on the Panel and provide the appointed security agency with the details of the impending arrest and make the necessary logistical arrangements to bring the security guard along when executing the arrest. For after-hours arrests, the responsibility remains on the Arresting Party to make the necessary logistical arrangements to bring the security guard from the appointed security agency along when executing the arrest. The Arresting Party should inform the Sheriff’s Office prior to executing the arrest of the vessel, which security agency has been appointed by them. The onus is on the Arresting Party to give the Sheriff’s Office sufficient time and notice to ensure that the Sheriff’s Office can undertake the necessary administrative processes.

Revised Sheriff's Conditions of Sale of a Vessel

The Sheriff's Office of the Supreme Court, Singapore has revised the "Sheriff's Conditions of Sale of a Vessel" ("Revised Conditions") in respect of a Sheriff's sale of a vessel in an admiralty in rem action.

The Revised Conditions of Sale will be in use effective from 25 March 2016.

Please click on this link to access the Revised Conditions of Sale.