Types of Enforcement Proceedings

The Rules of Court provide for several ways to enforce an unsatisfied judgment. These are outlined below.

Writ of Execution

Writs of Execution include Writs of Seizure and Sale (“WSS”) of movable and immovable property, Writs of Delivery and Writs of Possession. These writs authorise the Sheriff/Bailiffs (“Sheriff”) of the Supreme Court to enforce unsatisfied judgments.

Where the Court makes an order or judgment for the payment of money by the Judgment Debtor and the Judgment Debtor fails to pay the judgment debt, a WSS permits the Sheriff to seize and sell the Judgment Debtor’s property to satisfy the judgment debt.

The Court may order the Judgment Debtor to surrender or “deliver up” to the Judgment Creditor a specified movable property. A Writ of Delivery directs the Sheriff to seize the specific movable property and deliver it to the Judgment Debtor. However, in a judgment or order for the Judgment Debtor to deliver up the movable property, the Court may order that the Judgment Debtor has the alternative of paying the assessed value of the property.

Where a person obtains a judgment or order for the giving of possession of immovable property, the judgment or order may be enforced by a Writ of Possession This may be required where a Judgment Debtor refuses to vacate the property.

Examination of Judgment Debtors

Where the Judgment Creditor (the winning party in a lawsuit) is not aware of what assets the Judgment Debtor (the losing party in a lawsuit who is required to pay the judgment sum to the winning party) owns, the Judgment Creditor may apply by summons for the Judgment Debtor to be examined under oath to determine what assets are available for use to satisfy the judgment debt. There are also provisions for Committal Proceedings to commit the Judgment Debtor to prison if he fails to show up for the examination.

Garnishee Proceedings

A garnishee is someone who owes the Judgment Debtor money. When the Judgment Creditor garnishes the debt, the garnishee will be ordered to pay over the debt to the Judgment Creditor instead of to the Judgment Debtor.

To garnish the debt, the Judgment Creditor must first apply to Court for a provisional garnishee order. This leads to show cause proceedings where the garnishee confirms that there is money due and owing to the Judgment Debtor. The Court may then proceed to make a final garnishee order, ordering the garnishee to pay such money to the judgment creditor instead of to the judgment debtor.

Committal Proceedings

Where a person is required by a judgment or order to do or abstain from doing an act, but refuses or neglects to do it within the time or extended time granted, the Court may make an order for committal order upon application. The purpose is to punish such a person for non-compliance with a Court order and to maintain the dignity and authority of the Court. How the Court exercises its discretion will depend on the facts in the case. Where the Court does decide to make an order for committal, the Court has discretion to either order a custodial sentence or levy a fine.

The Court Fees payable for the filing of the documents in respect of Post-Trial matters may be found in Appendix B of the Rules of Court.