If you have obtained a judgment in your favour in an ACT Court or Tribunal with respect to a money order, you as the enforcement creditor will have various options to enforce that judgment in order to get paid.
If the judgment obtained by you is in the ACT Civil & Administrative Tribunal, you will first need to register this judgment in the ACT Magistrates Court in order for it to be enforceable. Once you obtain a Certificate of Registration of Enforceable Order and the accompanying Form 2.49 Notice about Court Order and Enforcement Options, you will have to serve these documents on the enforcement debtor and wait for 7 clear days after service is effected prior to commencing enforcement proceedings.
The Court Procedure Rules 2006 (ACT) (Rules) provide the relevant rules and procedures associated with the various enforcement mechanisms available to an enforcement creditor to enforce a judgment debt. We provide a brief summary below.
Enforcement Hearing Subpoena
This is a way for you, as the enforcement creditor, to gather information about the financial affairs of the enforcement debtor in order to determine how to enforce the judgment debt against them. The enforcement hearing subpoena compels the enforcement debtor to file a statement of financial position with the ACT Magistrates Court, along with the accompanying evidence, relating to the enforcement debtor’s assets and liabilities, source of income, etc.
At the enforcement hearing, you are able to orally examine the enforcement debtor about their affairs and seek a particular type of enforcement order against them. Upon review of the materials produced by the enforcement debtor and the submissions made by you, the Registrar is able to make an instalment order, a seizure and sale order or a general redirection order to recover the judgment debt.
If the enforcement debtor fails to appear at the enforcement hearing, you are also able to seek a warrant for their arrest and force them to appear before the Registrar to provide information about their financial affairs.
Please note that there are strict timeframes and requirements to comply with under the Rules regarding service and conduct money, in order for the enforcement hearing to be successful.
Earnings Redirection Order
If you are aware about the enforcement debtor’s employment, you are able to seek a garnishee of their wages. This process compels the enforcement debtor’s employer to make regular deductions of the enforcement debtor’s wages (no more than 20% after tax) and transfer those payments to you once the Registrar awards this order in your favour.
Here, you are also entitled to claim the filing fee relevant to this order along with the prescribed costs contained in Schedule 3 of the Rules.
General Redirection Order
This type of order enables you to seek a garnishee of the enforcement debtor’s bank account. Once the order gets served on the enforcement debtor’s bank, the bank is compelled to regularly deduct money from the enforcement debtor’s account towards the satisfaction of the judgment debt. Here, the Court may also redirect debts owed by a third party to the debtor.
Seizure and Sale Order
Applying for this order means that you are requesting a Sheriff’s Officer to attend the property of the enforcement debtor (as nominated by you in the application) and seize goods that are owned by the enforcement debtor so that they can be auctioned to recover the sum of the judgment debt. Please note that this does not include goods that are owned by another person or those which are leased or encumbered. If the Sheriff’s Officer is having difficulty entering the nominated property, they may apply to the Court to obtain consent for entry.
Once served with the seizure and sale order, the enforcement debtor may also apply to the Court to have the judgment debt paid in instalments. In this event, the matter gets listed before a Registrar where a decision is made upon consideration of the financial position of the enforcement debtor.
Here, you are also entitled to claim the filing fee and sheriff’s fee relevant to this order along with the prescribed costs contained in Schedule 3 of the Rules.
If the seizure and sale for personal property of the enforcement debtor is unsuccessful, you may then proceed to the ACT Supreme Court to commence enforcement proceedings for seizure and sale of real property owned by the enforcement debtor.