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Practical Enforcement of Judgments

NZ $40.00
Bob Hollyman  
Bob Hollyman
Shortland Chambers

This book is only available in PDF format

Published: 13 November, 2012
Pages: 40



Any credible system of law must have means of enforcing judgments. Those who engage with the system need to be able to rely on it to ensure that successful litigants (whether plaintiff or defendant) receive their due.

This seminar is intended to pick up from the point where you have a final, sealed judgment in your client’s favour. Most judgments are financial, and that is the focus of this seminar. Other judgments may involve orders that a party do (or not do) something. Failure to comply with non-money judgments involves questions of contempt of court, the possibility of arrest, and of ancillary orders.

Judgments essentially fall into one or more of the following three categories:
  • Judgments for a sum of money; broadly, these are enforced by identifying, charging, and selling assets;
  • Judgments for possession of property (land or chattels); broadly, these are enforced by possession orders.
  • Judgments ordering that something be done (or not done); broadly, the failure to comply with such judgments is a question of contempt, and so these judgments are enforced by remedies for contempt: arrest and imprisonment, and sequestration of property.

Judgments may involve one or more of the above, and enforcement processes may be invoked accordingly.

For most enforcement processes, the judgment must first be sealed, and it is assumed that that step has been taken. Otherwise, leave is required. The main example where this is clearly contemplated in the Rules is in relation to pre-judgment charging orders.

It is also assumed that you have made it clear to the debtor that payment is required and enforcement processes will be commenced if payment is not made forthwith. In some instances you will strike a co-operative debtor who simply needs time to sell assets. While keeping the pressure on is important to ensure you and your client are not being taken for a ride, at the same time a debtor who does appear to have assets and a willingness to co-operate can save your client a lot of cost and difficulty. The critical factor here is information about the debtor and the assets.

The key legal provisions are:
  • Part 6 of the District Courts Act 1947;
  • Part 17 of the High Court Rules;
  • Part 15 of the District Court Rules 2009.

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