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Enforcement Proceedings: Committal Proceeding

At the end of a court proceeding, the Judge sitting for the matter will set out his / her findings and the rights and obligations of the parties thereafter. If the claimant succeeds in their application, the Judge may, therefore, grant the relief sought by the claimant. Such relief may include an order prohibiting or directing the losing party to take a certain action or to abstain from taking a certain action.

In the event that the losing party ordered to take a certain action or to abstain from taking a certain action, acted in breach of the order given by the court, the successful party may then apply to the court to punish the losing party by way of committal proceeding.

How Do I File for Committal Proceeding?  

Before filing for a committal proceeding against the losing party, it is highly advisable to issue a further letter of demand to attempt to prevent further breach of the order before the given deadline. This is to allow a settlement attempt between the parties before the further legal cost is incurred.

However, if the breach wholly defeats the order given by the court or if the letter of demand is ignored or the losing party continue to refuse to act in compliance to the court order, you may then make an application to the court to make a committal order against the losing party. As the application to the court will be reviewed by the court on a case by case basis, it is advisable to seek legal advice and legal assistance when filing such application.

Why Committal Proceeding and Why not Committal Proceeding?

The main purpose of the committal proceeding is to punish the losing party for the non-compliance of the court order and to maintain the authority and the dignity of the court. As such, the application for a committal proceeding is suitable if the intention of the application is to punish the losing party for the non-compliance of the court order.

However, a committal proceeding does not give any economic benefit to the applicant. The applicant may be incurred further legal cost and further cost for the application to the court. As such, if the intention of the applicant is obtaining some form of monetary benefit from the application, the applicant may wish to seek an alternative method of enforcement.

What are my other options?

You may also enforce your Judgment by:

Writ of Seizure and Sale;

An application for a writ of seizure and sale will allow a bailiff from the court to enter the losing party’s premises to seize properties and assets to be liquidated to satisfy the debt accrued.

Writ of Possession;

An application usually made by a landlord to the tenant, that require the losing party to leave the premises by a certain time. This enables the applicant to repossess the premise.  

Writ of Delivery;

An application to the court requires the losing party to surrender and deliver the item to the applicant.

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Garnishee Proceeding;

An application to the court to request a third party (garnishee) who owes money to the losing party to pay over the debt to the applicant.

Examination of Judgment Debtor;

An application to the court to summon the losing party to the court to be examined under oath to determine what and where the assets of the losing party are to satisfy the debt.

Bankruptcy or Winding up application;

An application to the court to bankrupt the individual or wind up the company

You may also enter into a payment arrangement with your Judgment Debtor for the repayment of your debt.

You may wish to seek legal advice to ascertain what is the best measure to be taken by you.

How to avoid a committal proceeding?

A committal proceeding can only be issued if you had failed to comply with a court order. As such, you may wish to act in compliance with the court order to prevent any further enforcement action against you.

In the event that you are dissatisfied with the court order made against you, you may wish to seek legal advice to appeal the court order made against you. As an application to appeal must be made within 14 days, you may wish to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

You may also wish to be cautious with an informal agreement made in compliance with the court order. You may wish to seek legal advice before entering into an informal agreement.

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Our specialised lawyers and their team are standing by to assist you. Our first consultation is free.

The information contained within this website contains general information about our lawyers, Law Firm and procedures and is not intended to constitute legal advice.
Any person viewing or receiving information from this Website should not act or refrain from acting, on the basis of any such information without first seeking appropriate legal advice.
Please consult a lawyer for specific review of your case and advise. 

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