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The Family Proceedings Rules (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Garnishee proceedings

Attachment of debt due to judgment debtor

8.2.—(1) On the application of the judgment creditor where there is an amount remaining unpaid by the judgment debtor under a matrimonial order and any other person within the jurisdiction (hereinafter referred to as “the garnishee”) is in debt to the judgment debtor, the court may, subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) and rules 8.3 to 8.8 and 8.10 and to any other statutory provision, order the garnishee to pay the judgment creditor the amount of any debt due or accruing to the judgment debtor from the garnishee, or so much thereof as is sufficient to satisfy the order and the costs of the garnishee proceedings.

(2) An order under this rule shall in the first instance be an order to show cause, specifying the time and place for further consideration of the matter, and in the meantime attaching such debt as is mentioned in paragraph (1), or so much thereof as may be specified in the order, to answer the order mentioned in that paragraph and the costs of the garnishee proceedings.

(3) In this rule “the garnishee” shall include a limited company having a place of business within the jurisdiction or a firm any member of which is resident within the jurisdiction and a garnishee order may be made against any firm in the name of the firm; and any appearance by any member then within the jurisdiction pursuant to an order made under this rule shall be a sufficient appearance by the firm.

Application for order

8.3.  An application for an order under rule 8.2 must be made ex parte supported by an affidavit—

(a)identifying the order to be enforced and stating the amount remaining unpaid under it at the time of the application;

(b)stating that to the best of the information and belief of the deponent the garnishee (naming him) is within the jurisdiction and is indebted to the judgment debtor and stating the sources of the deponent’s information and the grounds for his belief; and

(c)stating, where the garnishee is a bank having more than one place of business, the name and address of the branch at which the judgment debtor’s account is believed to be held or, if it be the case, that this information is not known to the deponent.

Service and effect of order to show cause

8.4.—(1) An order under rule 8.12 to show cause must, at least 7 days before the time appointed thereby for the further consideration of the matter, be served—

(a)on the garnishee personally, and

(b)unless the court otherwise directs, on the judgment debtor.

(2) Such an order shall bind in the hands of the garnishee as from the service of the order on him any debt specified in the order or so much thereof as may be so specified.

No appearance or dispute of liability by garnishee

8.5.—(1) Where on the further consideration of the matter the garnishee does not attend or does not dispute the debt due or claimed to be due from him to the judgment debtor, the court may, subject to rule 8.8 make an order absolute under rule 8.2 against the garnishee.

(2) An order absolute under rule 8.2 against the garnishee may be enforced as if judgment for the amount payable thereunder had been given against the garnishee.

Dispute of liability by garnishee

8.6.  Where on the further consideration of the matter the garnishee disputes liability to pay the debt due or claimed to be due from him to the judgment debtor, the court may summarily determine the question at issue or order that any question necessary for determining the liability of the garnishee be tried in any manner in which any question or issue in an action may be tried.

Claims of third persons

8.7.—(1) If in garnishee proceedings it is brought to the notice of the court that some other person than the judgment debtor is or claims to be entitled to the debt sought to be attached or has or claims to have a charge or lien upon it, the court may order that person to attend before the court and state the nature of his claim with particulars thereof.

(2) After hearing any person who attends before the court in compliance with an order under paragraph (1), the court may summarily determine the questions at issue between the claimants or make such other order as it thinks just, including an order that any question or issue necessary for determining the validity of the claim of such other person as is mentioned in paragraph (1) be tried in such manner as is mentioned in rule 8.6.

Discharge of garnishee

8.8.  Any payment made by a garnishee in compliance with an order absolute under these Rules, shall be a valid discharge of his liability to the judgment debtor to the extent of the amount paid notwithstanding that the garnishee proceedings are subsequently set aside or the judgment or order from which they arose is reversed.

Money in court

8.9.—(1) Where money is standing to the credit of the judgment debtor in court, the judgment creditor shall not be entitled to take garnishee proceedings in respect of that money but may apply to the court by summons for an order that the money or so much thereof as is sufficient to satisfy the order sought to be enforced and the costs of the application be paid to the judgment creditor.

(2) On issuing a summons under this rule the applicant must produce the summons at the Court Funds Office and leave a copy at that office, and the money to which the application relates shall not be paid out of court until after the determination of the application.

If the application is dismissed, the applicant must give notice of that fact to the Court Funds Office.

(3) Unless the court otherwise directs, the summons must be served on the judgment debtor at least 7 days before the day named therein for the hearing.

(4) The court hearing an application under the rule may make such order with respect to the money in court as it thinks just.

Costs

8.10.  The costs of any application for an order under rule 8.2 to 8.9 and of any proceedings arising therefrom or incidental thereto, shall, unless the court otherwise directs, be retained by the judgment creditor out of the money recovered by him under the order and in priority to the judgment debt.

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