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The Family Proceedings Rules (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Judgment summonses

Application for issue of judgment summons

8.29.—(1) In this rule and in rules 8.30 and 8.31 unless the context otherwise requires—

“the Order” means the Judgments (Enforcement) (Northern Ireland) Order 1981(1),

“order” means an order made in matrimonial proceedings for the periodical payment of money or an order made by the Enforcement of Judgments Office for the payment by instalments of the amount due under an order made in matrimonial proceedings for payment of a lump sum or costs;

“judgment creditor” means a person entitled to enforce an order;

“debtor” means a person liable under an order;

“judgment summons” means a summons issued under Article 108 of the Order.

(2) An application for the issue of a judgment summons may be made—

(a)in the case of an order of the High Court, to the Matrimonial Office;

(b)in the case of an order of a county court to that court;

by filing an affidavit verifying the amount due under the order and showing how the amount is arrived at.

(3) A judgment summons shall not be issued without the leave of the judge if the debtor is in default under an order of committal made on a previous judgment summons in respect of the same order.

(4) Every judgment summons shall be in Form M25 and shall be served on the debtor personally not less than 10 clear days before the hearing and at the time of service there shall be paid or tendered to the debtor a sum reasonably sufficient to cover his expenses in travelling to and from the court.

(5) Where a judgment summons has not been served in due time, it may by leave of the registrar be reissued and, if necessary, amended from time to time within 6 months of the date of the original judgment summons.

(6) If the judge makes an order for committal, he may direct its execution to be stayed on terms that the debtor pays to the judgment creditor the amount due, together with the costs of the judgment summons, either at a specified time or by instalments, in addition to any sums accruing due under the original order.

(7) All payments under an order made under or an order of committal shall be made to the judgment creditor unless the judge otherwise directs.

(8) Where an order of committal is stayed on such terms as are mentioned in paragraph (9)—

(a)all payments thereafter made shall be deemed to be made, first, in or towards the discharge of any sums from time to time accruing due under the original order and, secondly, in or towards the discharge of the debt in respect of which the judgment summons was issued and the costs of the summons; and

(b)the said order shall not be issued until the judgment creditor has filed an affidavit of default on the part of the debtor.

(9) Where an order of committal has been made but execution of the order is stayed and the debtor subsequently desires to apply for a further stay, he shall attend at or write to the Matrimonial Office or the county court office, as the case may be, and apply for the stay he requires, stating the reasons for his inability to comply with the order, and the Master or chief clerk, as the case may be, shall fix a day for the hearing of the application by the judge and serve notice thereof on the judgment creditor and on the debtor by recorded delivery at least 3 clear days before the day fixed for the hearing.

(10) The judgment creditor shall serve notice by recorded delivery on the debtor of the terms of any order made under this rule whether or not the debtor has attended the hearing.

(11) An order for committal shall be directed to any police officer or other person as the court may direct for execution.

Further provisions as to judgment summonses

8.30.—(1) R.S.C. Order 38, rule 2(3) (which enables evidence to be given by affidavit in certain cases) shall apply to a judgment summons issued in the High Court or a county court as if it were an originating summons.

(2) Witnesses may be summoned to prove the means of the debtor in the same manner as witnesses are summoned to give evidence on the hearing of a cause, and writs of subpoena or witness summonses may be issued for that purpose.

(3) Where the debtor appears at the hearing, the travelling expenses paid to him may, if the judge so directs, be allowed as expenses of a witness, but if the debtor appears at the hearing and no order of commitment is made, the judge may allow to the debtor, by way of set-off or otherwise, his proper costs, including compensation for loss of time, as upon an attendance by a defendant at a trial in court.

Special provisions as to judgment summonses in divorce county courts

8.31.  C.C.R. Order 40 (which deals with enforcement of decrees) shall not apply to a judgment summons issued in a county court.

Removal of divorce county court order into High Court

8.32.—(1) Any order made by a county court in matrimonial proceedings may, on an application made to the High Court ex parte by affidavit by the person entitled to enforce the order, be removed into the High Court by direction of the Master, if he is satisfied that the order cannot conveniently be enforced in the county court.

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