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Criminal Law Act 1977

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10 Obstruction of court officers executing process for possession against unauthorised occupiers.E+W

(1)Without prejudice to section 8(2) of the M1Sheriffs Act 1887 but subject to the following provisions of this section, a person is guilty of an offence if he resists or intentionally obstructs any person who is in fact an officer of a court engaged in executing any process issued by the High Court or by any county court for the purpose of enforcing any judgment or order for the recovery of any premises or for the delivery of possession of any premises.

(2)Subsection (1) above does not apply unless the judgment or order in question was given or made in proceedings brought under any provisions of rules of court applicable only in circumstances where the person claiming possession of any premises alleges that the premises in question are occupied solely by a person or persons (not being a tenant or tenants holding over after the termination of the tenancy) who entered into or remained in occupation of the premises without the licence or consent of the person claiming possession or any predecessor in title of his.

(3)In any proceedings for an offence under this section it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that he believed that the person he was resisting or obstructing was not an officer of a court.

(4)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding [F1level 5 on the standard scale] or to both.

(5)A constable in uniform or any officer of a court may arrest without warrant anyone who is, or whom he, with reasonable cause, suspects to be, guilty of an offence under this section.

(6)In this section “officer of a court” means—

(a)any sheriff, under sheriff, deputy sheriff, bailiff or officer of a sheriff; and

(b)any bailiff or other person who is an officer of a county court within the meaning of the M2County Courts Act 1959.

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C1S. 6(6), 7(11), 8(4), 9(7), 10(5) saved by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60), s. 26, Sch. 2

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