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County Courts Act 1984

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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:

Part I E+W Constitution and Administration

County courts and districtsE+W

1 County courts to be held for districts.E+W

(1)For the purposes of this Act, England and Wales shall be divided into districts, and a court shall be held under this Act for each district at one or more places in it; and [F1each court] shall have such jurisdiction and powers as are conferred by this Act and any other enactment for the time being in force.

(2)Every court so held shall be called a county court and shall be a court of record and shall have a seal.

(3)Nothing in this section affects the operation of section 42 of the M1Courts Act 1971 (City of London).

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Amendments (Textual)

F1Words in s. 1(1) substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(4); S.I. 1997/841, arts. 3(b), 4(d)

Marginal Citations

2 County court districts etc.E+W

(1)The Lord Chancellor may [F2, after consulting the Lord Chief Justice,]F2 by order specify places at which county courts are to be held and the name by which the court held at any place so specified is to be known.

(2)Any order under this section shall be made by statutory instrument, which shall be laid before Parliament after being made.

(3)The districts for which county courts are to be held shall be determined in accordance with directions given [F3, after consulting the Lord Chief Justice,]F3 by or on behalf of the Lord Chancellor.

(4)Subject to any alterations made by virtue of this section, county courts shall continue to be held for the districts and at the places and by the names appointed at the commencement of this Act.

[F4(5)The Lord Chief Justice may nominate a judicial office holder (as defined in section 109(4) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005) to exercise his functions under subsection (1) or (3).F4]

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Amendments (Textual)

Places and times of sittings of courtsE+W

3 Places and times of sittings.E+W

(1)In any district the places at which the court sits, and the days and times when the court sits at any place, shall be determined in accordance with directions given [F5, after consulting the Lord Chief Justice,]F5 by or on behalf of the Lord Chancellor.

(2)A judge may from time to time adjourn any court held by him, and a registrar may from time to time adjourn—

(a)any court held by him, or

(b)in the absence of the judge, any court to be held by the judge.

F6(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4)References in this Act to sittings of the court shall include references to sittings by any registrar in pursuance of any provision contained in, or made under, this Act.

[F7(5)The Lord Chief Justice may nominate a judicial office holder (as defined in section 109(4) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005) to exercise his functions under subsection (1).F7]

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Amendments (Textual)

4 Use of public buildings for courts.E+W

(1)Where, in any place in which a county court is held, there is a building, being a town hall, court-house or other public building belonging to any local or other public authority, that building shall, with all necessary rooms, furniture and fittings in it, be used for the purpose of holding the court, without any charge for rent or other payment, except the reasonable and necessary charges for lighting, heating and cleaning the building when used for that purpose.

(2)Where any such building is used for the purpose of holding any court, the sittings of the court shall be so arranged as not to interfere with the business of the local or other public authority usually transacted in the building or with any purpose for which the building may be used by virtue of any local Act.

(3)This section shall not apply to any place in which a building was erected before 1st January 1889 for the purpose of holding and carrying on the business of a county court.

JudgesE+W

5 Judges of county courts.E+W

(1)Every Circuit judge shall, by virtue of his office, be capable of sitting as a judge for any county court district in England and Wales, and the [F8Lord Chief Justice shall, after consulting the Lord Chancellor,]F8 assign one or more Circuit judges to each district and may from time to time vary the assignment of Circuit judges among the districts.

(2)Subject to any directions given by [F9the Lord Chief Justice after consulting the Lord Chancellor]F9, in any case where more than one Circuit judge is assigned to a district under subsection (1), any function conferred by or under this Act on the judge for a district may be exercised by any of the Circuit judges for the time being assigned to that district.

(3)The following, that is—

  • every judge of the Court of Appeal,

  • every judge of the High Court,

  • every Recorder,

shall, by virtue of his office, be capable of sitting as a judge for any county court district in England and Wales and, if he consents to do so, shall sit as such a judge at such times and on such occasions as the [F10Lord Chief Justice considers desirable after consulting the Lord Chancellor]F10.

(4)Notwithstanding that he is not for the time being assigned to a particular district, a Circuit judge—

(a)shall sit as a judge of that district at such times and on such occasions as the [F11Lord Chief Justice may, after consulting the Lord Chancellor, direct]F11; and

(b)may sit as a judge of that district in any case where it appears to him that the judge of that district is not, or none of the judges of that district is, available to deal with the case.

[F12(5)The Lord Chief Justice may nominate a judicial office holder (as defined in section 109(4) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005) to exercise his functions under this section.F12]

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Amendments (Textual)

[F13District judges] , [F13assistant district judges] and [F13deputy district judges]E+W

[F146 District judges.E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

(1)Her Majesty may, on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor, appoint district judges.

(2)The Lord Chief Justice, after consulting the Lord Chancellor—

(a)must assign each district judge to one or more districts;

(b)may change an assignment so as to assign the district judge to a different district or districts.

(3)A reference in any enactment or other instrument to the district judge for a district or of a county court is a reference to any district judge assigned to the district concerned.

(4)Every district judge is, by virtue of his office, capable of acting in any district whether or not assigned to it, but may do so only in accordance with arrangements made by or on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice.

(5)A district judge is to be paid such salary as may be determined by the Lord Chancellor with the concurrence of the Treasury.

(6)A salary payable under this section may be increased but not reduced by a determination or further determination under this section.

[F15(7)The Lord Chief Justice may nominate a judicial office holder (as defined in section 109(4) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005) to exercise his functions under subsection (2).F15F14]]

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Amendments (Textual)

F167. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

8[F17Deputy district judges]. E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Ss. 6-9 , 11, 12, amended by Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37), s. 125(3), Sch. 18 para. 42 which provides that: "(a) for the word "registrar" in each place where it occurs, except where it is in the context of assistant registrar or deputy registrar, there shall be substituted " district judge"; (b) for the words "assistant district judge"; and (c) for the words "deputy county court registrar" and "deputy registrar" in each place where they occur there shall be substituted "deputy district judge".

[F18(1)If it appears to the Lord Chancellor that it is expedient to do so in order to facilitate the disposal of business in the county courts, he may appoint a person to be a deputy district judge.

(1ZA)A person is qualified for appointment under subsection (1) only if the person—

(a)is qualified for appointment as a district judge, or

(b)holds, or has held, the office of district judge.

(1ZB)The Lord Chancellor may not appoint a person under subsection (1) without the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice if the person—

(a)holds the office of district judge, or

(b)ceased to hold the office of district judge within two years ending with the date when the appointment takes effect.

(1ZC)Section 85 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (c. 4) (selection of certain office holders) does not apply to an appointment to which subsection (1ZB) applies.]

[F19F18(1A)Any appointment of a person as a deputy district judge—

(a)[F20if subsection (1ZB) applies to the appointment,]F20 shall not be such as to extend beyond the day on which he attains the age of 75 years; and

(b)in any other case, shall not be such as to extend beyond the day on which he attains the age of 70 years, but subject to section 26(4) to (6) of the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993 (power to authorise continuance in office up to the age of 75).]

[F21(1B)The Lord Chief Justice, after consulting the Lord Chancellor—

(a)may assign a deputy district judge appointed under this section to one or more districts;

(b)may change an assignment so as to assign the deputy district judge to a different district or districts (or to no district).

(1C)A deputy district judge appointed under this section and assigned to a district has, while acting under his assignment, the same powers as if he were a district judge assigned to the district.

(1D)Every deputy district judge appointed under this section is, by virtue of his office, capable of acting as a district judge in any district to which he is not assigned, but may act in a district to which he is not assigned only in accordance with arrangements made by or on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice.]

F21(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)The Lord Chancellor may pay to any person appointed under this section as [deputy district judge]such remuneration and allowances as he may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine.

[F22(4)The Lord Chief Justice may nominate a judicial office holder (as defined in section 109(4) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005) to exercise his functions under subsection (1ZB) or (1B).F22]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Ss. 6-9 , 11, 12, amended by Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37), s. 125(3), Sch. 18 para. 42 which provides that: "(a) for the word "registrar" in each place where it occurs, except where it is in the context of assistant registrar or deputy registrar, there shall be substituted " district judge"; (b) for the words "assistant district judge"; and (c) for the words "deputy county court registrar" and "deputy registrar" in each place where they occur there shall be substituted "deputy district judge".

C2S. 8 restricted (31.3.1995) by 1993 c. 8, s. 26(7)(g) (with Sch. 7 paras. 2(2), 3(2), 4); S.I. 1995/631, art.2

9 Qualifications [F23for appointment as district judge]F23. E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C3Ss. 6–9, 11, 12 amended by Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37), s. 125(3), Sch. 18 para. 42 which provides that: “(a)for the word “registrar” in each place where it occurs, except where it is in the context of assistant registrar or deputy registrar, there shall be substituted “district judge”; (b)for the words “assistant registrar” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted “assistant district judge”; and(c)for the words “deputy county court registrar” and “deputy registrar” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted “deputy district judge”.”

No person shall be appointed a [F24district judge], F25. . . F26... unless [F27he satisfies the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 5-year basis.F27]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C3Ss. 6–9, 11, 12 amended by Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37), s. 125(3), Sch. 18 para. 42 which provides that: “(a)for the word “registrar” in each place where it occurs, except where it is in the context of assistant registrar or deputy registrar, there shall be substituted “district judge”; (b)for the words “assistant registrar” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted “assistant district judge”; and(c)for the words “deputy county court registrar” and “deputy registrar” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted “deputy district judge”.”

10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F28E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

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Amendments (Textual)

11 Tenure of office. E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C4Ss. 6–9, 11, 12 amended by Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37), s. 125(3), Sch. 18 para. 42 which provides that: “(a)for the word “registrar” in each place where it occurs, except where it is in the context of assistant registrar or deputy registrar, there shall be substituted “district judge”; (b)for the words “assistant registrar” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted “assistant district judge”; and(c)for the words “deputy county court registrar” and “deputy registrar” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted “deputy district judge”.”

[F29(1)This subsection applies to the office of district judge.

(2)Subject to the following provisions of this section and to subsections (4) to (6) of section 26 of the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993 (Lord Chancellor’s power to authorise continuance in office up to the age of 75), a person who holds an office to which subsection (1) applies shall vacate his office on the day on which he attains the age of 70 years.]

F30(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4)A person appointed to an office to which subsection (1) applies shall hold that office during good behaviour.

(5)The power to remove such a person from his office on account of misbehaviour shall be exercisable by the Lord Chancellor [F31, but only with the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice]F31.

(6)The Lord Chancellor may [F32, with the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice,]F32 also remove such a person from his office on account of inability to perform the duties of his office.

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Amendments (Textual)

F30S. 11(3) repealed and superseded (31.3.1995) by 1993 c. 8, ss. 26(4)-(6)(10), 31(4), Sch. 6 para. 17(4), Sch.9 (with Sch. 7 paras. 2(2), 3(2), 4); S.I. 1995/631, art.2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C4Ss. 6–9, 11, 12 amended by Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37), s. 125(3), Sch. 18 para. 42 which provides that: “(a)for the word “registrar” in each place where it occurs, except where it is in the context of assistant registrar or deputy registrar, there shall be substituted “district judge”; (b)for the words “assistant registrar” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted “assistant district judge”; and(c)for the words “deputy county court registrar” and “deputy registrar” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted “deputy district judge”.”

12 Records of proceedings to be kept by [F33district judges]. E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C5Ss. 6–9, 11, 12 amended by Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37), s. 125(3), Sch. 18 para. 42 which provides that: “(a)for the word “registrar” in each place where it occurs, except where it is in the context of assistant registrar or deputy registrar, there shall be substituted “district judge”; (b)for the words “assistant registrar” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted “assistant district judge”; and(c)for the words “deputy county court registrar” and “deputy registrar” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted “deputy district judge”.”

(1)The [F33district judge]for every district shall keep or cause to be kept such records of and in relation to proceedings in the court for that district as the Lord Chancellor may by regulations made by statutory instrument prescribe.

(2)Any entry in a book or other document required by the said regulations to be kept for the purposes of this section, or a copy of any such entry or document purporting to be signed and certified as a true copy by the [F33district judge], shall at all times without further proof be admitted in any court or place whatsoever as evidence of the entry and of the proceeding referred to by it and of the regularity of that proceeding.

[F34(3)The Lord Chancellor must consult the Lord Chief Justice before making regulations under this section.

(4)The Lord Chief Justice may nominate a judicial office holder (as defined in section 109(4) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005) to exercise his functions under this section.F34]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C5Ss. 6–9, 11, 12 amended by Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37), s. 125(3), Sch. 18 para. 42 which provides that: “(a)for the word “registrar” in each place where it occurs, except where it is in the context of assistant registrar or deputy registrar, there shall be substituted “district judge”; (b)for the words “assistant registrar” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted “assistant district judge”; and(c)for the words “deputy county court registrar” and “deputy registrar” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted “deputy district judge”.”

Miscellaneous provisions as to officersE+W

13 Officers of court not to act as [F35legal representatives]in that court.E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, no officer of a court shall, either by himself or his partner, be directly or indirectly engaged as [F35legal representative]or agent for any party in any proceedings in that court.

(2)Every person who contravenes this section shall for each offence be liable on summary conviction to a fine of an amount not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(3)Subsection (1) does not apply to a person acting as registrar by virtue of section 6(5).

(4)Subsection (1) does not apply to a deputy registrar; but a deputy registrar shall not act as such in relation to any proceedings in which he is, either by himself or his partner, directly or indirectly engaged as [F35legal representative]or agent for any party.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C6S. 13(1)(2) amended (1.1.1992) by S.I. 1991/2684, arts. 2(2), 4, Sch.2

14 Penalty for assaulting officers.E+W

(1)If any person assaults an officer of a court while in the execution of his duty, he shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to a fine of an amount not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or both; or

(b)on an order made by the judge in that behalf, to be committed for a specified period not exceeding 3 months to . . . F36prison . . . F36or to such a fine as aforesaid, or to be so committed and to such a fine,

and a bailiff of the court may take the offender into custody, with or without warrant, and bring him before the judge.

(2)The judge may at any time revoke an order committing a person to prison under this section and, if he is already in custody, order his discharge.

[F37(3)A district judge, assistant district judge or deputy district judge shall have the same powers under this section as a judge.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C7S. 14 restricted (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.4(2).

Part II E+W Jurisdiction and Transfer of Proceedings

Actions of contract and tortE+W

15 General jurisdiction in actions of contract and tort.E+W

(1)Subject to subsection (2), a county court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any action founded on contract or tort F38 . . ..

(2)A county court shall not, except as in this Act provided, have jurisdiction to hear and determine—

F39(a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(b)any action in which the title to F40 . . . any toll, fair, market or franchise is in question; or

(c)any action for libel of slander.

F41(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F38Words in s. 15(1) repealed by S.I. 1991/724, art. 2(8), Schedule PartI

F39S. 15(2)(a) repealed by S.I. 1991/724, art. 2(8), Schedule PartI

F40Words in s. 15(2)(b) repealed by S.I. 1991/724, art. 2(8), Schedule PartI

F41S. 15(3) repealed by S.I. 1991/724, art. 2(8), Schedule PartI

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

16 Money recoverable by statute.E+W

A county court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine an action for the recovery of a sum recoverable by virtue of any enactment for the time being in force, if—

(a)it is not provided by that or any other enactment that such sums shall only be recoverable in the High Court or shall only be recoverable summarily; F42 . . .

F42(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F42S. 16(b) and words in s. 16(a) repealed by S.I. 1991/724, art. 2(8), Schedule PartI

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

17 Abandonment of part of claim to give court jurisdiction.E+W

(1)Where a plaintiff has a cause of action for more than the county court limit in which, if it were not for more than the county court limit, a county court would have jurisdiction, the plaintiff may abandon the excess, and thereupon a county court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine the action, but the plaintiff shall not recover in the action an amount exceeding the county court limit.

(2)Where the court has jurisdiction to hear and determine an action by virtue of this section, the judgment of the court in the action shall be in full discharge of all demands in respect of the cause of action, and entry of the judgment shall be made accordingly.

18 Jurisdiction by agreement in certain actions.E+W

If the parties to any action, other than an action which, if commenced in the High Court, would have been assigned to the Chancery Division or to the Family Division or have involved the exercise of the High Court’s Admiralty jurisdiction, agree, by a memorandum signed by them or by their respective [F43legal representatives], that a county court specified in the memorandum shall have jurisdiction in the action, that court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine the action accordingly.

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Amendments (Textual)

F4419. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F4520. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

Recovery of land and cases where title in questionE+W

21 Actions for recovery of land and actions where title is in question.E+W

(1)A county court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any action for the recovery of land F46 . . ..

(2)A county court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any action in which the title to any hereditament comes in question, F47 . . .

F47(a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F47(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)Where a mortgage of land consists of or includes a dwelling-house and no part of the land is situated in Greater London then, subject to subsection (4), if a county court has jurisdiction by virtue of this section to hear and determine an action in which the mortgagee under that mortgage claims possession of the mortgaged property, no court other than a county court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine that action.

(4)Subsection (3) shall not apply to an action for foreclosure or sale in which a claim for possession of the mortgaged property is also made.

F48(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F48(6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(7)In this section—

  • dwelling-house” includes any building or part of a building which is used as a dwelling;

  • mortgage” includes a charge and “mortgagor” and “mortgagee” shall be construed accordingly;

  • mortgagor” and “mortgagee” includes any person deriving title under the original mortgagor or mortgagee.

(8)The fact that part of the premises comprised in a dwelling-house is used as a shop or office or for business, trade or professional purposes shall not prevent the dwelling-house from being a dwelling-house for the purposes of this section.

(9)This section does not apply to a mortgage securing an agreement which is a regulated agreement within the meaning of the M2Consumer Credit Act 1974.

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Amendments (Textual)

F46Words in s. 21(1) repealed by S.I. 1991/724, art. 2(8), Schedule PartI

F47Words in s. 21(2) and s. 21(2)(a)(b) repealed by S.I. 1991/724, art. 2(8) Schedule, PartI

F48S. 21(5)(6) repealed by S.I. 1991/724, art. 2(8), Schedule PartI

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

F4922. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

Equity proceedingsE+W

23 Equity jurisdiction.E+W

A county court shall have all the jurisdiction of the High Court to hear and determine—

(a)proceedings for the administration of the estate of a deceased person, where the estate does not exceed in amount or value the county court limit;

(b)proceedings—

(i)for the execution of any trust, or

(ii)for a declaration that a trust subsists, or

(iii)under section 1 of the M3Variation of Trusts Act 1958,

where the estate or fund subject, or alleged to be subject, to the trust does not exceed in amount or value the county court limit;

(c)proceedings for foreclosure or redemption of any mortgage or for enforcing any charge or lien, where the amount owing in respect of the mortgage, charge or lien does not exceed the county court limit;

(d)proceedings for the specific performance, or for the rectification, delivery up or cancellation, or any agreement for the sale, purchase or lease of any property, where, in the case of a sale or purchase, the purchase money, or in the case of a lease, the value of the property, does not exceed the county court limit;

(e)proceedings relating to the maintenance or advancement of a minor, where the property of the minor does not exceed in amount or value the county court limit;

(f)proceedings for the dissolution or winding-up of any partnership (whether or not the existence of the partnerships is in dispute), where the whole assets of the partnership do not exceed in amount or value the county court limit;

(g)proceedings for relief against fraud or mistake, where the damage sustained or the estate or fund in respect of which relief is sought does not exceed in amount or value the county court limit.

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Marginal Citations

24 Jurisdiction by agreement in certain equity proceedings.E+W

(1)If, as respects any proceedings to which this section applies, the parties agree, by a memorandum signed by them or by their respective [F50legal representatives] or agents, that a county court specified in the memorandum shall have jurisdiction in the proceedings, that court shall, notwithstanding anything in any enactment, have jurisdiction to hear and determine the proceedings accordingly.

(2)Subject to subsection (3), this section applies to any proceedings in which a county court would have jurisdiction by virtue of—

(a)section 113(3) of the M4Settled Land Act 1925,

(b)section 63A of the M5Trustee Act 1925,

(c)sections 3(7), F51 . . .49(4), 66(4), 89(7), 90(3), 91(8), 92(2), 136(3), F51 . . .181(2), 188(2) of, and paragraph 3A of Part III and paragraph 1(3A) and (4A) of Part IV of Schedule 1 to, the M6Law of Property Act 1925,

(d)sections 17(2), 38(4), 41(1A), and 43(4) of the M7Administration of Estates Act 1925,

(e)section 6(1) of the M8Leasehold Property (Repairs) Act 1938,

(f)sections 1(6A) and 5(11) of the M9Land Charges Act 1972, and

(g)sections 23 F52... of this Act,

but for the limits of the jurisdiction of the court provided in those enactments.

(3)This section does not apply to proceedings under section 1 of the M10Variation of Trusts Act 1958.

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Amendments (Textual)

F51Words in s. 24(2)(c) repealed by S.I. 1991/724, art. 2(8), Schedule PartI

F52Words in s. 24(2)(g) repealed (22.7.2004) by Statute Law (Repeals) Act 2004 (c. 14), s. 1(1), {Sch. 1 Pt. 1 Group 4}

Marginal Citations

Family provision proceedingsE+W

25 Jurisdiction under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.E+W

A county court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any application for an order under section 2 of the M11Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (including any application for permission to apply for such an order and any application made, in the proceedings on an application for such an order, for an order under any other provision of that Act) F53 . . ..

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Amendments (Textual)

F53Words in s. 25 repealed by S.I. 1991/724, art. 2(8), Schedule PartI

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

Admiralty proceedingsE+W

26 Districts for Admiralty purposes.E+W

(1)If at any time it appears expedient to the Lord Chancellor [F54and the Lord Chief Justice]F54 that any county court should have Admiralty jurisdiction, it shall be lawful for [F55the Lord Chancellor]F55, by order—

(a)to appoint that court to have, as from such date as may be specified in the order, such Admiralty jurisdiction as is provided in this Act; and

(b)to assign to that court as its district for Admiralty purposes any part or parts of any county court district or of two or more county court districts.

(2)Where a district has been so assigned to a court as its district for Admiralty purposes, the parts of the sea (if any) adjacent to that district to a distance of 3 miles from the shore thereof shall be deemed to be included in that district, and the judge and all officers of the court shall have jurisdiction and authority for those purposes throughout that district as if it were the district for the court for all purposes.

(3)Where an order is made under this section for the discontinuance of the Admiralty jurisdiction of any county court, whether wholly or within a part of the district assigned to it for Admiralty purposes, provision may be made in the order with respect to any Admiralty proceedings commenced in that court before the order comes into operation.

(4)The power to make orders under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument.

[F56(5)The Lord Chief Justice may nominate a judicial office holder (as defined in section 109(4) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005) to exercise his functions under this section.F56]

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Amendments (Textual)

27 Admiralty jurisdiction.E+W

(1)Subject to the limitations of amount specified in subsection (2), an Admiralty county court shall have the following Admiralty jurisdiction, that is to say, jurisdiction to hear and determine—

(a)any claim for damage received by a ship;

(b)any claim for damage done by a ship;

(c)any claim for loss of life or personal injury sustained in consequence of any defect in a ship or in her apparel or equipment, or in consequence of the wrongful act neglect or default of—

(i)the owners, charterers or persons in possession or control of a ship; or

(ii)the master or crew of a ship, or any other person for whose wrongful acts, neglects or defaults the owners, charterers or persons in possession or control of a ship are responsible,

being an act, neglect or default in the navigation or management of the ship, in the loading, carriage or discharge of goods on, in or from the ship, or in the embarkation, carriage or disembarkation of persons on, in or from the ship;

(d)any claim for loss of or damage to goods carried in a ship;

(e)any claim arising out of any agreement relating to the carriage of goods in a ship or to the use or hire of a ship;

[F57(f)any claim—

(i)under the Salvage Convention 1989;

(ii)under any contract for or in relation to salvage services; or

(iii)in the nature of salvage not falling within (i) or (ii) above;

or any corresponding claim in connection with an aircraft;]

(g)any claim in the nature of towage in respect of a ship or an aircraft;

(h)any claim in the nature of pilotage in respect of a ship or an aircraft;

(j)any claim in respect of goods or materials supplied to a ship for her operation or maintenance;

(k)any claim in respect of the construction, repair or equipment of a ship or dock charges or dues;

(l)any claim by a master or member of the crew of a ship for wages (including any sum allotted out of wages or adjudged by a superintendent to be due by way of wages);

(m)any claim by a master, shipper, charterer or agent in respect of disbursements made on account of a ship.

(2)The limitations of amount referred to in subsection (1) are that the court shall not have jurisdiction to hear and determine—

(a)a claim [F58falling within paragraph (f) of that subsection] where the value of the property saved exceeds £15,000; or

(b)any other claim mentioned in that subsection for an amount exceeding £5,000.

[F59(3)In subsection (1)(f)—

(a)the “Salvage Convention 1989” means the International Convention on Salvage, 1989 as it has effect under [F60section 224 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995];

(b)the reference to salvage services includes services rendered in saving life from a ship and the reference to any claim under any contract for or in relation to salvage services includes any claim arising out of such a contract whether or not arising during the provision of the services;

(c)the reference to a corresponding claim in connection with an aircraft is a reference to any claim corresponding to any claim mentioned in sub-paragraph (i) or (ii) of paragraph (f) which is available under section 87 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982.]

(4)Subject to subsection (5), subsections (1) to (3) apply—

(a)in relation to all ships or aircraft whether British or not and whether registered or not and wherever the residence or domicile of their owners may be, and

(b)in relation to all claims, wheresoever arising (including, in the case of cargo or wreck salvage, claims in respect of cargo or wreck found on land).

(5)Nothing in subsection (4) shall be construed as extending the cases in which money or property is recoverable under any of the provisions of the [F61Merchant Shipping Acts 1995].

(6)If, as regards any proceedings as to any such claim as is mentioned in subsection (1), the parties agree, by a memorandum signed by them or by their respective [F62legal representatives] or agents, that a particular county court specified in the memorandum shall have jurisdiction in the proceedings, that court shall, notwithstanding anything in subsection (2) or in [F63rules of court] for prescribing the courts in which proceedings shall be brought, have jurisdiction to hear and determine the proceedings accordingly.

(7)Nothing in this section shall be taken to affect the jurisdiction of any county court to hear and determine any proceedings in which it has jurisdiction by virtue of section 15 or 17.

(8)Nothing in this section, or in section 26 or in any order made under that section, shall be taken to confer on a county court the jurisdiction of a prize court within the meaning of the Naval Prize Acts 1864 to 1916.

(9)No county court shall have jurisdiction to determine any claim or question certified by the Secretary of State to be a claim or question which, under the Rhine Navigation Convention, falls to be determined in accordance with the provisions of that Convention; and any proceedings to enforce such a claim which are commenced in a county court shall be set aside.

(10)In subsection (9) “the Rhine Navigation Convention” means the Convention of the 7th October 1868 as revised by any subsequent Convention.

F64(11). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F58Words in s. 27(2) substituted (1.1.1995) by 1994 c. 28, s. 1(6), Sch. 2 para. 7(3); S.I. 1994/2971, art. 2, Sch.

F60Words in s. 27(3)(a) substituted (1.1.1996) by 1995 c. 21, ss. 314(2), 316(2), Sch. 13 para. 72(2)(a).

F61Words in s. 27(5) substituted (1.1.1996) by 1995 c. 21, ss. 314(2), 316(2), Sch. 13 para. 72(2)(b)

F63Words in s. 27(6) substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, arts. 3(b), 4(c)

F64S. 27(11) repealed (1.1.1996) by 1995 c. 21, ss. 314(1), 316(2), Sch. 12.

28 Mode of exercise of Admiralty jurisdiction.E+W

(1)The following provisions of this section shall apply to cases within the Admiralty jurisdiction of a county court.

(2)Subject to the following provisions of this Part of this Act, an action in personam may be brought in all such cases.

(3)In any case in which there is a maritime lien or other charge on any ship, aircraft or other property for the amount claimed, an action in rem may be brought in a county court against that ship, aircraft or property.

(4)In the case of any such claim as is mentioned in paragraphs (b) to (m) of section 27(1), where—

(a)the claim arises in connection with a ship; and

(b)the person who would be liable on the claim in an action in personam (“the relevant person”) was, when the cause of action arose, the owner or charterer of, or in possession of or in control of, the ship,

an action in rem may (whether or not the claim gives rise to a maritime lien on that ship) be brought in a county court against—

(i)that ship if at the time when the action is brought the relevant person is either the beneficial owner of that ship as respects all the shares in it or the charterer of it under a charter by demise; or

(ii)any other ship of which, at the time when the action is brought, the relevant person is the beneficial owner as respects all the shares in it.

(5)In the case of a claim in the nature of towage or pilotage in respect of an aircraft, an action in rem may be brought in a county court against that aircraft if, at the time when the action is brought, it is beneficially owned by the person who would be liable on the claim in an action in personam.

(6)Where, in the exercise of its Admiralty jurisdiction, a county court orders any ship, aircraft or other property to be sold, the court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any question arising as to the title to the proceeds of sale.

(7)In determining for the purposes of subsections (4) and (5) whether a person would be liable on a claim in an action in personam it shall be assumed that he has his habitual residence or a place of business within England or Wales.

(8)Where, as regards any such claim as is mentioned in section 27(1)(b) to (m), a ship has been served with a summons or arrested in an action in rem brought to enforce that claim, no other ship may be served with a summons or arrested in that or any other action in rem brought to enforce that claim; but this subsection does not prevent the issue, in respect of any one such claim, of a summons naming more than one ship or of two or more summonses each naming a different ship.

(9)A county court may issue a warrant for the arrest and detention of any vessel, aircraft or property to which an action in rem brought in the court relates unless or until bail to the amount of the claim made in the action and the reasonable costs of the plaintiff in the action be entered into and perfected by or on behalf of the defendant.

(10)Except as provided by subsection (9), no vessel, aircraft or property shall be arrested or detained in Admiralty proceedings in a county court otherwise than in execution.

(11)Where—

(a)a vessel, aircraft or other property would or might be sold under an execution to enforce a judgment or order given or made by a county court in Admiralty proceedings; and

(b)the owner of the vessel, aircraft or property desires that the sale should be conducted in the High Court instead of in the county court,

he shall be entitled, on giving security for costs, and subject to such other provisions as may be prescribed, to obtain an order of the county court for transfer of the proceedings for sale, with or without (as the judge of the county court thinks fit) the transfer of any subsequent proceedings to the High Court.

(12)On an appeal by a party to any Admiralty proceedings, the Court of Appeal, if it appears to it expedient that any sale ordered to be made of the vessel, aircraft or other property to which the proceedings relate should be conducted in the High Court instead of in the county court, may direct the transfer of the proceedings for sale, with or without the transfer of the subsequent proceedings, to the High Court.

(13)Where an action is transferred to a county court under section 40, any vessel, aircraft or other property which has been arrested in the action before the transfer shall, notwithstanding the transfer, remain in the custody of the Admiralty Marshal who shall, subject to any directions of the High Court, comply with any orders, made by the county court with respect to that vessel, aircraft or property.

F6529. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

30 Restrictions on entertainment of actions in personam in collision and other similar cases.E+W

(1)The claims to which this section applies are claims for damage, loss of life or personal injury arising—

(a)out of a collision between ships;

(b)out of the carrying out of or omission to carry out a manoeuvre in the case of one or more of two or more ships; or

(c)out of the non-compliance, on the part of one or more of two or more ships [F66with safety regulations under section 85 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995]

(2)No county court shall entertain an action in personam to enforce a claim to which this section applies unless—

(a)the defendant has his habitual residence or a place of business within England and Wales; or

(b)the cause of action arose within inland waters of England and Wales or within the limits of a port of England and Wales; or

(c)an action arising out of the same incident or series of incidents is proceeding in the court or has been heard and determined in the court.

(3)In subsection (2)—

  • inland waters” includes any part of the sea adjacent to the coast of the United Kingdom certified by the Secretary of State to be waters falling by international law to be treated as within the territorial sovereignty of Her Majesty apart from the operation of that law in relation to territorial waters; and

  • port” means any port, harbour, river, estuary, haven, dock, canal or other place so long as a person or body of persons is empowered by or under an Act to make charges in respect of ships entering it or using the facilities in it, and “limits of a port” means the limits thereof as fixed by or under the Act in question or, as the case may be, by the relevant charter or custom;

  • charges” means any charges with the exception of light dues, local light dues and any other charges in respect of lighthouses, buoys or beacons and of charges in respect of pilotage.

(4)No county court shall entertain an action in personam to enforce a claim to which this section applies until any proceedings previously brought by the plaintiff in any court outside England and Wales against the same defendant in respect of the same incident or series of incidents have been discontinued or otherwise come to an end.

(5)Subsections (1) to (4) shall apply to counterclaims (except counterclaims in proceedings arising out of the same incident or series of incidents) as they apply to actions in personam, but as if the references to the plaintiff and the defendant were respectively references to the plaintiff on the counterclaim and the defendant to the counterclaim.

(6)Subsections (1) to (5) shall not apply to any action or counterclaim if the defendant submits or has agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of the court.

(7)Nothing in this section shall prevent an action or counterclaim which is brought in accordance with the provisions of this section in a county court being transferred, in accordance with the enactments in that behalf, to some other court (whether a county court or not).

(8)This section applies in relation to the jurisdiction of any county court not being Admiralty jurisdiction, as well as in relation to its Admiralty jurisdiction, if any.

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Amendments (Textual)

F66Words in s. 30(1)(c) substituted (1.1.1996) by 1995 c. 21, ss. 314(2), 316(2), Sch. 13 para. 72(3)

31 Admiralty—interpretation.E+W

(1)In the provisions of this Part of this Act relating to Admiralty proceedings, unless the context otherwise requires,—

  • goods” includes baggage;

  • master” has the same meaning as in the [F67Merchant Shipping Act 1995], and accordingly includes every person (except a pilot) having command or charge of a ship;

  • towage” and “pilotage”, in relation to an aircraft, mean towage and pilotage while the aircraft is waterborne.

(2)Nothing in those provisions shall—

(a)be construed as limiting the jurisdiction of a county court to refuse to entertain an action for wages by the master or a member of the crew of a ship, not being a British ship;

(b)affect section [F68226 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995] (power of receiver of wreck to detain a ship in respect of a salvage claim);

(c)authorise proceedings in rem in respect of any claim against the Crown, or the arrest, detention or sale of any of Her Majesty’s ships or Her Majesty’s aircraft, or of any cargo or other property belonging to the Crown.

(3)In subsection (2) “Her Majesty’s ships” and “Her Majesty’s aircraft” have the meanings given by section 38(2) of the M12Crown Proceedings Act 1947.

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Amendments (Textual)

F67Words in s. 31(1) substituted (1.1.1996) by 1995 c. 21, ss. 314(2), 316(2), Sch. 13 para. 72(4)(a)

F68Words in s. 31(2)(b) substituted (1.1.1996) by 1995 c. 21, ss. 314(2), 316(2), Sch. 13 para. 72(4)(b)

Marginal Citations

Probate proceedingsE+W

[F6932 Contentious probate jurisdiction.E+W

(1)Where—

(a)an application for the grant or revocation of probate or administration has been made through the principal registry of the Family Division or a district probate registry under section 105 of the [F70Senior Courts Act 1981]F70; and

(b)it is shown to the satisfaction of a county court that the value at the date of the death of the deceased of his net estate does not exceed the county court limit,

the county court shall have the jurisdiction of the High Court in respect of any contentious matter arising in connection with the grant or revocation.

(2)In subsection (1) “net estate”, in relation to a deceased person, means the estate of that person exclusive of any property he was possessed of or entitled to as a trustee and not beneficially, and after making allowances for funeral expenses and for debts and liabilities.]

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Amendments (Textual)

33 Effect of order of judge in probate proceedings.E+W

Where an order is made by . . . F71a county court for the grant or revocation of probate or administration, in pursuance of any jurisdiction conferred upon [F72the court]by section 32—

(a)the registrar of the county court shall transmit to the principal registry of the Family Division or a district probate registry, as he thinks convenient, a certificate under the seal of the court certifying that the order has been made; and

(b)on the application of a party in favour of whom the order has been made, probate or administration in compliance with the order shall be issued from the registry to which the certificate was sent or, as the case may require, the probate or letters of administration previously granted shall be recalled or varied by, as the case may be, a registrar of the principal registry of the Family Division or the district probate registrar according to the effect of the order.

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Amendments (Textual)

Miscellaneous provisions as to jurisdictionE+W

F7334. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

35 Division of causes of action.E+W

It shall not be lawful for any plaintiff to divide any cause of action for the purpose of bringing two or more actions in one or more of the county courts.

36 No action on judgment of High Court.E+W

No action shall be brought in a county court on any judgment of the High Court.

Exercise of jurisdiction and ancillary jurisdictionE+W

37 Persons who may exercise jurisdiction of court.E+W

(1)Any jurisdiction and powers conferred by this or any other Act—

(a)on a county court; or

(b)on the judge of a county court,

may be exercised by any judge of the court.

(2)Subsection (1) applies to jurisdiction and powers conferred on all county courts or judges of county courts or on any particular county court or the judge of any particular county court.

[F7438 Remedies available in county courts.E+W

(1)Subject to what follows, in any proceedings in a county court the court may make any order which could be made by the the High Court if the proceedings were in the High Court.

(2)Any order made by a county court may be –

(a)absolute or conditional;

(b)final or interlocutory.

(3)A county court shall not have power –

(a)to order mandamus, certiorari or prohibition; or

(b)to make any order of a prescribed kind.

(4)Regulations under subsection (3) –

(a)may provide for any of their provisions not to apply in such circumstances or descriptions of case as may be specified in the regulations;

(b)may provide for the transfer of the proceedings to the High Court for the purpose of enabling an order of a kind prescribed under subsection (3) to be made;

(c)F75. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(d)may make provision amending or repealing any provision made by or under any enactment, so far as may be necessary or expedient in consequence of the regulations.

[F76(4A)If regulations are made under subsection (3), rules may be made in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 about procedure relevant to the matters prescribed in the regulations.]

F76(5)In this section “prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made [F77under this section by the Lord Chancellor after consulting the Lord Chief Justice]F77.

(6)The power to make regulations under this section shall be exercised by statutory instrument.

(7)No such statutory instrument shall be made unless a draft of the instrument has been approved by both Houses of Parliament.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F74S. 38 commencing "Subject to what follows" substituted (1.7.1991) for s. 38 commencing "Every county court" and s. 39 by Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37), s. 3

39. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Transfer of proceedingsE+W

[F7840 Transfer of proceedings to county court.E+W

(1)Where the High Court is satisfied that any proceedings before it are required by any provision of a kind mentioned in subsection (8) to be in a county court it shall–

(a)order the transfer of the proceedings to a county court; or

(b)if the court is satisfied that the person bringing the proceedings knew, or ought to have known, of that requirement, order that they be struck out.

(2)Subject to any such provision, the High Court may order the transfer of any proceedings before it to a county court.

(3)An order under this section may be made either on the motion of the High Court itself or on the application of any party to the proceedings.

(4)Proceedings transferred under this section shall be transferred to such county court as the High Court considers appropriate, having taken into account the convenience of the parties and that of any other persons likely to be affected and the state of business in the courts concerned.

(5)The transfer of any proceedings under this section shall not affect any right of appeal from the order directing the transfer.

(6)Where proceedings for the enforcement of any judgment or order of the High Court are transferred under this section–

(a)the judgment or order may be enforced as if it were a judgment or order of a county court; and

(b)subject to subsection (7), it shall be treated as a judgment or order of that court for all purposes.

(7)Where proceedings for the enforcement of any judgment or order of the High Court are transferred under this section—

(a)the powers of any court to set aside, correct, vary or quash a judgment or order of the High Court, and the enactments relating to appeals from such a judgment or order, shall continue to apply; and

(b)the powers of any court to set aside, correct, vary or quash a judgment or order of a county court, and the enactments relating to appeals from such a judgment or order, shall not apply.

(8)The provisions referred to in subsection (1) are any made–

(a)under section 1 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990; or

(b)by or under any other enactment.

(9)This section does not apply to family proceedings within the meaning of Part V of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C12S. 40(2) restricted by S.I. 1991/724, art. 7(5)

41 Transfer to High Court by order of High Court.E+W

(1)If at any stage in proceedings commenced in a county court or transferred to a county court under section 40, the High Court thinks it desirable that the proceedings, or any part of them, should be heard and determined in the High Court, it may order the transfer to the High court of the proceedings or, as the case may be, of that part of them.

(2)The power conferred by subsection (1) is without prejudice to section 29 of the [F79Senior Courts Act 1981]F79(power of High Court to issue prerogative orders) [F80but shall be exercised in relation to family proceedings (within the meaning of Part V of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984) in accordance with any directions given under section 37 of that Act (directions as to distribution and transfer of family business and proceedings).]

[F81(3)The power conferred by subsection (1) shall be exercised subject to any provision made–

(a)under section 1 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990; or

(b)by or under any other enactment.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C14S. 41(1) restricted by S.I. 1991/724, art. 7(5)

[F8242 Transfer to High Court by order of a county court.E+W

(1)Where a county court is satisfied that any proceedings before it are required by any provision of a kind mentioned in subsection (7) to be in the High Court, it shall–

(a)order the transfer of the proceedings to the High Court; or

(b)if the court is satisfied that the person bringing the proceedings knew, or ought to have known, of that requirement, order that they be struck out.

(2)Subject to any such provision, a county court may order the transfer of any proceedings before it to the High Court.

(3)An order under this section may be made either on the motion of the court itself or on the application of any party to the proceedings.

(4)The transfer of any proceedings under this section shall not affect any right of appeal from the order directing the transfer.

(5)Where proceedings for the enforcement of any judgment or order of a county court are transferred under this section–

(a)the judgment or order may be enforced as if it were a judgment or order of the High Court; and

(b)subject to subsection (6), it shall be treated as a judgment or order of that court for all purposes.

(6)Where proceedings for the enforcement of any judgment or order of a county court are transferred under this section—

(a)the powers of any court to set aside, correct, vary or quash a judgment or order of a county court, and the enactments relating to appeals from such a judgment or order, shall continue to apply; and

(b)the powers of any court to set aside, correct, vary or quash a judgment or order of the High Court, and the enactments relating to appeals from such a judgment or order, shall not apply.

(7)The provisions referred to in subsection (1) are any made–

(a)under section 1 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990; or

(b)by or under any other enactment.

(8)This section does not apply to family proceedings within the meaning of Part V of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C15S. 42(2) restricted by S.I. 1991/724, art. 7(5)

F8343. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F8444. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

45 Costs in transferred cases. E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C16S. 45 excluded by S.I. 1988/1328, rule 23

(1)Where an action, counterclaim or matter is ordered to be transferred—

(a)from the High Court to a county court; or

(b)from a county court to the High Court; or

(c)from one county court to another county court,

the costs of the whole proceedings both before and after the transfer shall, subject to any order of the court which ordered the transfer, be in the discretion of the court to which the proceedings are transferred; and that court shall have power to make orders with respect to the costs F85. . ., and the costs of the whole proceedings shall be taxed in that court.

F86(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C16S. 45 excluded by S.I. 1988/1328, rule 23

Part III E+W Procedure

PartiesE+W

46 Proceedings by the CrownE+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of any enactment limiting the jurisdiction of a county court, whether by reference to the subject matter of the proceedings to be brought or the amount sought to be recovered in the proceedings or otherwise, proceedings by the Crown may be instituted in a county court.

(2)Subject to section 40(5), all rules of law and enactments regulating the removal or transfer of proceedings from a county court to the High Court and the transfer of proceedings in the High Court to a county court shall apply respectively to the removal or transfer of proceedings by the Crown in a county court and to the transfer of proceedings by the Crown in the High Court.

(3)Nothing in this section shall apply to proceedings affecting Her Majesty in Her private capacity.

F8747. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

48 Persons jointly liable.E+W

(1)Where a plaintiff has a demand recoverable under this Act against two or more persons jointly liable, it shall be sufficient to serve any of those persons with process, and judgment may be obtained and execution issued against any person so served, notwithstanding that others jointly liable may not have been served or sued or may not be within the jurisdiction of the court.

(2)Where judgment is so obtained against any person by virtue of subsection (1) and is satisfied by that person, he shall be entitled to recover in the court contribution from any other person jointly liable with him.

49 Bankruptcy of plaintiff.E+W

(1)The bankruptcy of the plaintiff in any action in a county court which the trustee might maintain for the benefit of the creditors shall not cause the action to abate if, within such reasonable time as the court orders, the trustee elects to continue the action and to give security for the costs of the action.

(2)The hearing of the action may be adjourned until such an election is made.

(3)Where the trustee does not elect to continue the action and to give such security as is mentioned in subsection (1) within the time limited by the order, the defendant may avail himself of the bankruptcy as a defence to the action.

Interim payments in pending proceedingsE+W

50 Orders for interim payment.E+W

(1)Provision may be made by [F88rules of court] for enabling the court, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, to make an order requiring a party to the proceedings to make an interim payment of such amount as may be specified in the order, with provision for the payment to be made to such other party to the proceedings as may be so specified or, if the order so provides, by paying it into court.

(2)Any [F88rules of court] which make provision in accordance with subsection (1) may include provision for enabling a party to any proceedings who, in pursuance of such an order, has made an interim payment to recover the whole or part of the amount of the payment in such circumstances, and from such other party to the proceedings, as may be determined in accordance with the rules.

(3)Any rules made by virtue of this section may include such incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as the [F89Civil Procedure Rule Committee] may consider necessary or expedient.

(4)Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the exercise of any power relating to costs, including any power to make [F88rules of court] relating to costs.

(5)In this section “interim payment”, in relation to a party to any proceedings, means a payment on account of any damages, debt or other sum (excluding any costs) which that party may be held liable to pay to or for the benefit of another party to the proceedings if a final judgment or order of the court in the proceedings is given or made in favour of that other party; and any reference to a party to any proceedings includes a reference to any person who for the purposes of the proceedings acts as next friend or guardian of a party to the proceedings.

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Amendments (Textual)

F88Words in s. 50(1)(2)(4) substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3.

F89Words in s. 50(3) substituted (26.4.1999) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(3); S.I. 1999/1009, art. 3(f)

Provisional damages for personal injuriesE+W

51 Orders for provisional damages for personal injuries.E+W

(1)This section applies to an action for damages for personal injuries in which there is proved or admitted to be a chance that at some definite or indefinite time in the future the injured person will, as a result of the act or omission which gave rise to the cause of action, develop some serious disease or suffer some serious deterioration in his physical or mental condition.

(2)Subject to subsection (4), as regards any action for damages to which this section applies in which a judgment is given in the county court, provision may be made by [F90rules of court]for enabling the court, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, to award the injured person—

(a)damages assessed on the assumption that the injured person will not develop the disease or suffer the deterioration in his condition; and

(b)further damages at a future date if he develops the disease or suffers the deterioration.

(3)Any rules made by virtue of this section may include such incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as the [F91Civil Procedure Rule Committee]may consider necessary or expedient.

(4)Nothing in this section shall be construed—

(a)as affecting the exercise of any power relating to costs, including any power to make [F90rules of court] relating to costs; or

(b)as prejudicing any duty of the court under any enactment or rule of law to reduce or limit the total damages which would have been recoverable apart from any such duty.

(5)In this section “personal injuries” includes any disease and any impairment of a person’s physical or mental condition.

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Amendments (Textual)

F90Words in s. 51(2)(4)(a) substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3.

F91Words in s. 51(3) substituted (26.4.1999) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(3); S.I. 1999/1009, art. 3(f)

Discovery and related proceduresE+W

52 Powers of court exercisable before commencement of action.E+W

(1)On the application of any person in accordance with [F92rules of court], a county court shall, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, have power to make an order providing for any one or more of the following matters, that is to say—

(a)the inspection, photographing, preservation, custody and detention of property which appears to the court to be property which may become the subject-matter of subsequent proceedings in the court, or as to which any question may arise in any such proceedings; and

(b)the taking of samples of any such property as is mentioned in paragraph (a), and the carrying out of any experiment on or with any such property.

(2)On the application, in accordance with [F92rules of court], of a person who appears to a county court to be likely to be a party to subsequent proceedings in that court F93. . . the county court shall, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, have power to order a person who appears to the court to be likely to be a party to the proceedings and to be likely to have or to have had in his possession, custody or power any documents which are relevant to an issue arising or likely to arise out of that claim—

(a)to disclose whether those documents are in his possession, custody or power; and

(b)to produce such of those documents as are in his possession, custody or power to the applicant or, on such conditions as may be specified in the order,—

(i)to the applicant’s legal advisers; or

(ii)to the applicant’s legal advisers and any medical or other professional adviser of the applicant; or

(iii)if the applicant has no legal adviser, to any medical or other professional adviser of the applicant.

[F94(3)This section is subject to any provision made under section 38,]

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Amendments (Textual)

F92Words in s. 52(1)(2) substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3.

F93Words in s. 52(2) omitted (26.4.1999) by S.I. 1998/2940, arts. 1, 6(b); S.I. 1998/3132

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C17Power to amend s. 52(2) conferred (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 8(1); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3.

53 Power of court to order disclosure of documents, inspection of property etc. in proceedings for personal injuries or death.E+W

F95(1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(2)On the application, in accordance with [F96rules of court], of a party to any proceedings F97. . ., a county court shall, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, have power to order a person who is not a party to the proceedings and who appears to the court to be likely to have in his possession, custody or power any documents which are relevant to an issue arising out of the said claim—

(a)to disclose whether those documents are in his possession, custody or power; and

(b)to produce such of those documents as are in his possession, custody or power to the applicant or, on such conditions as may be specified in the order,—

(i)to the applicant’s legal advisers; or

(ii)to the applicant’s legal advisers and any medical or other professional adviser of the applicant; or

(iii)if the applicant has no legal adviser, to any medical or other professional adviser of the applicant.

(3)On the application, in accordance with [F96rules of court], of a party to any proceedings F97. . ., a county court shall, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, have power to make an order providing for any one or more of the following matters, that is to say—

(a)the inspection, photographing, preservation, custody and detention of property which is not the propery of, or in the possession of, any party to the proceedings but which is the subject-matter of the proceedings or as to which any question arises in the proceedings;

(b)the taking of samples of any such property as is mentioned in paragraph (a) and the carrying out of any experiment on or with any such property.

(4)The preceding provisions of this section are without prejudice to the exercise by a county court of any power to make orders which is exercisable apart from those provisions.

[F98(5)This section is subject to any provision made under section 38,]

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Amendments (Textual)

F96Words in s. 53(2)(3) substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3.

F97Words in s. 53(2)(3) omitted (26.4.1999) by S.I. 1998/2940, arts. 1, 6(c)(ii); S.I. 1998/3132

54 Provisions supplementary to sections 52 and 53.E+W

(1)A county court shall not make an order under section 52 or 53 if it considers that compliance with the order, if made, would be likely to be injurious to the public interest.

(2)[F99Rules of court] may make provision as to the circumstances in which an order under section 52 or 53 can be made; and any rules making such provision may include such incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as the [F100Civil Procedure Rule Committee] may consider necessary or expedient.

(3)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), [F99rules of court] shall be made for the purpose of ensuring that the costs of and incidental to proceedings for an order under section 52(2) or 53 incurred by the person against whom the order is sought shall be awarded to that person unless the court otherwise directs.

(4)Sections 52(2) and 53 and this section bind the Crown; and section 52(1) binds the Crown so far as it relates to property as to which it appears to the court that it may become the subject-matter of subsequent proceedings involving a claim in respect of personal injuries to a person or in respect of a person’s death.

In this subsection references to the Crown do not include references to Her Majesty in Her private capacity or to Her Majesty in right of Her Duchy of Lancaster or to the Duke of Cornwall.

(5)In sections 52 and 53 and this section—

  • property” includes any land, chattel or other corporeal property of any description;

  • personal injuries”includes any disease and any impairment of a person’s physical or mental condition.

[F101(6)This section is subject to any provision made under section 38,]

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Amendments (Textual)

F99Words in s. 54(2)(3) substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3.

F100Words in s. 54(2) substituted (26.4.1999) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(3); S.I. 1999/1009, art. 3(f)

Witnesses and evidenceE+W

55 Penalty for neglecting or refusing to give evidence.E+W

(1)Subject to subsections (2) and (3), any person who—

(a)having been summoned in pursuance of [F102rules of court] as a witness in a county court refuses or neglects, without sufficient cause, to appear or to produce any documents required by the summons to be produced; or

(b)having been so summoned or being present in court and being required to give evidence, refuses to be sworn or give evidence,

shall forfeit such fine as the judge may direct.

(2)A judge shall not have power under subsection (1) to direct that a person shall forfeit a fine of an amount exceeding [F103£1,000].

(3)No person summoned in pursuance of [F102rules of court] as a witness in a county court shall forfeit a fine under this section unless there has been paid or tendered to him at the time of the service of the summons such sum in respect of his expenses (including, in such cases as may be prescribed, compensation for loss of time) as may be prescribed for the purposes of this section.

(4)The judge may at his discretion direct that the whole or any part of any such fine, after deducting the costs, shall be applicable towards indemnifying the party injured by the refusal or neglect.

[F104(4A)A district judge, assistant district judge or deputy district judge shall have the same powers under this section as a judge.]

(5)This section does not apply to a debtor summoned to attend by a judgment summons.

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Amendments (Textual)

F102Words in s. 55 substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2), S.I. 1997/841, art. 3(b), 4(c)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C19Power to amend s. 55(2) conferred (1.10.1992) by Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (c. 43, SIF 82), s. 143(3), Sch. 6A (as substituted (1.10.1992) by Criminal Justice Act 1991 (c. 53, SIF 39:1), s. 17(3), Sch. 4 Pt. IV (with s. 28); S.I. 1992/333, art. 2(2), Sch. 2)

56 Examination of witnesses abroad.E+W

The High Court shall have the same power to issue a commission, request or order to examine witnesses abroad for the purpose of proceedings in a county court as it has for the purpose of an action or matter in the High Court.

57 Evidence of prisoners.E+W

(1)Subject to subsection (2), in any proceedings pending before a county court, the judge may, if he thinks fit, upon application on affidavit by any party, issue an order under his hand for bringing up before the court any person (in this section referred to as a “prisoner”) confined in any place under any sentence or under committal for trial or otherwise, to be examined as a witness in the proceedings.

(2)No such order shall be made with respect to a person confined under process in any civil action or matter.

(3)Subject to subsection (4), the prisoner mentioned in any such order shall be brought before the court under the same custody, and shall be dealt with in the same manner in all respects, as a prisoner required by a writ of habeas corpus to be brought before the High Court and examined there as a witness.

(4)The person having the custody of the prisoner shall not be bound to obey the order unless there is tendered to him a reasonable sum for the conveyance and maintenance of a proper officer or officers and of the prisoner in going to, remaining at, and returning from, the court.

58 Persons who may take affidavits for use in county courts.E+W

(1)An affidavit to be used in a county court may be sworn before—

(a)the judge or registrar of any court; or

(b)any justice of the peace; or

(c)an officer of any court appointed by the judge of that court for the purpose,

as well as before [F105a commissioner for oaths or any other person]authorised to take affidavits under the Commissioners for Oaths Acts 1889 and 1891 . . . F106.

(2)An affidavit sworn before a judge or registrar or before any such officer may be sworn without the payment of any fee.

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Amendments (Textual)

59 Evidence in Admiralty proceedings.E+W

(1)In any Admiralty proceedings, evidence taken before a registrar of an Admiralty county court, in accordance with the directions of a judge or pursuant to [F107rules of court], may be received as evidence in any other Admiralty county court.

(2)The registrar of any Admiralty county court shall, for the purpose of the examination of any witness within the district assigned to that court for Admiralty purposes, have all the power of an examiner of the High Court, and evidence taken by him in that capacity may be received as evidence in the High Court.

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Amendments (Textual)

F107Words in s. 59 substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3(b), 4(c)

Right of audienceE+W

60 Right of audience. E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

(1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F108

(2)Where an action is brought in a county court by a local authority for either or both of the following—

(a)the recovery of possession of a house belonging to the authority;

(b)the recovery of any rent, mesne profits, damages or other sum claimed by the authority in respect of the occupation by any person of such a house,

then, in so far as the proceedings in the action are heard by the registrar, any officer of the authority authorised by the authority in that behalf, . . . F109 may address the registrar . . . F109.

(3)In this section—

  • local authority” means a county council, . . . F110 a district council [F111the Broads Authority], [F112any National Park authority,]a London borough council [F113, a police authority established under [F114section 3 of thePolice Act 1996]] , [F115the Metropolitan Police Authority]...[F116[F117the Inner London Education Authority], a joint authority established by Part IV of the Local Government Act 1985, [F118an economic prosperity board established under section 88 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009, a combined authority established under section 103 of that Act,F118]][F119an authority established for an area in England by an order under section 207 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 (joint waste authorities),F119][F120the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority,]or the Common Council of the City of London; and

  • house” includes a part of a house, a flat or any other dwelling and also includes any yard, garden, outhouse or appurtenance occupied with a house or part of a house or with a flat or other dwelling,

and any reference to the occupation of a house by a person includes a reference to anything done by that person, or caused or permitted by him to be done, in relation to the house as occupier of the house, whether under a tenancy or licence or otherwise.

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Amendments (Textual)

F113Words in s. 60(3) inserted (1.10.1994 for certain purposes only and 1.4.1995 for all remaining purposes) by 1994 c. 29, s. 43, Sch. 4 Pt. II para. 57; S.I. 1994/2025, art. 6(1); S.I. 1994/3262, art. 4, Sch.

F114Words in s. 60(3) substituted (22.8.1996) by 1996 c. 16, ss. 103(1), 104(1), Sch. 7 para. 1(1)(2)(u).

F115Words in definition of “local authority” in s. 60(3) inserted (3.7.2000) by 1999 c. 29, s. 325, Sch. 27 para. 49 (with Sch. 12 para. 9(1)); S.I. 2000/1648, art. 2, Sch.

F117Words repealed by Education Reform Act 1988 (c. 40, SIF 41:1),ss. 231(7), 235(6), 237, Sch. 13 Pt. I

F119Words in s. 60(3) inserted (1.4.2008) by Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 (c. 28), ss. 209(2), 245(5), Sch. 13 para. 40; S.I. 2008/917, art. 2(1)(o)(p)

F120Words in definition of “local authority” in s. 60(3) inserted (3.7.2000) by 1999 c. 29, s. 328, Sch. 29 para. 38 (with Sch. 12 para. 9(1)); S.I. 2000/1094, art. 4(h)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Prospective

[F12160ARights of audience etc of employees of housing management bodiesE+W
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Amendments (Textual)

(1)An employee of a housing management body who is authorised by that body for the purposes of this section has—

(a)a right of audience in relation to any proceedings to which this section applies, and

(b)a right to conduct litigation in relation to any such proceedings.

(2)This section applies to relevant housing proceedings in a county court before a district judge which are brought—

(a)in the name of a local housing authority, and

(b)by the housing management body in the exercise of functions of that local housing authority delegated to that body under a housing management agreement.

(3)Relevant housing proceedings” are—

(a)proceedings under section 82A of the Housing Act 1985 (demotion because of anti-social behaviour);

(b)proceedings for possession of a dwelling-house subject to a secure tenancy, where possession is sought on ground 2 in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to that Act (anti-social behaviour);

(c)proceedings for possession of a dwelling-house subject to a demoted tenancy;

(d)proceedings for a suspension order under section 121A of the Housing Act 1985 (suspension of right to buy);

(e)proceedings under section 153A, 153B or 153D of the Housing Act 1996 (injunctions against anti-social behaviour);

(f)proceedings for the attachment of a power of arrest to an injunction by virtue of section 91(2) of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 or section 27(2) of the Police and Justice Act 2006 (proceedings under section 222 of the Local Government Act 1972: power of arrest attached to injunction);

(g)at a hearing at which a decision is made in relation to proceedings within paragraphs (a) to (f), proceedings for permission to appeal against that decision;

(h)such other proceedings as the Lord Chancellor may prescribe by order.

(4)An authorisation for the purposes of this section must be in writing.

(5)The power to make an order under subsection (3)(h) is exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment by resolution of either House of Parliament.

(6)In subsection (3)(e) the reference to section 153A of the Housing Act 1996 is a reference to that section—

(a)as inserted by section 13 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, or

(b)as substituted by section 26 of the Police and Justice Act 2006.

(7)In this section—

  • dwelling-house” has the same meaning as in Part 4 of the Housing Act 1985;

  • housing management agreement” means an agreement under section 27 of the Housing Act 1985 (including an agreement to which section 27B(2) or (3) of that Act applies);

  • housing management body” means a person who exercises management functions of a local housing authority by virtue of a housing management agreement;

  • local housing authority” has the same meaning as in section 27 of the Housing Act 1985;

  • right of audience” means the right to appear before and address a court, including the right to call and examine witnesses;

  • right to conduct litigation” means the right—

    (a)

    to issue proceedings before any court in England and Wales,

    (b)

    to commence, prosecute and defend such proceedings, and

    (c)

    to perform any ancillary functions in relation to such proceedings (such as entering appearances to actions);

  • secure tenancy” has the same meaning as in Part 4 of the Housing Act 1985.]

61 Right of audience by direction of Lord Chancellor.E+W

(1)The Lord Chancellor may [F122, with the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice,]F122 at any time direct that such categories of persons in relevant legal employment as may be specified in the direction may address the court in any proceedings in a county court, or in proceedings in a county court of such description as may be so specified.

(2)In subsection (1), “relevant legal employment” means employment which consists of or includes giving assistance in the conduct of litigation to a [F123legal representative]whether in private practice or not.

(3)A direction under this section may be given subject to such conditions and restrictions as appear to the Lord Chancellor to be necessary or expedient, and may be expressed to have effect as respects every county court or as respects a specified county court or as respects one or more specified places where a county court sits.

(4)The power to give directions conferred by this section includes a power to vary or rescind any direction given under this section.

[F124(5)The Lord Chief Justice may nominate a judicial office holder (as defined in section 109(4) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005) to exercise his functions under this section.F124]

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Amendments (Textual)

Mode of trialE+W

62 General power of judge to determine questions of law and fact.E+W

Subject to the provisions of this Act and of [F125rules of court], the judge of a county court shall be the sole judge in all proceedings brought in the court, and shall determine all questions of fact as well as of law.

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Amendments (Textual)

F125Words in s. 62 substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3(b), 4(c)

63 Assessors.E+W

(1)In any proceedings the judge may, if he thinks fit F126. . ., summon to his assistance, in such manner as may be prescribed, one or more persons of skill and experience in the matter to which the proceedings relate who may be willing to sit with the judge and act as assessors.

F127(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)Subject to subsection (4), the remuneration of assessors for sitting under this section shall be [F128determined by the judge] and shall be costs in the proceedings unless otherwise ordered by the judge.

(4)Where one or more assessors are summonedfor the purposes of [F129assisting the judge in reviewing the taxation by the district judge of the costs of any proceedings] the remuneration of any such assessor—

(a)shall be at such rate as may be determined by the Lord Chancellor with the approval of the Treasury; and

(b)shall be payable out of moneys provided by Parliament.

(5)Where any person is proposed to be summoned as an assessor, objection to him, either personally or in respect of his qualification, may be taken by any party in the prescribed manner.

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Amendments (Textual)

F126Words in s. 63(1) omitted (26.4.1999) by S.I. 1998/2940, arts. 1, 6(d)(i); S.I. 1998/3132

F128Words in s. 63(3) substituted (26.4.1999) by S.I. 1998/2940, arts. 1, 6(d)(iii); S.I. 1998/3132

F129Words in s. 63(4) substituted (26.4.1999) by S.I. 1999/2940, arts. 1, 6(d)(iv); S.I. 1998/3132

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

64 Reference to arbitration.E+W

(1)[F130Rules of court]

(a)may prescribe cases in which proceedings are (without any order of the court) to be referred to arbitration, and

(b)may prescribe the manner in which and the terms on which cases are to be so referred, and

(c)may, where cases are so referred, require other matters within the jurisdiction of the court in dispute between the parties also to be referred to arbitration.

(2)[F130Rules of court]

(a)may prescribe cases in which proceedings may be referred to arbitration by order of the court, and

(b)may authorise the court also to order other matters in dispute between the parties and within the jurisdiction of the court to be so referred.

[F131(2A)[F130Rules of court] may prescribe the procedures and rules of evidence to be followed on any reference under subsection (1) or (2).

(2B)Rules made under subsection (2A) may, in particular, make provision with respect to the manner of taking and questioning evidence.]

(3)On a reference under subsection (1) or (2) the award of the arbitrator, arbitrators or umpire shall be entered as the judgment in the proceedings and shall be as binding and effectual to all intents, subject to subsection (4), as if it had been given by the judge.

(4)The judge may, if he thinks fit, on application made to him within such time as may be prescribed, set aside the award, or may, with the consent of the parties, revoke the reference or order another reference to be made in the manner specified in this section.

(5)In this section “award” includes an interim award.

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Amendments (Textual)

F130Words in s. 64 substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3(b), 4(c)

65 Power of judge to refer to registrar or referee.E+W

(1)Subject to [F132rules of court], the judge may refer to the registrar or a referee for inquiry and report—

(a)any proceedings which require any prolonged examination of documents or any scientific or local investigation which cannot, in the opinion of the judge, conveniently be made before him;

(b)any proceedings where the question in dispute consists wholly or in part of matters of account;

(c)with the consent of the parties, any other proceedings;

(d)subject to any right to have particular cases tried with a jury, any question arising in any proceedings.

(2)In such cases as may be prescribed by, and subject to, [F132rules of court] the registrar may refer to a referee for inquiry and report any question arising in any proceedings.

(3)Where any proceedings or question are referred under subsection (1) or (2), the judge or, as the case may be, the registrar may direct how the reference shall be conducted, and may remit any report for further inquiry and report, and on consideration of any report or further report may give such judgment or make such order in the proceedings as may be just.

(4)The judge may, after deciding or reserving any question of liability, refer to the registrar any mere matter of account which is in dispute between the parties and, after deciding the question of liability, may give judgment on the registrar’s report.

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Amendments (Textual)

F132Words in s. 65 substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2), S.I. 1997/841, art. 3(b), 4(c)

JuriesE+W

66 Trial by jury.E+W

(1)In the following proceedings in a county court the trial shall be without a jury—

(a)Admiralty proceedings;

(b)proceedings arising—

(i)under Part I, II or III of the Rent (Agriculture) M13Act 1976, or

(ii)under any provision of the M14Rent Act 1977 other than a provision contained in Part V, sections 103 to 106 or Part IX, or

(iii)under Part I of the M15Protection from Eviction Act 1977; [F133or

(iv)under Part I of the Housing Act 1988]

(c)any appeal to the county court under [F134the Housing Act 1985].

(2)In all other proceedings in a county court the trial shall be without a jury unless the court otherwise orders on an application made in that behalf by any party to the proceeings in such manner and within such time before the trial as may be prescribed.

(3)Where, on any such application, the court is satisfied that there is in issue—

(a)a charge of fraud against the party making the application; or

(b)a claim in respect of libel, slander, malicious prosecution or false imprisonment; or

(c)any question or issue of a kind prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph,

the action shall be tried with a jury, unless the court is of opinion that the trial requires any prolonged examination of documents or accounts or any scientific or local investigation which cannot conveniently be made with a jury.

(4)There shall be payable, in respect of the trial with a jury of proceedings in a county court, such fees as may be prescribed by [F135an order under section 92 of the Courts Act 2003 (fees)]F135.

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Amendments (Textual)

Marginal Citations

67 Impanelling and swearing of jury.E+W

At any county court where proceedings are to be tried with a jury, eight jurymen shall be impanelled and sworn as occasion requires to give their verdicts in the proceedings brought before them, and being once sworn need not be re-sworn in each trial.

68 Duty of judge to determine foreign law in jury trials.E+W

Where, for the purpose of disposing of any proceedings which are being tried in a county court by the judge with a jury, it is necessary to ascertain the law of any other country which is applicable to the facts of the case, any question as to the effect of the evidence given with respect to that law shall, instead of being submitted to the jury, be decided by the judge alone.

Interest on debts and damagesE+W

69 Power to award interest on debts and damages.E+W

(1)Subject to [F136rules of court], in proceedings (whenever instituted) before a county court for the recovery of a debt or damages there may be included in any sum for which judgment is given simple interest, at such rate as the court thinks fit or as may be prescribed, on all or any part of the debt or damages in respect of which judgment is given, or payment is made before judgment, for all or any part of the period between the date when the cause of action arose and—

(a)in the case of any sum paid before judgment, the date of the payment; and

(b)in the case of the sum for which judgment is given, the date of the judgment.

(2)In relation to a judgment given for damages for personal injuries or death which exceed £200 subsection (1) shall have effect—

(a)with the substitution of “shall be included” for “may be included”; and

(b)with the addition of “unless the court is satisfied that there are special reasons to the contrary” after “given”, where first occurring.

(3)Subject to [F136rules of court], where—

(a)there are proceedings (whenever instituted) before a county court for the recovery of a debt; and

(b)the defendant pays the whole debt to the plaintiff (otherwise than in pursuance of a judgment in the proceedings),

the defendant shall be liable to pay the plaintiff simple interest, at such rate as the court thinks fit or as may be prescribed, on all or any part of the debt for all or any part of the period between the date when the cause of action arose and the date of the payment.

(4)Interest in respect of a debt shall not be awarded under this section for a period during which, for whatever reason, interest on the debt already runs.

(5)Interest under this section may be calculated at different rates in respect of different periods.

(6)In this section “plaintiff” means the person seeking the debt or damages and “defendant” means the person from whom the plaintiff seeks the debt or damages and “personal injuries” includes any disease and any impairment of a person’s physical or mental condition.

(7)Nothing in this section affects the damages recoverable for the dishonour of a bill of exchange.

[F137(8)In determining whether the amount of any debt or damages exceeds that prescribed by or under any enactment, no account shall be taken of any interest payable by virtue of this section except where express provision to the contrary is made by or under that or any other enactment.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F136Words in s. 69 substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3(b), 4(c)

Judgments and orders.E+W

70 Finality of judgments and orders.E+W

Every judgment and order of a county court shall, except as provided by this or any other Act or as may be prescribed, be final and conclusive between the parties.

71 Satisfaction of judgments and orders for payment of money.E+W

(1)Where a judgment is given or an order is made by a county court under which a sum of money of any amount is payable, whether by way of satisfaction of the claim or counterclaim in the proceedings or by way of costs or otherwise, the court may, as it thinks fit, order the money to be paid either—

(a)in one sum, whether forthwith or within such period as the court may fix; or

(b)by such instalments payable at such times as the court may fix.

(2)If at any time it appears to the satisfaction of the court that any party to any proceedings is unable from any cause to pay any sum recovered against him (whether by way of satisfaction of the claim or counterclaim in the proceedings or by way of costs or otherwise) or any instalment of such a sum, the court may, in its discretion, suspend or stay any judgment or order given or made in the proceedings for such time and on such terms as the court thinks fit, and so from time to time until it appears that the cause of inability has ceased.

72 Set-off in cases of cross judgments in county courts and High Court.E+W

(1)Where one person has obtained a judgment or order in a county court against another person, and that other person has obtained a judgment or order against the first-mentioned person in the same or in another county court or in the High Court, either such person may, in accordance with rules of court, give notice in writing to the court or the several courts as the case may be, and may apply to the court or any of the said courts in accordance with rules of court for leave to set off any sums, including costs, payable under the several judgments or orders.

(2)Upon any such application, the set-off may be allowed in accordance with the practice for the time being in force in the High Court as to the allowance of set-off and in particular in relation to any solicitor’s lien for costs.

(3)Where the cross judgments or orders have not been obtained in the same court, a copy of the order made on any such application shall be sent by the proper officer of the court to which the application is made to the proper officer of the other court.

73 Register of judgments and orders.E+W

F138. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

73A Provision for register under s.73 to be kept by body under contract to Lord ChancellorE+W

F139. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

74 Interest on judgment debts etc.E+W

(1)The Lord Chancellor may by order made with the concurrence of the Treasury provide that any sums to which this subsection applies shall carry interest at such rate and between such times as may be prescribed by the order.

(2)The sums to which subsection (1) applies are—

(a)sums payable under judgments or orders given or made in a county court, including sums payable by instalments; and

(b)sums which by virtue of any enactment are, if the county court so orders, recoverable as if payable under an order of that court, and in respect of which the county court has so ordered.

(3)The payment of interest due under subsection (1) shall be enforceable as a sum payable under the judgment or order.

(4)The power conferred by subsection (1) includes power—

(a)to specify the descriptions of judgment or order in respect of which interest shall be payable;

(b)to provide that interest shall be payable only on sums exceeding a specified amount;

(c)to make provision for the manner in which and the periods by reference to which the interest is to be calculated and paid;

(d)to provide that any enactment shall or shall not apply in relation to interest payable under subsection (1) or shall apply to it with such modifications as may be specified in the order; and

(e)to make such incidental or supplementary provisions as the Lord Chancellor considers appropriate.

(5)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4), an order under subsection (1) may provide that the rate of interest shall be the rate specified in section 17 of the M16Judgments Act 1838 as that enactment has effect from time to time.

[F140(5A)The power conferred by subsection (1) includes power to make provision enabling a county court to order that the rate of interest applicable to a sum expressed in a currency other than sterling shall be such rate as the court thinks fit (instead of the rate otherwise applicable).]

(6)The power to make an order under subsection (1) shall be exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

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Amendments (Textual)

F140S. 74(5A) inserted (1.11.1996) by 1995 c. 42, s.2; S.I. 1996/2515, art.2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C24S. 74: power to exclude conferred (26.4.1999) by S.I. 1998/3132, rule 47.8(3)(ii), 47.14(5)(ii)

Marginal Citations

[F141Practice directions]E+W

74A Practice directions.E+W

F142. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

General rules of procedureE+W

F14375. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

76 Application of practice of High Court.E+W

In any case not expressly provided for by or in pursuance of this Act, the general principles of practice in the High Court may be adopted and applied to proceedings in a county court.

Part IV E+W Appeals etc.

AppealsE+W

77 Appeals: general provisions.E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section and the following provisions of this Part of this Act [F144and to any order made by the Lord Chancellor under section 56(1) of the Access to Justice Act 1999], if any party to any proceedings in a county court is dissatisfied with the determination of the judge or jury, he may appeal from it to the Court of Appeal in such manner and subject to such conditions as may be provided by [F145Civil Procedure Rules].

[F146(1A)Without prejudice to the generality of the power to make [F147rules of court] under section 75, such rules may make provision for any appeal from the exercise by a district judge, assistant judge or deputy district judge of any power given to him by virtue of any enactment to be to a judge of a county court.]

F148(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F148(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F148(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(5)Subject to the provisions of this section and the following provisions of this Part of this Act, where an appeal is brought under subsection (1) in any action, an appeal may be brought under that subsection in respect of any claim or counterclaim in the action notwithstanding that there could have been no such appeal if that claim had been the subject of a separate action.

(6)In proceedings in which either the plaintiff or the defendant is claiming possession of any premises this section shall not confer any right of appeal on any question of fact if by virtue of—

(a)section 13(4) of the M17Landlord and Tenant Act 1954; or

(b)Cases III to IX in Schedule 4 to the M18Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976; or

(c)section 98 of the M19Rent Act 1977, as it applies to Cases 1 to 6 and 8 and 9 in Schedule 15 to that Act, or that section as extended or applied by any other enactment; or

(d)section 99 of the Rent Act 1977, as it applies to Cases 1 to 6 and 9 in Schedule 15 to that Act; or

(e)[F149section 84(2)(a) of the Housing Act 1985]; or

[F150(ee)section 7 of the Housing Act 1988, as it applies to the grounds in Part II of Schedule 2 to that Act; or]

(f)any other enactment,

the court can only grant possession on being satisfied that it is reasonable to do so.

(7)This section shall not—

(a)confer any right of appeal from any judgment or order where a right of appeal is conferred by some other enactment; or

(b)take away any right of appeal from any judgment or order where a right of appeal is so conferred,

and shall have effect subject to any enactment other than this Act.

(8)In this section—

  • enactment” means an enactment whenever passed; F151. . .

  • F151. . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F144Words in s. 77(1) inserted (2.5.2000) by S.I. 2000/1071, art. 8

F145Words in s. 77(1) substituted (26.4.1999) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(7); S.I. 1999/1009, art. 3(h)

F147Words in s. 77(1A) substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3.

F151Definition in s. 77(8) and the preceding “and” repealed (27.9.1999) by 1999 c. 22, ss. 106, 108(3)(f), Sch. 15 Pt. III (with Sch. 14 paras. 7(2), 36(9))

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

78 Assistance of Trinity masters for Court of Appeal in Admiralty proceedings.E+W

Where, on an appeal by a party to any Admiralty proceedings which have been heard in a county court with the assistance of assessors, any party makes application to the Court of Appeal in that behalf, the court shall summon Trinity masters to assist on the hearing of the appeal if the court is of opinion that such assistance is necessary or desirable.

79 Agreement not to appeal.E+W

(1)No appeal shall lie from any judgment, direction, decision or order of a judge of county courts if, before the judgment, direction, decision or order is given or made, the parties agree, in writing signed by themselves or their [F152legal representatives]or agents, that it shall be final.

(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F153

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Amendments (Textual)

80 Judge’s note on appeal.E+W

(1)At the hearing of any proceedings in a county court in which there is a right of appeal or from which an appeal may be brought with leave, the judge shall, at the request of any party, make a note—

(a)of any question of law raised at the hearing; and

(b)of the facts in evidence in relation to any such question; and

(c)of his decision on any such question and of his determination of the proceedings.

(2)Where such a note has been taken, the judge shall (whether notice of appeal has been served or not), on the application of any party to the proceedings, and on payment by that party of such fee as may be prescribed by [F154an order under section 92 of the Courts Act 2003 (fees)]F154, furnish him with a copy of the note, and shall sign the copy, and the copy so signed shall be used at the hearing of the appeal.

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Amendments (Textual)

81 Powers of Court of Appeal on appeal from county court.E+W

(1)On the hearing of an appeal, the Court of Appeal may draw any inference of fact and either—

(a)order a new trial on such terms as the court thinks just; or

(b)order judgment to be entered for any party; or

(c)make a final or other order on such terms as the court thinks proper to ensure the determination on the merits of the real question in controversy between the parties.

(2)Subject to [F155Civil Procedure Rules], on any appeal from a county court the Court of Appeal may reverse or vary, in favour of a party seeking to support the judgment or order of the county court in whole or in part, any determinations made in the county court on questions of fact, notwithstanding that the appeal is an appeal on a point of law only, or any such determinations on points of law, notwithstanding that the appeal is an appeal on a question of fact only.

(3)Subsection (2) shall not enable the Court of Appeal to reverse or vary any determination, unless the party dissatisfied with the determination would have been entitled to appeal in respect of it if aggrieved by the judgment or order.

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Amendments (Textual)

F155Words in s. 81(2) substituted (26.4.1999) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(8); S.I. 1999/1009, art. 3(i)

82 Decision of Court of Appeal on probate appeals to be final.E+W

No appeal shall lie from the decision of the Court of Appeal on any appeal from a county court in any probate proceedings.

Certiorari and prohibitionE+W

83 Stay of proceedings in case of certiorari or prohibition.E+W

(1)The grant by the High Court of leave to make an application for an order of certiorari or prohibition to a county court shall, if the High Court so directs, operate as a stay of the proceedings in question until the determination of the application, or until the High Court otherwise orders.

(2)Where any proceedings are so stayed, the judge of the county court shall from time to time adjourn the hearing of the proceedings to such day as he thinks fit.

84 Prohibition.E+W

(1)Where an application is made to the High Court for an order of prohibition addressed to any county court, the matter shall be finally disposed of by order.

(2)Upon any such application, the judge of the county court shall not be served with notice of it, and shall not, except by the order of a judge of the High Court—

(a)be required to appear or be heard; or

(b)be liable to any order for the payment of the costs of the application;

but the application shall be proceeded with and heard in the same manner in all respects as an appeal duly brought from a decision of the judge, and notice of the application shall be given to or served upon the same parties as in the case of an order made or refused by a judge in a matter within his jurisdiction.

Part V E+W Enforcement of Judgments and Orders

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C26Pt. V (ss. 85-111) applied (1.1.2007) by Gambling Act 2005 (c. 19), ss. 149(2), 358(1) (with ss. 352, 354); S.I. 2006/3272, art. 2(1), Sch. 1 (with Sch. 4)

Execution against goodsE+W

85 Execution of judgments or orders for payment of money.E+W

(1)[F156Subject to article 8 of the High Court and County Courts Jurisdiction Order 1991,]any sum of money payable under a judgment or order of a county court may be recovered, in case of default or failure of payment, forthwith or at the time or times and in the manner thereby directed, by execution against the goods of the party against whom the judgment or order was obtained.

(2)The registrar, on the application of the party prosecuting any such judgment or order, shall issue a warrant of execution in the nature of a writ of fieri facias whereby the registrar shall be empowered to levy or cause to be levied by distress and sale of the goods, wherever they may be found within the district of the court, the money payable under the judgment or order and the costs of the execution.

(3)The precise time of the making of the application to the registrar to issue such a warrant shall be entered by him in the record prescribed for the purpose under section 12 and on the warrant.

(4)It shall be the duty of every constable within his jurisdiction to assist in the execution of every such warrant.

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Amendments (Textual)

F156Words in s. 85(1) inserted by S.I. 1991/724, art. 8(2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C28S. 85(1)(2)(3) applied (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.4(1).

S. 85(4) restricted (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.6.

86 Execution of orders for payment by instalments.E+W

(1)Where the court has made an order for payment of any sum of money by instalments, execution on the order shall not be issued until after default in payment of some instalment according to the order.

(2)[F157Rules of court] may prescribe the cases in which execution is to issue if there is any such default and limit the amounts for which and the times at which execution may issue.

(3)Except so far as may be otherwise provided by [F157rules of court] made for those purposes, execution or successive executions may issue if there is any such default for the whole of the said sum of money and costs then remaining unpaid or for such part as the court may order either at the time of the original order or at any subsequent time; but except so far as may be otherwise provided by such rules, no execution shall issue unless at the time when it issues the whole or some part of an instalment which has already become due remains unpaid.

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Amendments (Textual)

F157Words in s. 86 substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3(b), 4(c)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C29S. 86 restricted (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art. 6.

87 Execution to be superseded on payment.E+W

(1)In or upon every warrant of execution issued from a county court against the goods of any person, the registrar shall cause to be inserted or indorsed the total amount to be levied, inclusive of the fee for issuing the warrant but exclusive of the fees for its execution.

(2)If the person against whom the execution is issued, before the actual sale of the goods, pays or causes to be paid or tendered to the registrar of the court from which the warrant is issued, or to the bailiff holding the warrant, the amount inserted in, or indorsed upon, the warrant under subsection (1), or such part as the person entitled agrees to accept in full satisfaction, together with the amount stated by the officer of the court to whom the payment or tender is made to be the amount of the fees for the execution of the warrant, the execution shall be superseded, and the goods shall be discharged and set at liberty.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C30S. 87 applied (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.4(1).

88 Power to stay execution.E+W

If at any time it appears to the satisfaction of the court that any party to any proceedings is unable from any cause to pay any sum recovered against him (whether by way of satisfaction of the claim or counterclaim in the proceedings or by way of costs or otherwise), or any instalment of such a sum, the court may, in its discretion, stay any execution issued in the proceedings for such time and on such terms as the court thinks fit, and so from time to time until it appears that the cause of inability has ceased.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C31S. 88 restricted (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.8.

Seizure and custody of goods etc.E+W

89 Goods which may be seized.E+W

(1)Every bailiff or officer executing any warrant of execution issued from a county court against the goods of any person may by virtue of it seize—

[F158(a)any of that person’s goods except–

(i)such tools, books, vehicles and other items of equipment as are necessary to that person for use personally by him in his employment, business or vocation;

(ii)such clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and provisions as are necessary for satisfying the basic domestic needs of that person and his family;]

(b)any money, banknotes, bills of exchange, promissory notes, bonds, specialties or securities for money belonging to that person.

(2)Any reference to the goods of an execution debtor in this Part of this Act includes a reference to anythling else of his that may lawfully be seized in execution.

F159(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C32S. 89 applied (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.4(1).

90 Custody of goods seized.E+W

Goods seized in execution under process of a county court shall, until sale,—

(a)be deposited by the bailiff in some fit place; or

(b)remain in the custody of a fit person approved by the registrar to be put in possession by the bailiff; or

(c)be safeguarded in such other manner as the registrar directs.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C33S. 90 restricted (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.10.

91 Disposal of bills of exchange, etc., seized.E+W

The registrar shall hold any bills of exchange, promissory notes, bonds, specialties or other securities for money seized in execution under process of a county court as security for the amount directed to be levied by the execution, or for so much of that amount as has not been otherwise levied or raised, for the benefit of the plaintiff, and the plaintiff may sue in the name of the defendant, or in the name of any person in whose name the defendant might have sued, for the recovery of the sum secured or made payable thereby, when the time of payment arrives.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C34S. 91 restricted (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.10.

92 Penalty for rescuing goods seized.E+W

(1)If any person rescues or attempts to rescue any goods seized in execution under process of a county court, he shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or to a fine of an amount not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale, or both; or

(b)on an order made by the judge in that behalf, to be committed for a specified period not exceeding one month to . . . F160 prison . . . F160or to a fine of an amount not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale or to be so committed and to such a fine.

and a bailiff of the court may take the offender into custody, with or without warrant, and bring him before the judge.

(2)The judge may at any time revoke an order committing a person to prison under this section and, if he is already in custody, order his discharge.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C35S. 92 restricted (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.10.

Sale of goods seizedE+W

93 Period to elapse before sale.E+W

No goods seized in execution under process of a county court shall be sold for the purpose of satisfying the warrant of execution until the expiration of a period of at least 5 days next following the day on which the goods have been so seized unless—

(a)the goods are of a perishable nature; or

(b)the person whose goods have been seized so requests in writing.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C36S. 93 applied (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.4(1).

94 Goods not to be sold except by brokers or appraisers.E+W

No goods seized in execution under process of a county court shall be sold for the purpose of satisfying the warrant of execution except by one of the brokers or appraisers appointed under this Part of this Act.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C37S. 94 restricted (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.12.

95 Appoint-ment of brokers, appraisers etc.E+W

(1)The registrar may from time to time as he thinks fit appoint such number of persons for keeping possession, and such number of brokers and appraisers for the purpose of selling or valuing any goods seized in execution under process of the court, as appears to him to be necessary.

(2)The registrar may direct security to be taken from any broker, appraiser or other person so appointed for such sum and in such manner as he thinks fit for the faithful performance of his duties without injury or oppression.

(3)The judge or registrar may dismiss any broker, appraiser or other person so appointed.

(4)There shall be payable to brokers and appraisers so appointed in respect of their duties, out of the produce of goods distrained or sold, such fees as may be prescribed by [F161an order under section 92 of the Courts Act 2003 (fees)]F161.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C38S. 95 restricted (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.12.

96 Power to appoint bailiffs to act as brokers and appraisers.E+W

(1)The judge may appoint in writing any bailiff of the court to act as a broker or appraiser for the purpose of selling or valuing any goods seized in execution under process of the court.

(2)A bailiff so appointed may, without other licence in that behalf, perform all the duties which brokers or appraisers appointed under section 95 may perform under this Act.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C39Ss. 96-99 applied (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art. 4(1).

97 Sales under executions to be public unless otherwise ordered.E+W

(1)Where any goods are to be sold under execution for a sum exceeding £20 (including legal incidental expenses), the sale shall, unless the court form which the warrant of execution issued otherwise orders, be made by public auction and not by bill of sale or private contract, and shall be publicly advertised by the registrar on, and during 3 days next preceding, the day of sale.

(2)Where any goods are seized in execution and the registrar has notice of another execution or other executions, the court shall not consider an application for leave to sell privately until the prescribed notice has been given to the other execution creditor or creditors, who may appear before the court and be heard upon the application.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C40Ss. 96-99 applied (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.4(1).

F16298 Protection of registrar selling goods under execution without notice of claim by third party.E+W

(1)Where any goods in the possession of an execution debtor at the time of seizure by a registrar or other officer charged with the enforcement of a warrant or other process of execution issued from a county court are sold by that registrar or other officer without any claims having been made to them—

(a)the purchaser of the goods so sold shall acquire a good title to those goods; and

[F163(b)no person shall be entitled to recover against the district judge or other officer, or anyone lawfully acting under his authority—

(i)for any sale of the goods, or

(ii)for paying over the proceeds prior to the receipt of a claim to the goods,

unless it is proved that the person from whom recovery is sought had notice, or might by making reasonable inquiry have ascertained, that the goods were not the property of the execution debtor.]

F163(2)Nothing in this section shall affect the right of any claimant, who may prove that at the time of sale he had a title to any goods so seized and sold, to any remedy to which he may be entitled against any person other than the registrar or other officer.

[F164(3)The provisions of this section have effect subject to those of sections 183, 184 and 346 of the Insolvency Act 1986]

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Amendments (Textual)

F162Ss. 96-99 applied (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.4(1).

Claims in respect of goods seizedE+W

99 Effect of warrants of execution.E+W

(1)Subject—

(a)to subsection (2); and

(b)to section 103(2),

a warrant of execution against goods issued from a county court shall bind the property in the goods of the execution debtor as from the time at which application for the warrant was made to the registrar of the county court.

(2)Such a warrant shall not prejudice the title to any goods of the execution debtor acquired by a person in good faith and for valuable consideration unless he had at the time when he acquired his title—

(a)notice that an application for the issue of a warrant of execution against the goods of the execution debtor had been made to the registrar of a county court and that the warrant issued on the application either—

(i)remained unexecuted in the hands of the registrar of the court from which it was issued; or

(ii)had been sent for execution to, and received by, the registrar of another county court, and remained unexecuted in the hands of the registrar of that court; or

(b)notice that a writ of fieri facias or other writ of execution by virtue of which the goods of the execution debtor might be seized or attached had been delivered to [F165an enforcement officer or other officer charged with the execution of the writ]F165 and remained unexecuted in the hands of [F166that person]F166.

(3)It shall be the duty of the registrar (without fee) on application for a warrant of execution being made to him to endorse on its back the hour, day, month and year when he received the application.

(4)For the purposes of this section—

[F167(za)enforcement officer” means an individual who is authorised to act as an enforcement officer under the Courts Act 2003;]

F167(a)property” means the general property in goods, and not merely a special property;

(b)F168. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(c)a thing shall be treated as done in good faith if it is in fact done honestly whether it is done negligently or not.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C41Ss. 96-99 applied (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.4(1).

100 Sale of goods to which claim is made.E+W

(1)Where a claim is made to or in respect of any goods seized in execution under process of a county court, the claimant may—

(a)deposit with the bailiff either—

(i)the amount of the value of the goods claimed; or

(ii)the sum which the bailiff is allowed to charge as costs for keeping possession of the goods until the decision of the judge can be obtained on the claim; or

(b)give the bailiff in the prescribed manner security for the value of the goods claimed.

(2)For the purpose of this section, the amount of the value of the goods claimed shall, in case of dispute, be fixed by appraisement, and where that amount is deposited it shall be paid by the bailiff into court to abide the decision of the judge upon the claim.

(3)Subject to subsection (4), in default of the claimant’s complying with this section, the bailiff shall sell the goods as if no such claim had been made, and shall pay into court the proceeds of the sale to abide the decision of the judge.

(4)The goods shall not be sold if the registrar decides that, in all the circumstances, the decision of the judge on the claim made to or in respect of them ought to be awaited.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C42S. 100 restricted (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.16.

101 Interpleader by registrar.E+W

(1)If a claim is made to or in respect of any goods seized in execution under process of a county court, or in respect of the proceeds or value of any such goods, the registrar may, as well before as after any action brought against him, issue a summons calling before the court the party at whose instance the process issued and the party making the claim.

(2)Upon the issue of the summons, any action brought in any county court or other court in respect of the claim or of any damage arising out of the execution of the warrant shall be stayed.

(3)On the hearing of the summons, the judge shall adjudicate upon the claim, and shall also adjudicate between the parties or either of them and the registrar upon any claim to damages arising or capable of arising out of the execution of the warrant by the registrar, and shall make such order in respect of any such claim and the costs of the proceedings as he thinks fit.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C43S. 101 applied (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.4(1).

102 Claims for rent where goods seized in execution. E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

(1)Section 1 of the M20Landlord and Tenant Act 1709 shall not apply to goods seized in execution under process of a county court, but the following provisions of this section shall apply in substitution.

(2)The landlord of any tenement in which any goods are seized may claim the rent of the tenement in arrear at the date of the seizure, at any time within the 5 days next following that date, or before the removal of the goods, by delivering to the bailiff or officer making the levy a claim in writing, signed by himself or his agent, stating—

(a)the amount of rent claimed to be in arrear; and

(b)the period in respect of which the rent is due.

(3)Where such a claim is made, the bailiff or officer making the levy shall in addition distrain for the rent so claimed and the cost of the distress, and shall not, within 5 days next after the distress, sell any part of the goods seized, unless—

(a)the goods are of a perishable nature; or

(b)the person whose goods have been seized so requests in writing.

(4)The bailiff shall afterwards sell under the execution and distress such of the goods as will satisfy—

(a)first, the costs of and incidental to the sale;

(b)next, the claim of the landlord not exceeding—

(i)in a case where the tenement is let by the week, 4 weeks’ rent;

(ii)in a case where the tenement is let for any other term less than a year, the rent of two terms of payment;

(iii)in any other case, one year’s rent; and

(c)lastly, the amount for which the warrant of execution issued.

(5)If any replevin is made of the goods seized, the bailiff shall nevertheless sell such portion of them as will satisfy the costs of and incidental to the sale under the execution and the amount for which the warrant of execution issued.

(6)In any event the surplus of the sale, if any, and the residue of the goods shall be returned to the execution debtor.

(7)The fees of the registrar and broker for keeping possession, appraisement and sale under any such distress shall be the same as would have been payable if the distress had been an execution of the court, and no other fees shall be demanded or taken in respect thereof.

[F169(8)Nothing in this section affects section 346 of the Insolvency Act 1986]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C45S. 102 applied (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.4(1).

Marginal Citations

Execution out of jurisdiction of courtE+W

103 Execution out of jurisdiction of court.E+W

(1)Where a warrant of execution has been issued from a county court (hereafter in this section referred to as a “home court”) against the goods of any person and the goods are out of the jurisdiction of that court, the registrar of that court may send the warrant of execution to the registrar of any other county court within the jurisdiction of which the goods are or are believed to be, with a warrant endorsed on it or annexed to it requiring execution of the original warrant.

(2)The original warrant shall bind the property in goods of the execution debtor which are within the jurisdiction of the court to which it is sent as from the time when it is received by the registrar of that court.

(3)It shall be the duty of the registrar of the court to which the warrant is sent (without fee) on receipt of the warrant to endorse on its back the hour, day, month and year when he received it.

(4)On the receipt of the warrant, the registrar of the other county court shall act in all respects as if the original warrant of execution had been issued by the court of which he is registrar and shall within the prescribed time—

(a)report to the registrar of the home court what he has done in the execution of the warrant; and

(b)pay over all moneys received in pursuance of the warrant.

(5)Where a warrant of execution is sent by the registrar of a home court to the registrar of another court for execution under this section, that other court shall have the same power as the home court of staying the execution under section 88 as respects any goods within the jurisdiction of that other court.

[F170(6)[F171Rules of court] may make provision for the suspension of any judgment or order, on terms, in connection with any warrant issued with respect of any instalment payable under the judgment or order.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F171Words in s. 103 substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3(b), 4(c)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C46S. 103 restricted (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art. 16.

[F172104 Information as to writs and warrants of execution.E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

(1)Where a writ against the goods of any person issued from the High Court is delivered to an enforcement officer who is under a duty to execute the writ or to a sheriff, then on demand from the district judge of a county court that person shall—

(a)in the case of an enforcement officer, by writing signed by that officer or a person acting under his authority, and

(b)in the case of a sheriff, by writing signed by any clerk in the office of the under-sheriff,

inform the district judge of the precise time the writ was delivered to him.

(2)A bailiff of a county court shall on demand show his warrant to any enforcement officer, any person acting under the authority of an enforcement officer and any sheriff’s officer.

(3)Any writing purporting to be signed as mentioned in subsection (1) and the endorsement on any warrant issued from a county court shall respectively be sufficient justification to any district judge, or enforcement officer or sheriff, acting on it.

(4)In this section “enforcement officer” means an individual who is authorised to act as an enforcement officer under the Courts Act 2003.F172]

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C47S. 104 applied (1.9.1993) by S.I. 1993/2073, art.4(1).

Execution in county court of judgments and orders of, or enforceable as judgments and orders of, High CourtE+W

F173105. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

Enforcement in High Court of judgments and orders of county courtsE+W

F174106. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

Receivers and attachment of debtsE+W

107 Receivers.E+W

(1)The power of the county court to appoint a receiver by way of equitable execution shall operate in relation to all legal estates and interests in land.

(2)The said power may be exercised in relation to an estate or interest in land whether or not a charge has been imposed on that land under section 1 of the M21Charging Orders Act 1979 for the purpose of enforcing the judgment, decree, order or award in question, and the said power shall be in addition to and not in derogation of any power of any court to appoint a receiver in proceedings for enforcing such a charge.

(3)Where an order under section 1 of the Charging Orders Act 1979 imposing a charge for the purpose of enforcing a judgment, decree, order or award has been registered under section 6 of the M22Land Charges Act 1972, subsection (4) of that section (which provides that, amongst other things, an order appointing a receiver and any proceedings pursuant to the order or in obedience to it, shall be void against a purchaser unless the order is for the time being registered under that section) shall not apply to an order appointing a receiver made either in proceedings for enforcing the charge or by way of equitable execution of the judgment, decree, order or award or, as the case may be, of so much of it as requires payment of moneys secured by the charge.

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Marginal Citations

108 Attachment of debts.E+W

(1)Subject to any order for the time being in force under subsection (4), this section applies to [F175any deposit account, and any withdrawable share account, with a deposit-taker].

(2)In determining whether, for the purposes of the jurisdiction of the county court to attach debts for the purpose of satisfying judgments or orders for the payment of money, a sum standing to the crdit of a person in an account to which this section applies is a sum due or accruing to that person and, as such, attachable in accordance with [F176rules of court], any condition mentioned in subsection (3) which applies to the account shall be disregarded.

(3)Those conditions are—

(a)any condition that notice is required before any money or share is withdrawn;

(b)any condition that a personal application must be made before any money or share is withdrawn;

(c)any condition that a deposit book or share-account book must be produced before any money or share is withdrawn; or

(d)any other prescribed condition.

(4)The Lord Chancellor may by order make such provision as he think fit, by way of amendment of this section or otherwise, for all or any of the following purposes, namely—

(a)including in, or excluding from, the accounts to which this section applies accounts of any description specified in the order;

(b)excluding from the accounts to which this section applies all accounts with any particular [F177deposit-taker] so specified or with any [F177deposit-taker] of a description so specified.

(5)An order under subsection (4) shall be made by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

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Amendments (Textual)

F175Words in s. 108(1) substituted (1.12.2001) by S.I. 2001/3649, arts. 1, 294(2)

F176Words in s. 108 substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3(b), 4(c)

F177Words in s. 108(4)(b) substituted (1.12.2001) by S.I. 2001/3649, arts. 1, 294(3)

109 Administrative and clerical expenses of garnishees.E+W

[F178(1)Where an [F179interim third party debt order]F179 made in the exercise of the jurisdiction mentioned in subsection (2) of the preceding section is served on [F180a deposit-taker, it] may, subject to the provisions of this section, deduct from the relevant debt or debts an amount not exceeding the prescribed sum towards [F180its administrative and clerical expenses] of the institution in complying with the order; and the right F181. . . to make a deduction under this subsection shall be exercisable as from the time the [F182interim third party debt order]F182 is served on it.

(1A)In subsection (1) “the relevant debt or debts”, in relation to an [F183interim third party debt order]F183 served on [F184a deposit-taker], means the amount, as at the time the order is served on [F184it], of the debt or debts of which the whole or a part is expressed to be attached by the order.

(1B)A deduction may be made under subsection (1) in a case where the amount referred to in subsection (1A) is insufficient to cover both the amount of the deduction and the amount of the judgment debt and costs in respect of which the attachment was made, notwithstanding that the benefit of the attachment to the creditor is reduced as a result of the deduction.]

(2)[F185An amount may not in pursuance of subsection (1)]be deducted or, as the case may be, retained in a case where by virtue of [F186section [F187346 of the M23Insolvency Act 1986]]or section 325 of the M24Companies Act 1948 or otherwise, the creditor is not entitled to retain the benefit of the attachment.

(3)In this section “prescribed” means prescribed by an order made by the Lord Chancellor.

(4)An order under this section—

(a)may make different provision for different cases; . . . F188

(b)without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a) may prescribe sums differing according to the amount due under the judgment or order to be satisfied.

[F189(c)may provide for this section not to apply to [F190deposit-taker] of any prescribed description.]

(5)Any such order shall be made by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

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Amendments (Textual)

F180Words in s. 109(1) substituted (1.12.2001) by S.I. 2001/3649, arts. 1, 295(2)(a)(b)

F181Words in s. 109(1) repealed (1.12.2001) by S.I. 2001/3649, arts. 1, 295(2)(c)

F184Words in s. 109(1A) substituted (1.12.2001) by S.I. 2001/3649, arts. 1, 295(3)(a)(b)

F190Words in s. 109(4)(c) substituted (1.12.2001) by virtue of S.I. 2001/3649, arts. 1, 295(4)

Marginal Citations

Miscellaneous provisions as to enforcement of judgments and ordersE+W

110 Penalty for non-attendance on judgment summons.E+W

(1)If a debtor summoned to attend a county court by a judgment summons fails to attend on the day and at the time fixed for any hearing of the summons, the judge may adjourn or further adjourn the summons to a specified time on a specified day and order the debtor to attend at that time on that day.

(2)If—

(a)a debtor, having been ordered under subsection (1) to attend at a specified time on a specified day, fails to do so; F191...

(b)F192. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

the judge may make an order committing him to prison for a period not exceeding 14 days in respect of the failure or refusal.

(3)In any case where the judge has power to make an order of committal under subsection (2) for failure to attend, he may in lieu of or in addition to making that order, order the debtor to be arrested and brought before the court either forthwith or at such time as the judge may direct.

(4)A debtor shall not be committed to prison under subsection (2) for having failed to attend as required by an order under subsection (1) unless there was paid to him at the time of the service of the judgment summons, or paid or tendered to him at the time of the service of the order, such sum in respect of his expenses as may be prescribed for the purposes of this section.

(5)The judge may at any time revoke an order committing a person to prison under this section and, if he is already in custody, order his discharge.

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Amendments (Textual)

111 Provisions as to warrants of possession.E+W

(1)For the purpose of executing a warrant to give possession of any premises, it shall not be necessary to remove any goods from those premises.

(2)The duration of any warrant of possession issued by a county court to enforce a judgment or order for the recovery of land or for the delivery of possession of land shall be such as may be fixed by or in accordance with [F193rules of court].

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Amendments (Textual)

F193Words in s. 111 substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3(b), 4(c)

Part VI E+W Administration Orders

112 Power to make administration order.E+W

(1)Where a debtor—

(a)is unable to pay forthwith the amount of a judgment obtained against him; and

(b)alleges that his whole indebtedness amounts to a sum not exceeding the county court limit, inclusive of the debt for which the judgment was obtained;

a county court may make an order providing for the adminstration of his estate.

(2)In this Part of this Act—

  • administration order” means an order under this section; and

  • the appropriate court”, in relation to an administration order, means the court which has the power to make the order.

(3)Before an administration order is made, the appropriate court shall, in accordance with [F194rules of court], send to every person whose name the debtor has notified to the appropriate court as being a creditor of his, a notice that that person’s name has been so notified.

(4)So long as an administration order is in force, a creditor whose name is included in the schedule to the order shall not, without the leave of the appropriate court, be entitled to present, or join in, a bankruptcy petition against the debtor unless—

(a)his name was so notified; and

(b)the debt by virtue of which he presents, or joins in, the petition, exceeds [F195£1500]; and

(c)the notice given under subsection (3) was received by the creditor within 28 days immediately preceding the day on which the petition is presented.

(5)An administration order shall not be invalid by reason only that the total amount of the debts is found at any time to exceed the county court limit, but in that case the court may, if it thinks fit, set aside the order.

(6)An administration order may provide for the payment of the debts of the debtor by instalments or otherwise, and either in full or to such extent as appears practicable to the court under the circumstances of the case, and subject to any conditions as to his future earnings or income which the court may think just.

(7)The Secretary of State may by regulations increase or reduce the sum for the time being specified in subsection (4)(b); but no such increase in the sum so specified shall affect any case in which the bankruptcy petition was presented before the coming into force of the increase.

(8)The power to make regulations under subsection (7) shall be exercisable by statutory instrument; and no such regulations shall be made unless a draft of them has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

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Amendments (Textual)

F194Words in s. 112 substituted (27.4.1997) by 1997 c. 12, s. 10, Sch. 2 para. 2(2); S.I. 1997/841, art. 3(b), 4(c)

Prospective

[F196112A Further powers of the court.E+W

(1)Where the court is satisfied —:

(a)that it has power to make an administration order with respect to the debtor concerned; but

(b)that an order restricting enforcement would be a more satisfactory way of dealing with the case,

it may make such an order instead of making an administration order.

(2)Where an order restricting enforcement is made, no creditor specified in the order shall have any remedy against the person or property of the debtor in respect of any debt so specified, without the leave of the court.

(3)Subsection (4) applies to any creditor—

(a)who is named in the schedule to an administration order or in an order restricting enforcement; and

(b)who provides the debtor with mains gas, electricity or water for the debtor’s own domestic purposes.

(4)While the order has effect, the creditor may not stop providing the debtor with—:

(a)mains gas, electricity or (as the case may be) water for the debtor’s own domestic purposes; or

(b)any associated service which it provides for its customers,

without leave of the court unless the reason for doing so relates to the non-payment of charges incurred by the debtor after the making of the order or is unconnected with non-payment by him of any charges.

(5)In this section “mains gas” means a supply of gas by a public gas supplier within the meaning of Part I of the Gas Act 1986.

(6)Rules of court may make provision with respect to the period for which any order restricting enforcement is to have effect and for the circumstances in which any such order may be revoked.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Prospective

[F197112B Administration orders with composition provisions.E+W

(1)Where the court is satisfied—

(a)that it has power to make an administration order with respect to the debtor concerned; and

(b)that the addition of a composition provision would be a more satisfactory way of dealing with the case,

it may make an administration order subject to such a provision.

(2)Where, at any time while an administration order is in force—

(a)the debtor has not discharged the debts to which that order relates; and

(b)the court considers that he is unlikely to be able to discharge them,

the court may add a composition provision to that order.

(3)A composition provision shall specify an amount to which the debtor’s total indebtedness in respect of debts owed to creditors scheduled to the administration order is to be reduced.

(4)The amount of the debt owed to each of the creditors so scheduled shall be reduced in proportion to the reduction in his total indebtedness specified by the composition provision.

(5)Where a composition provision is added to an administration order after the order is made, section 113(a) shall apply as if the addition of the composition provision amounted to the making of a new administration order.]

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Amendments (Textual)

113 Notice of order and proof of debts.E+W

Where an administration order has been made—

(a)notice of the order—

(i). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F198

(ii)shall be posted in the office of the county court for the district in which the debtor resides, and

(iii)shall be sent to every person whose name the debtor has notified to the appropriate court as being a creditor of his or who has proved;

(b)any creditor of the debtor, on proof of his debt before the registrar, shall be entitled to be scheduled as a creditor of the debtor for the amount of his proof;

(c)any creditor may object in the prescribed manner to any debt scheduled, or to the manner in which payment is directed to be made by instalments;

(d)any person who, after the date of the order, becomes a creditor of the debtor shall, on proof of his debt before the registrar, be scheduled as a creditor of the debtor for the amount of his proof, but shall not be entitled to any dividend under the order until the creditors who are scheduled as having been creditors before the date of the order have been paid to the extent provided by the order.

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Amendments (Textual)

114 Effect of administration order.E+W

(1)Subject to sections 115 and 116, when an administration order is made, no creditor shall have any remedy against the person or property of the debtor in respect of any debt—

(a)of which the debtor notified the appropriate court before the administration order was made; or

(b)which has been scheduled to the order,

except with the leave of the appropriate court, and on such terms as that court may impose.

(2)Subject to subsection (3), any county court in which proceedings are pending against the debtor in respect of any debt so notified or scheduled, shall, on receiving notice of the administration order, stay the proceedings, but may allow costs already incurred by the creditor, and such costs may, on application, be added to the debt.

(3)The requirement to stay proceedings shall not operate as a requirement that a county court in which proceedings in bankrupcy against the debtor are pending shall stay those proceedings.

115 Execution by registrar.E+W

(1)Where it appears to the registrar of the appropriate court at any time while an administration order is in force that property of the debtor exceeds in value [F199the minimum amount], he shall, at the request of any creditor, and without fee, issue execution against the debtor’s goods.

[F200(1A)In subsection (1) above “the minimum amount” means £50 or such other amount as the Lord Chancellor may by order specify instead of that amount or the amount for the time being specified in such an order; and an order under this subsection shall be made by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.]

(2)Section 89 applies on an execution under this section as it applies on an execution under Part V.

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Amendments (Textual)

116 Right of landlord to distrain notwithstanding order.E+W

A landlord or other person to whom any rent is due from a debtor in respect of whom an administration order is made, may at any time, either before or after the date of the order, distrain upon the goods or effects of the debtor for the rent due to him from the debtor, with this limitation, that if the distress for rent is levied after the date of the order, it shall be available only for six months’ rent accrued due prior to the date of the order and shall not be available for rent payable in respect of any period subsequent to the date when the distress was levied, but the landlord or other person to whom the rent may be due from the debtor may prove under the order for the surplus due for which the distress may not have been available.

117 Appropriation of money paid under order and discharge of order.E+W

(1)Money paid into court under an administration order shall be appropriated—

(a)first in satisfaction of the costs of administration (which shall not exceed 10 pence in the pound on the total amount of the debts); and

(b)then in liquidation of debts in accordance with the order.

(2)Where the amount received is sufficient to pay—

(a)each creditor scheduled to the order to the extent provided by the order;

(b)the costs of the plaintiff in the action in respect of which the order was made; and

(c)the cost of the administration,

the order shall be superseded, and the debtor shall be discharged from his debts to the scheduled creditors.

Prospective

[F201Part 6 E+WAdministration Orders]

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Amendments (Textual)

F201Pt. 6 (ss. 112A-112AI) substituted (prosp.) for existing Pt. 6 (ss. 112-117) by Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (c. 15), ss. 106(1), 148(5)

Administration ordersE+W

112AAdministration ordersE+W

An administration order is an order—

(a)to which certain debts are scheduled in accordance with section 112C, 112D or 112Y(3) or (4),

(b)which imposes the requirement specified in section 112E on the debtor, and

(c)which imposes the requirements specified in sections 112F to 112I on certain creditors.

112BPower to make orderE+W

(1)A county court may make an administration order if the conditions in subsections (2) to (7) are met.

(2)The order must be made in respect of an individual who is a debtor under two or more qualifying debts.

(3)That individual (“the debtor”) must not be a debtor under any business debts.

(4)The debtor must not be excluded under any of the following—

(a)the AO exclusion;

(b)the voluntary arrangement exclusion;

(c)the bankruptcy exclusion.

(5)The debtor must be unable to pay one or more of his qualifying debts.

(6)The total amount of the debtor's qualifying debts must be less than, or the same as, the prescribed maximum.

(7)The debtor's surplus income must be more than the prescribed minimum.

(8)Before making an administration order, the county court must have regard to any representations made—

(a)by any person about why the order should not be made, or

(b)by a creditor under a debt about why the debt should not be taken into account in calculating the total amount of the debtor's qualifying debts.

Scheduling debtsE+W

112CScheduling declared debtsE+W

(1)This section applies to a qualifying debt (“the declared debt”) if—

(a)an administration order is made, and

(b)when the order is made, the debt is taken into account in calculating the total amount of the debtor's qualifying debts for the purposes of section 112B(6).

(2)If the declared debt is already due at the time the administration order is made, the proper county court must schedule the debt to the order when the order is made.

(3)If the declared debt becomes due after the administration order is made, the proper county court must schedule the debt to the order if the debtor, or the creditor under the debt, applies to the court for the debt to be scheduled.

(4)This section is subject to section 112AG(5).

112DScheduling new debtsE+W

(1)This section applies to a qualifying debt (“the new debt”) if the debt—

(a)arises after an administration order is made, and

(b)becomes due during the currency of the order.

(2)The proper county court may schedule the new debt to the administration order if these conditions are met—

(a)the debtor, or the creditor under the new debt, applies to the court for the debt to be scheduled;

(b)the total amount of the debtor's qualifying debts (including the new debt) is less than, or the same as, the prescribed maximum.

Requirements imposed by orderE+W

112ERepayment requirementE+W

(1)An administration order must, during the currency of the order, impose a repayment requirement on the debtor.

(2)A repayment requirement is a requirement for the debtor to repay the scheduled debts.

(3)The repayment requirement may provide for the debtor to repay a particular scheduled debt in full or to some other extent.

(4)The repayment requirement may provide for the debtor to repay different scheduled debts to different extents.

(5)In the case of a new debt scheduled to the order in accordance with section 112D, the repayment requirement may provide that no due repayment in respect of the new debt is to be made until the debtor has made all due repayments in respect of declared debts.

(6)The repayment requirement must provide that the due repayments are to be made by instalments.

(7)It is for the proper county court to decide when the instalments are to be made.

(8)But the proper county court is to determine the amount of the instalments in accordance with repayment regulations.

(9)Repayment regulations are regulations which make provision for instalments to be determined by reference to the debtor's surplus income.

(10)The repayment requirement may provide that the due repayments are to be made by other means (including by one or more lump sums) in addition to the instalments required in accordance with subsection (6).

(11)The repayment requirement may include provision in addition to any that is required or permitted by this section.

(12)In this section—

  • declared debt” has the same meaning as in section 112C (and for this purpose it does not matter whether a declared debt is scheduled to the administration order when it is made, or afterwards);

  • due repayments” means repayments which the repayment requirement requires the debtor to make;

  • new debt” has the same meaning as in section 112D.

112FPresentation of bankruptcy petitionE+W

(1)An administration order must, during the currency of the order, impose the following requirement.

(2)The requirement is that no qualifying creditor of the debtor is to present a bankruptcy petition against the debtor in respect of a qualifying debt, unless the creditor has the permission of the proper county court.

(3)The proper county court may give permission for the purposes of subsection (2) subject to such conditions as it thinks fit.

112GRemedies other than bankruptcyE+W

(1)An administration order must, during the currency of the order, impose the following requirement.

(2)The requirement is that no qualifying creditor of the debtor is to pursue any remedy for the recovery of a qualifying debt unless—

(a)regulations under subsection (3) provide otherwise, or

(b)the creditor has the permission of the proper county court.

(3)Regulations may specify classes of debt which are exempted (or exempted for specified purposes) from the restriction imposed by subsection (2).

(4)The proper county court may give permission for the purposes of subsection (2)(b) subject to such conditions as it thinks fit.

(5)This section does not have any effect in relation to bankruptcy proceedings.

112HCharging of interest etcE+W

(1)An administration order must, during the currency of the order, impose the following requirement.

(2)The requirement is that no creditor under a scheduled debt is to charge any sum by way of interest, fee or other charge in respect of that debt.

112IStopping supplies of gas or electricityE+W

(1)An administration order must, during the currency of the order, impose the requirement in subsection (3).

(2)In relation to that requirement, a domestic utility creditor is any person who—

(a)provides the debtor with a supply of mains gas or mains electricity for the debtor's own domestic purposes, and

(b)is a creditor under a qualifying debt that relates to the provision of that supply.

(3)The requirement is that no domestic utility creditor is to stop the supply of gas or electricity, or the supply of any associated services, except in the cases in subsections (4) to (6).

(4)The first case is where the reason for stopping a supply relates to the non-payment by the debtor of charges incurred in connection with that supply after the making of the administration order.

(5)The second case is where the reason for stopping a supply is unconnected with the non-payment by the debtor of any charges incurred in connection with—

(a)that supply, or

(b)any other supply of mains gas or mains electricity, or of associated services, that is provided by the domestic utility creditor.

(6)The third case is where the proper county court gives permission to stop a supply.

(7)The proper county court may give permission for the purposes of subsection (6) subject to such conditions as it thinks fit.

(8)A supply of mains gas is a supply of the kind mentioned in section 5(1)(b) of the Gas Act 1986.

(9)A supply of mains electricity is a supply of the kind mentioned in section 4(1)(c) of the Electricity Act 1989.

Making an orderE+W

112JApplication for an orderE+W

(1)A county court may make an administration order only on the application of the debtor.

(2)The debtor may make an application for an administration order whether or not a judgment has been obtained against him in respect of any of his debts.

112KDurationE+W

(1)A county court may, at the time it makes an administration order, specify a day on which the order will cease to have effect.

(2)The court may not specify a day which falls after the last day of the maximum permitted period.

(3)If the court specifies a day under this section, the order ceases to have effect on that day.

(4)If the court does not specify a day under this section, the order ceases to have effect at the end of the maximum permitted period.

(5)The maximum permitted period is the period of five years beginning with the day on which the order is made.

(6)This section is subject to—

(a)section 112S (variation of duration);

(b)section 112W (effect of revocation).

(7)This section is also subject to the following (effect of enforcement restriction order or debt relief order on administration order)—

(a)section 117I of this Act;

(b)section 251F of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Effects of orderE+W

112LEffect on other debt management arrangementsE+W

(1)This section applies if—

(a)an administration order is made, and

(b)immediately before the order is made, other debt management arrangements are in force in respect of the debtor.

(2)The other debt management arrangements cease to be in force when the administration order is made.

(3)If the proper county court is aware of the other debt management arrangements, the court must give the relevant authority notice that the order has been made.

(4)In a case where the proper county court is aware of other debt management arrangements at the time it makes the order, it must give the notice as soon as practicable after making the order.

(5)In a case where the proper county court becomes aware of those arrangements after it makes the order, it must give the notice as soon as practicable after becoming aware of them.

(6)Other debt management arrangements” means any of the following—

(a)an enforcement restriction order under Part 6A of this Act;

(b)a debt relief order under Part 7A of the Insolvency Act 1986;

(c)a debt repayment plan arranged in accordance with a debt management scheme that is approved under Chapter 4 of Part 5 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

(7)The relevant authority” means—

(a)in relation to an enforcement restriction order: the proper county court (within the meaning of Part 6A);

(b)in relation to a debt relief order: the official receiver;

(c)in relation to a debt repayment plan: the operator of the debt management scheme in accordance with which the plan is arranged.

(8)For the purposes of this section a debt relief order is “in force” if the moratorium applicable to the order under section 251H of the Insolvency Act 1986 has not yet ended.

112MDuty to provide informationE+W

(1)This section applies if, and for as long as, an administration order has effect in respect of a debtor.

(2)The debtor must, at the prescribed times, provide the proper county court with particulars of his—

(a)earnings,

(b)income,

(c)assets, and

(d)outgoings.

(3)The debtor must provide particulars of those matters—

(a)as the matters are at the time the particulars are provided, and

(b)as the debtor expects the matters to be at such times in the future as are prescribed.

(4)If the debtor intends to dispose of any of his property he must, within the prescribed period, provide the proper county court with particulars of the following matters—

(a)the property he intends to dispose of;

(b)the consideration (if any) he expects will be given for the disposal;

(c)such other matters as may be prescribed;

(d)such other matters as the court may specify.

(5)But subsection (4) does not apply if the disposal is of—

(a)goods that are exempt goods for the purposes of Schedule 12 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007,

(b)goods that are protected under any other enactment from being taken control of under that Schedule, or

(c)prescribed property.

(6)The duty under subsection (4) to provide the proper county court with particulars of a proposed disposal of property applies whether the debtor is the sole owner, or one of several owners, of the property.

(7)In any provision of this section “prescribed” means prescribed in regulations for the purposes of that provision.

112NOffence if information not providedE+W

(1)A person commits an offence if he fails to comply with—

(a)section 112M(2) and (3), or

(b)section 112M(4).

(2)A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) may be ordered by a judge of the proper county court to pay a fine of not more than £250 or to be imprisoned for not more than 14 days.

(3)Where under subsection (2) a person is ordered to be imprisoned by a judge of the proper county court, the judge may at any time—

(a)revoke the order, and

(b)if the person is already in custody, order his discharge.

(4)Section 129 of this Act (enforcement of fines) applies to payment of a fine imposed under subsection (2).

(5)For the purposes of section 13 of the Administration of Justice Act 1960 (appeal in cases of contempt of court), subsection (2) is to be treated as an enactment enabling a county court to deal with an offence under subsection (1) as if it were a contempt of court.

(6)A district judge or deputy district judge shall have the same powers under this section as a judge of a county court.

112OExisting county court proceedings to be stayedE+W

(1)This section applies if these conditions are met—

(a)an administration order is made;

(b)proceedings in a county court (other than bankruptcy proceedings) are pending against the debtor in respect of a qualifying debt;

(c)by virtue of a requirement included in the order by virtue of section 112G, the creditor under the qualifying debt is not entitled to continue the proceedings in respect of the debt;

(d)the county court receives notice of the administration order.

(2)The county court must stay the proceedings.

(3)The court may allow costs already incurred by the creditor.

(4)If the court allows such costs, it may on application or of its motion add them—

(a)to the debt, or

(b)if the debt is a scheduled debt, to the amount scheduled to the order in respect of the debt.

(5)But the court may not add the costs under subsection (4)(b) if the court is under a duty under section 112U(6)(b) to revoke the order because the total amount of the debtor's qualifying debts (including the costs) is more than the prescribed maximum.

112PAppropriation of money paidE+W

(1)Money paid into court under an administration order is to be appropriated—

(a)first in satisfaction of any relevant court fees, and

(b)then in liquidation of debts.

(2)Relevant court fees are any fees under an order made under section 92 of the Courts Act 2003 which are payable by the debtor in respect of the administration order.

112QDischarge from debtsE+W

(1)If the debtor repays a scheduled debt to the extent provided for by the administration order, the proper county court must—

(a)order that the debtor is discharged from the debt, and

(b)de-schedule the debt.

(2)If the debtor repays all of the scheduled debts to the extent provided for by the administration order, the proper county court must revoke the order.

(3)Subsections (1) and (2) apply to all scheduled debts, including any which, under the administration order, are to be repaid other than to their full extent.

VariationE+W

112RVariationE+W

(1)The proper county court may vary an administration order.

(2)The power under this section is exercisable—

(a)on the application of the debtor;

(b)on the application of a qualifying creditor;

(c)of the court's own motion.

112SVariation of durationE+W

(1)The power under section 112R includes power to vary an administration order so as to specify a day, or (if a day has already been specified under section 112K or this subsection) a different day, on which the order will cease to have effect.

(2)But the new termination day must fall on or before the last day of the maximum permitted period.

(3)If the proper county court varies an administration under subsection (1), the order ceases to have effect on the new termination day.

(4)In this section—

(a)new termination day” means the day on which the order will cease to have effect in accordance with the variation under subsection (1);

(b)maximum permitted period” means the period of five years beginning with the day on which the order was originally made.

(5)This section is subject to section 112W (effect of revocation).

112TDe-scheduling debtsE+W

(1)The power under section 112R includes power to vary an administration order by de-scheduling a debt.

(2)But the debt may be de-scheduled only if it appears to the proper county court that it is just and equitable to do so.

RevocationE+W

112UDuty to revoke orderE+W

(1)The proper county court must revoke an administration order in either of these cases—

(a)where it becomes apparent that, at the time the order was made, the condition in subsection 112B(2) was not met (debtor in fact did not have two or more qualifying debts);

(b)where the debtor is no longer a debtor under any qualifying debts.

(2)The proper county court must revoke an administration order in either of these cases—

(a)where it becomes apparent that, at the time the order was made, the condition in subsection 112B(3) was not met (debtor in fact had business debt), and he is still a debtor under the business debt, or any of the business debts, in question;

(b)where the debtor subsequently becomes a debtor under a business debt, and he is still a debtor under that debt.

(3)The proper county court must revoke an administration order where it becomes apparent that, at the time the order was made, the condition in section 112B(4) was not met (debtor in fact excluded under AO, voluntary arrangement or bankruptcy exclusion).

(4)The proper county court must revoke an administration order where, after the order is made—

(a)the debtor becomes excluded under the voluntary arrangement exclusion, or

(b)a bankruptcy order is made against the debtor, and is still in force.

(5)The proper county court must revoke an administration order in either of these cases—

(a)where it becomes apparent that, at the time the order was made, the condition in section 112B(5) was not met (debtor in fact able to pay qualifying debts);

(b)where the debtor is now able to pay all of his qualifying debts.

(6)The proper county court must revoke an administration order in either of these cases—

(a)where it becomes apparent that, at the time the order was made, the condition in section 112B(6) was not met (debtor's qualifying debts in fact more than prescribed maximum);

(b)where the total amount of the debtor's qualifying debts is now more than the prescribed maximum.

(7)The proper county court must revoke an administration order in either of these cases—

(a)where it becomes apparent that, at the time the order was made, the condition in section 112B(7) was not met (debtor's surplus income in fact less than, or the same as, the prescribed minimum);

(b)where the debtor's surplus income is now less than, or the same as, the prescribed minimum.

112VPower to revoke orderE+W

(1)The proper county court may revoke an administration order in any case where there is no duty under this Part to revoke it.

(2)The power of revocation under this section may, in particular, be exercised in any of the following cases—

(a)where the debtor has failed to make two payments (whether consecutive or not) required by the order;

(b)where the debtor has failed to provide the proper county court with the particulars required by—

(i)section 112M(2) and (3), or

(ii)section 112M(4).

(3)The power of revocation under this section is exercisable—

(a)on the application of the debtor;

(b)on the application of a qualifying creditor;

(c)of the court's own motion.

112WEffect of revocationE+W

(1)This section applies if, under any duty or power in this Part, the proper county court revokes an administration order.

(2)The order ceases to have effect in accordance with the terms of the revocation.

Notification of certain eventsE+W

112XNotice when order made, varied, revoked etcE+W

(1)If a notifiable event occurs in relation to an administration order, the proper county court must send notice of the event to the creditor under every scheduled debt.

(2)There is a notifiable event in any of the following cases—

(a)when the administration order is made;

(b)when a debt is scheduled to the administration order at any time after the making of the order;

(c)when the administration order is varied;

(d)when the administration order is revoked;

(e)when the proper county court is given notice under any of the provisions listed in section 112K(7) (effect of enforcement restriction order or debt relief order on administration order).

Total amount of qualifying debts not properly calculatedE+W

112YFailure to take account of all qualifying debtsE+W

(1)This section applies if—

(a)an administration order has been made, but

(b)it becomes apparent that the total amount of the debtor's qualifying debts was not properly calculated for the purposes of section 112B(6), because of an undeclared debt.

(2)A debt is undeclared if it ought to have been, but was not, taken into account in the calculation for the purposes of section 112B(6).

(3)If these conditions are met—

(a)the undeclared debt is due (whether it became due before or after the making of the order);

(b)the total debt is less than, or the same as, the prescribed maximum;

the proper county court must schedule the undeclared debt to the order.

(4)If these conditions are met—

(a)the undeclared debt is not due;

(b)the total debt is less than, or the same as, the prescribed maximum;

the proper county court must schedule the undeclared debt to the order when the debt becomes due.

(5)If the total debt is more than the prescribed maximum, the proper county court must revoke the administration order (whether or not the undeclared debt is due).

(6)In this section “total debt” means the total amount of the debtor's qualifying debts (including the undeclared debt).

(7)Subsections (3) and (4) are subject to section 112AG(5).

InterpretationE+W

112ZIntroductionE+W

Sections 112AA to 112AH apply for the purposes of this Part.

112AAMain definitionsE+W

(1)In this Part—

  • administration order” has the meaning given by section 112A;

  • debtor” has the meaning given by section 112B;

  • prescribed maximum” means the amount prescribed in regulations for the purposes of section 112B(6);

  • prescribed minimum” means the amount prescribed in regulations for the purposes of section 112B(7);

  • qualifying creditor” means a creditor under a qualifying debt.

(2)References to the currency of an administration order are references to the period which—

(a)begins when the order first has effect, and

(b)ends when the order ceases to have effect.

(3)In relation to an administration order, references to the proper county court are references to the county court that made the order.

(4)But that is subject to rules of court as to the venue for, and transfer of, proceedings in county courts.

112ABExpressions relating to debtsE+W

(1)All debts are qualifying debts, except for the following—

(a)any debt secured against an asset;

(b)any debt of a description specified in regulations.

(2)A business debt is any debt (whether or not a qualifying debt) which is incurred by a person in the course of a business.

(3)Only debts that have already arisen are included in references to debts; and accordingly such references do not include any debt that will arise only on the happening of some future contingency.

112ACInability to pay debtsE+W

(1)In a case where an individual is the debtor under a debt that is repayable by a single payment, the debtor is to be regarded as unable to pay the debt only if—

(a)the debt has become due,

(b)the debtor has failed to make the single payment, and

(c)the debtor is unable to make that payment.

(2)In a case where an individual is the debtor under a debt that is repayable by a number of payments, the debtor is to be regarded as unable to pay the debt only if—

(a)the debt has become due,

(b)the debtor has failed to make one or more of the payments, and

(c)the debtor is unable to make all of the missed payments.

112ADCalculating the debtor's qualifying debtsE+W

(1)The total amount of a debtor's qualifying debts is to be calculated in accordance with subsections (2) and (3).

(2)All of the debtor's qualifying debts which have arisen before the calculation must be taken into account (whether or not the debts are already due at the time of the calculation).

(3)Regulations must make further provision about how the total amount of a debtor's qualifying debts is to be calculated.

(4)Regulations may make provision about how the amount of any particular qualifying debt is to be calculated.

(5)That includes the calculation of the amount of a debt for these purposes—

(a)calculating the total amount of the debtor's qualifying debts;

(b)scheduling the debt to an administration order.

112AECalculating the debtor's surplus incomeE+W

(1)The debtor's surplus income is to be calculated in accordance with regulations.

(2)Regulations under this section must, in particular, make the following provision—

(a)provision about what is surplus income;

(b)provision about the period by reference to which the debtor's surplus income is to be calculated.

(3)Regulations under this section may, in particular, provide for the debtor's assets to be taken account of when calculating his surplus income.

112AFDebts becoming dueE+W

(1)A debt that is repayable by a single payment becomes due when the time for making that payment is reached.

(2)A debt that is repayable by a number of payments becomes due when the time for making the first of the payments is reached.

112AGScheduling and de-scheduling debtsE+W

(1)A debt is scheduled to an administration order if the relevant information is included in a schedule to the order.

(2)A debt is de-scheduled if the relevant information is removed from a schedule in which it was included as mentioned in subsection (1).

(3)In relation to a debt, the relevant information is—

(a)the amount of the debt, and

(b)the name of the creditor under the debt.

(4)A scheduled debt is a debt that is scheduled to an administration order.

(5)The proper county court must not schedule a debt to an administration order unless the court has had regard to any representations made by any person about why the debt should not be scheduled.

(6)But subsection (5) does not apply to any representations which are made by the debtor in relation to the scheduling of a debt under section 112Y.

(7)The proper county court must not de-schedule a debt unless the court has had regard to any representations made by any person about why the debt should not be de-scheduled.

(8)But subsection (7) does not apply in relation to the de-scheduling of a debt under section 112Q.

(9)A court must not schedule a debt to an administration order, or de-schedule a debt, except in accordance with the provisions of this Part.

112AHThe AO, voluntary arrangement and bankruptcy exclusionsE+W

(1)The debtor is excluded under the AO exclusion if—

(a)an administration order currently has effect in respect of him, or

(b)an administration order has previously had effect in respect of him, and the period of 12 months — beginning with the day when that order ceased to have effect — has yet to finish.

(2)But in a case that falls within subsection (1)(b), the debtor is not excluded under the AO exclusion if the previous administration order—

(a)ceased to have effect in accordance with any of the provisions listed in section 112K(7) (effect of enforcement restriction order or debt relief order on administration order), or

(b)was revoked in accordance with section 112U(1)(b) (debtor no longer has any qualifying debts).

(3)The debtor is excluded under the voluntary arrangement exclusion if—

(a)an interim order under section 252 of the Insolvency Act 1986 has effect in respect of him (interim order where debtor intends to make proposal for voluntary arrangement), or

(b)he is bound by a voluntary arrangement approved under Part 8 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

(4)The debtor is excluded under the bankruptcy exclusion if—

(a)a petition for a bankruptcy order to be made against him has been presented but not decided, or

(b)he is an undischarged bankrupt.

RegulationsE+W

112AIRegulations under this PartE+W

(1)It is for the Lord Chancellor to make regulations under this Part.

(2)Any power to make regulations under this Part is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(3)A statutory instrument containing regulations under this Part is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

Prospective

[F202Part 6A E+WEnforcement Restriction Orders]

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

Enforcement restriction ordersE+W

117AEnforcement restriction ordersE+W

(1)An enforcement restriction order is an order that imposes the requirements specified in sections 117C to 117E on certain creditors.

(2)An enforcement restriction order may also impose a requirement in accordance with section 117F on the debtor.

117BPower to make orderE+W

(1)A county court may make an enforcement restriction order if the conditions in subsections (2) to (8) are met.

(2)The order must be made in respect of an individual who is a debtor under two or more qualifying debts.

(3)That individual (“the debtor”) must not be a debtor under any business debts.

(4)The debtor must not be excluded under any of the following—

(a)the ERO exclusion;

(b)the voluntary arrangement exclusion;

(c)the bankruptcy exclusion.

(5)The debtor must be unable to pay one or more of his qualifying debts.

(6)The debtor must be suffering from a sudden and unforeseen deterioration in his financial circumstances.

(7)There must be a realistic prospect that the debtor's financial circumstances will improve within the period of six months beginning when the order is made.

(8)It must be fair and equitable to make the order.

(9)Before making an enforcement restriction order, the county court must have regard to any representations made by any person about why the order should not be made.

(10)Subsection (9) is subject to Civil Procedure Rules.

Requirements imposed by orderE+W

117CPresentation of bankruptcy petitionE+W

(1)An enforcement restriction order must, during the currency of the order, impose the following requirement.

(2)The requirement is that no qualifying creditor of the debtor is to present a bankruptcy petition against the debtor in respect of a qualifying debt, unless the creditor has the permission of the proper county court.

(3)The proper county court may give permission for the purposes of subsection (2) subject to such conditions as it thinks fit.

117DRemedies other than bankruptcyE+W

(1)An enforcement restriction order must, during the currency of the order, impose the following requirement.

(2)The requirement is that no qualifying creditor of the debtor is to pursue any remedy for the recovery of a qualifying debt unless—

(a)regulations under subsection (3) provide otherwise, or

(b)the creditor has the permission of the proper county court.

(3)Regulations may specify classes of debt which are exempted (or exempted for specified purposes) from any requirement imposed by subsection (2).

(4)The proper county court may give permission for the purposes of subsection (2)(b) subject to such conditions as it thinks fit.

(5)This section does not have any effect in relation to bankruptcy proceedings.

117EStopping supplies of gas or electricityE+W

(1)An enforcement restriction order must, during the currency of the order, impose the requirement in subsection (3).

(2)In relation to that requirement, a domestic utility creditor is any person who—

(a)provides the debtor with a supply of mains gas or mains electricity for the debtor's own domestic purposes, and

(b)is a creditor under a qualifying debt that relates to the provision of that supply.

(3)The requirement is that no domestic utility creditor is to stop the supply of gas or electricity, or the supply of any associated services, except in the cases in subsections (4) to (6).

(4)The first case is where the reason for stopping a supply relates to the non-payment by the debtor of charges incurred in connection with that supply after the making of the enforcement restriction order.

(5)The second case is where the reason for stopping a supply is unconnected with the non-payment by the debtor of any charges incurred in connection with—

(a)that supply, or

(b)any other supply of mains gas or mains electricity, or of associated services, that is provided by the domestic utility creditor.

(6)The third case is where the proper county court gives permission to stop a supply.

(7)The proper county court may give permission for the purposes of subsection (6) subject to such conditions as it thinks fit.

(8)A supply of mains gas is a supply of the kind mentioned in section 5(1)(b) of the Gas Act 1986.

(9)A supply of mains electricity is a supply of the kind mentioned in section 4(1)(c) of the Electricity Act 1989.

117FRepayment requirementE+W

(1)An enforcement restriction order may impose a repayment requirement on the debtor.

(2)The county court may include the requirement in the order at the time it makes the order.

(3)The proper county court may, at any time after an enforcement restriction order has been made, vary the order so as to include a repayment requirement.

(4)The proper county court may, at any time when an enforcement restriction order includes a repayment requirement, vary the order so as to—

(a)remove the repayment requirement, or

(b)include a different repayment requirement.

(5)A repayment requirement is a requirement that the debtor make payments, in respect of one or more of his qualifying debts, to the person or persons to whom he owes the debt or debts.

(6)A county court may include a repayment requirement in an order only if—

(a)the debtor has surplus income at the time of the inclusion of the requirement, and

(b)the inclusion of the requirement would be fair and equitable.

(7)The debtor's surplus income is to be calculated in accordance with regulations.

(8)Regulations under subsection (7) must make the following provision—

(a)provision about what is surplus income;

(b)provision about the period by reference to which the debtor's surplus income is to be calculated.

(9)Regulations under subsection (7) may, in particular, provide for the debtor's assets to be taken account of for the purpose of calculating his surplus income.

(10)The proper county court may vary an enforcement restriction order under this section—

(a)of its own motion;

(b)on the application of the debtor;

(c)on the application of a qualifying creditor.

Making an orderE+W

117GApplication for orderE+W

(1)A county court may make an enforcement restriction order only on the application of the debtor.

(2)The debtor may make an application for an enforcement restriction order whether or not a judgment has been obtained against him in respect of any of his debts.

117HDurationE+W

(1)A county court may, at the time it makes an enforcement restriction order, specify a day on which the order will cease to have effect.

(2)The court may not specify a day which falls after the last day of the maximum permitted period.

(3)If the court specifies a day under this section, the order ceases to have effect on that day.

(4)If the court does not specify a day under this section, the order ceases to have effect at the end of the maximum permitted period.

(5)The maximum permitted period is the period of 12 months beginning with the day on which the order is made.

(6)This section is subject to—

(a)section 117N (variation of duration);

(b)section 117Q (effect of revocation);

(7)This section is also subject to the following (effect of administration order or debt relief order on enforcement restriction order)—

(a)section 112L of this Act;

(b)section 251F of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Effects of orderE+W

117IEffect on other debt management arrangementsE+W

(1)This section applies if—

(a)an enforcement restriction order is made, and

(b)immediately before the order is made, other debt management arrangements are in force in respect of the debtor.

(2)The other debt management arrangements cease to be in force when the enforcement restriction order is made.

(3)If the proper county court is aware of the other debt management arrangements, the court must give the relevant authority notice that the order has been made.

(4)In a case where the proper county court is aware of those arrangements at the time it makes the order, it must give the notice as soon as practicable after making the order.

(5)In a case where the proper county court only becomes aware of those arrangements after it makes the order, it must give the notice as soon as practicable after becoming aware of them.

(6)Other debt management arrangements” means any of the following—

(a)an administration order under Part 6 of this Act;

(b)a debt relief order under Part 7A of the Insolvency Act 1986;

(c)a debt repayment plan arranged in accordance with a debt management scheme that is approved under Chapter 4 of Part 5 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

(7)The relevant authority” means—

(a)in relation to an administration order: the proper county court (within the meaning of Part 6);

(b)in relation to a debt relief order: the official receiver;

(c)in relation to a debt repayment plan: the operator of the debt management scheme in accordance with which the plan is arranged.

(8)For the purposes of this section a debt relief order is “in force” if the moratorium applicable to the order under section 251H of the Insolvency Act 1986 has not yet ended.

117JDuty to provide informationE+W

(1)This section applies if, and for as long as, an enforcement restriction order has effect in respect of a debtor.

(2)The debtor must, at the prescribed times, provide the proper county court with particulars of his—

(a)earnings,

(b)income,

(c)assets, and

(d)outgoings.

(3)The debtor must provide particulars of those matters—

(a)as the matters are at the time the particulars are provided, and

(b)as the debtor expects the matters to be at such times in the future as may be prescribed.

(4)If the debtor intends to dispose of any of his property he must, within the prescribed period, provide the proper county court with particulars of the following matters—

(a)the property he intends to dispose of;

(b)the consideration (if any) he expects will be given for the disposal;

(c)such other matters as may be prescribed;

(d)such other matters as the court may specify.

(5)But subsection (4) does not apply if the disposal is of—

(a)goods that are exempt goods for the purposes of Schedule 12 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007,

(b)goods that are protected under any other enactment from being taken control of under that Schedule, or

(c)prescribed property.

(6)The duty under subsection (4) to provide the proper county court with particulars of a proposed disposal of property applies whether the debtor is the sole owner, or one of several owners, of the property.

(7)In any provision of this section “prescribed” means prescribed in regulations for the purposes of that provision.

117KOffence if information not providedE+W

(1)A person commits an offence if he fails to comply with—

(a)section 117J(2) and (3), or

(b)section 117J(4).

(2)A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) may be ordered by a judge of the proper county court to pay a fine of not more than £250 or to be imprisoned for not more than 14 days.

(3)Where under subsection (2) a person is ordered to be imprisoned by a judge of the proper county court, the judge may at any time—

(a)revoke the order, and

(b)if the person is already in custody, order his discharge.

(4)Section 129 of this Act (enforcement of fines) applies to payment of a fine imposed under subsection (2).

(5)For the purposes of section 13 of the Administration of Justice Act 1960 (appeal in cases of contempt of court), subsection (2) is to be treated as an enactment enabling a county court to deal with an offence under subsection (1) as if it were a contempt of court.

(6)A district judge or deputy district judge shall have the same powers under this section as a judge of a county court.

117LExisting county court proceedings to be stayedE+W

(1)This section applies if these conditions are met—

(a)an enforcement restriction order is made;

(b)proceedings in a county court (other than bankruptcy proceedings) are pending against the debtor in respect of a qualifying debt;

(c)by virtue of a requirement included in the order by virtue of section 117D, the creditor under the qualifying debt is not entitled to continue the proceedings in respect of the debt;

(d)the county court receives notice of the enforcement restriction order.

(2)The county court must stay the proceedings.

(3)The county court—

(a)may allow costs already incurred by the creditor, and

(b)if the court allows such costs, may on application or of its own motion add them to the debt owed to the creditor.

117MChargesE+W

(1)This section applies during, and after, the currency of an enforcement restriction order.

(2)A qualifying creditor may not make any charge in respect of a protected qualifying debt, unless the charge—

(a)is interest, or

(b)is not interest but relates to a time before or after the currency of the order.

(3)A charge made in breach of subsection (2) is not recoverable.

(4)In subsection (2) “protected qualifying debt” means any qualifying debt under which the debtor was a debtor at some time during the currency of the enforcement restriction order.

Variation of durationE+W

117NVariation of durationE+W

(1)The proper county court may vary an enforcement restriction order so as to specify a day, or (if a day has already been specified under section 117H or this section) a different day, on which the order will cease to have effect.

(2)But the new termination day must fall on or before the last day of the maximum permitted period.

(3)If the proper county court varies an enforcement restriction order under subsection (1), the order ceases to have effect on the new termination day.

(4)The power under this section is exercisable—

(a)on the application of the debtor;

(b)on the application of a qualifying creditor;

(c)of the court's own motion.

(5)In this section—

(a)new termination day” means the day on which the order will cease to have effect in accordance with the variation under subsection (1);

(b)maximum permitted period” means the period of 12 months beginning with the day on which the order was originally made.

(6)This section is subject to section 117Q (effect of revocation).

Revocation of orderE+W

117ODuty to revoke orderE+W

(1)The proper county court must revoke an enforcement restriction order in either of these cases—

(a)where it becomes apparent that, at the time the order was made, the condition in subsection 117B(2) was not met (debtor in fact did not have two or more qualifying debts);

(b)where the debtor is no longer a debtor under any qualifying debts.

(2)The proper county court must revoke an enforcement restriction order in either of these cases—

(a)where it becomes apparent that, at the time the order was made, the condition in subsection 117B(3) was not met (debtor in fact had business debt), and he is still a debtor under the business debt, or any of the business debts, in question;

(b)where the debtor subsequently becomes a debtor under a business debt, and he is still a debtor under that debt.

(3)The proper county court must revoke an enforcement restriction order where it becomes apparent that, at the time the order was made, the condition in section 117B(4) was not met (debtor in fact excluded under ERO, voluntary arrangement or bankruptcy exclusion).

(4)The proper county court must revoke an enforcement restriction order where, after the order is made—

(a)the debtor becomes excluded under the voluntary arrangement exclusion, or

(b)a bankruptcy order is made against the debtor, and is still in force.

(5)The proper county court must revoke an enforcement restriction order in either of these cases—

(a)where it becomes apparent that, at the time the order was made, the condition in section 117B(5) was not met (debtor in fact able to pay qualifying debts);

(b)where the debtor is now able to pay all of his qualifying debts.

(6)The proper county court must revoke an enforcement restriction order in either of these cases—

(a)where it becomes apparent that, at the time the order was made, the condition in section 117B(6) was not met (debtor in fact not suffering from sudden and unforeseen deterioration in financial circumstances);

(b)where the debtor is no longer suffering from the deterioration in financial circumstances which was taken into account for the purposes of section 117B(6) (even if he is suffering from some other sudden and unforeseen deterioration in his financial circumstances).

(7)The proper county court must revoke an enforcement restriction order in either of these cases—

(a)where it becomes apparent that, at the time the order was made, the condition in section 117B(7) was not met (in fact no realistic prospect of improvement in debtor's financial circumstances);

(b)where there is no longer a realistic prospect that the debtor's financial circumstances will improve during the period within which the order would continue to have effect (if not revoked).

(8)The proper county court must revoke an enforcement restriction order in either of these cases—

(a)where it becomes apparent that, at the time the order was made, the condition in section 117B(8) was not met (not in fact fair and equitable to make order);

(b)where it is not fair and equitable for the order to continue to have effect.

117PPower to revoke orderE+W

(1)The proper county court may revoke an enforcement restriction order in any case where there is no duty under this Part to revoke it.

(2)The power of revocation under this section may, in particular, be exercised in any of the following cases—

(a)where the order includes, or has previously included, a repayment requirement, and the debtor has failed to comply with that requirement;

(b)where the debtor has failed to provide the proper county court with the particulars required by—

(i)section 117J(2) and (3), or

(ii)section 117J(4).

(3)The power of revocation under this section is exercisable—

(a)on the application of the debtor;

(b)on the application of a qualifying creditor;

(c)of the court's own motion.

117QEffect of revocationE+W

(1)This section applies if, under any duty or power in this Part, the proper county court revokes an enforcement restriction order.

(2)The order ceases to have effect in accordance with the terms of the revocation.

Notification of certain eventsE+W

117RNotice when order made, varied, revoked etc.E+W

(1)If a notifiable event occurs in relation to an enforcement restriction order, the proper county court must give notice of the event to every identified qualifying creditor of the debtor.

(2)There is a notifiable event in any of the following cases—

(a)when the enforcement restriction order is made;

(b)when the enforcement restriction order is varied;

(c)when the enforcement restriction order is revoked;

(d)when the proper county court is given notice under any of the provisions listed in section 117H(7) (effect of administration order or debt relief order on enforcement restriction order).

(3)A person is an identified qualifying creditor of the debtor if—

(a)the debtor has notified the proper county court, or another court whilst it was previously the proper county court, that the person is a qualifying creditor, or

(b)the proper county court is satisfied that the person is a qualifying creditor.

InterpretationE+W

117SIntroductionE+W

Sections 117T to 117W apply for the purposes of this Part.

117TMain definitionsE+W

(1)In this Part—

  • enforcement restriction order” has the meaning given by section 117A;

  • debtor” has the meaning given by section 117B;

  • qualifying creditor” means a creditor under a qualifying debt.

(2)References to the currency of an enforcement restriction order are references to the period which—

(a)begins when the order first has effect, and

(b)ends when the order ceases to have effect.

(3)In relation to an enforcement restriction order, references to the proper county court are references to the county court that made the order.

(4)But that is subject to rules of court as to the venue for, and transfer of, proceedings in county courts.

117UExpressions relating to debtsE+W

(1)All debts are qualifying debts, except for the following—

(a)any debt secured against an asset;

(b)any debt of a description specified in regulations.

(2)A business debt is any debt (whether or not a qualifying debt) which is incurred by a person in the course of a business.

(3)Only debts that have already arisen are included in references to debts; and accordingly such references do not include any debt that will arise only on the happening of some future contingency.

117VInability to pay debtsE+W

(1)In a case where an individual is the debtor under a debt that is repayable by a single payment, the debtor is to be regarded as unable to pay the debt only if—

(a)the time for making the payment has been reached,

(b)the debtor has failed to make the single payment, and

(c)the debtor is unable to make that payment.

(2)In a case where an individual is the debtor under a debt that is repayable by a number of payments, the debtor is to be regarded as unable to pay the debt only if—

(a)the time for making the first of the payments has been reached,

(b)the debtor has failed to make one or more of the payments, and

(c)the debtor is unable to make all of the missed payments.

117WThe ERO, voluntary arrangement and bankruptcy exclusionsE+W

(1)The debtor is excluded under the ERO exclusion if—

(a)an enforcement restriction order currently has effect in respect of him, or

(b)an enforcement restriction order has previously had effect in respect of him, and the period of 12 months — beginning with the day when that order ceased to have effect — has yet to finish.

(2)But in a case that falls within subsection (1)(b), the debtor is not excluded under the ERO exclusion if the previous enforcement restriction order—

(a)ceased to have effect in accordance with any of the provisions listed in section 117H(7) (effect of administration order or debt relief order on enforcement restriction order), or

(b)was revoked in accordance with section 117O(1)(b) (debtor no longer has any qualifying debts).

(3)The debtor is excluded under the voluntary arrangement exclusion if—

(a)an interim order under section 252 of the Insolvency Act 1986 has effect in respect of him (interim order where debtor intends to make proposal for voluntary arrangement), or

(b)he is bound by a voluntary arrangement approved under Part 8 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

(4)The debtor is excluded under the bankruptcy exclusion if—

(a)a petition for a bankruptcy order to be made against him has been presented but not decided, or

(b)he is an undischarged bankrupt.

RegulationsE+W

117XPower to make regulationsE+W

(1)It is for the Lord Chancellor to make regulations under this Part.

(2)Any power to make regulations under this Part is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(3)A statutory instrument containing regulations under this Part is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

Part VII E+W Committals

118 Power to commit for contempt.E+W

(1)If any person—

(a)wilfully insults the judge of a county court, or any juror or witness, or any officer of the court during his sitting or attendance in court, or in going to or returning from the court; or

(b)wilfully interupts the proceedings of a county court or otherwise misbehaves in court;

any officer of the court, with or without the assistance of any other person, may, by order of the judge, take the offender into custody and detain him until the rising of the court, and the judge may, if he thinks fit,—

(i)make an order committing the offender for a specified period not exceeding one month to . . . F203prison . . . F203; or

(ii)impose upon the offender, for every offence, a fine of an amount not exceeding [F204£2, 500] or may both make such an order and impose such a fine.

(2)The judge may at any time revoke an order committing a person to prison under this section and, if he is already in custody, order his discharge.

[F205(3)A district judge, assistant district judge, or deputy district judge shall have the same powers under this section in relation to proceedings before him as a judge.]

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Amendments (Textual)