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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

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[F1Property freezing orders (England and Wales and Northern Ireland)E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

F1Ss. 245A-245D and cross-heading inserted (1.1.2006) by Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (c. 15), ss. 98(1), 178(8); S.I. 2005/3136, art. 3(a)

245AApplication for property freezing orderE+W+S+N.I.

(1)Where the enforcement authority may take proceedings for a recovery order in the High Court, the authority may apply to the court for a property freezing order (whether before or after starting the proceedings).

(2)A property freezing order is an order that—

(a)specifies or describes the property to which it applies, and

(b)subject to any exclusions (see section 245C(1)(b) and (2)), prohibits any person to whose property the order applies from in any way dealing with the property.

(3)An application for a property freezing order may be made without notice if the circumstances are such that notice of the application would prejudice any right of the enforcement authority to obtain a recovery order in respect of any property.

(4)The court may make a property freezing order on an application if it is satisfied that the condition in subsection (5) is met and, where applicable, that the condition in subsection (6) is met.

(5)The first condition is that there is a good arguable case—

(a)that the property to which the application for the order relates is or includes recoverable property, and

(b)that, if any of it is not recoverable property, it is associated property.

(6)The second condition is that, if—

(a)the property to which the application for the order relates includes property alleged to be associated property, and

(b)the enforcement authority has not established the identity of the person who holds it,

the authority has taken all reasonable steps to do so.

245BVariation and setting aside of orderE+W+S+N.I.

(1)The court may at any time vary or set aside a property freezing order.

(2)If the court makes an interim receiving order that applies to all of the property to which a property freezing order applies, it must set aside the property freezing order.

(3)If the court makes an interim receiving order that applies to some but not all of the property to which a property freezing order applies, it must vary the property freezing order so as to exclude any property to which the interim receiving order applies.

(4)If the court decides that any property to which a property freezing order applies is neither recoverable property nor associated property, it must vary the order so as to exclude the property.

(5)Before exercising power under this Chapter to vary or set aside a property freezing order, the court must (as well as giving the parties to the proceedings an opportunity to be heard) give such an opportunity to any person who may be affected by its decision.

(6)Subsection (5) does not apply where the court is acting as required by subsection (2) or (3).

245CExclusionsE+W+S+N.I.

(1)The power to vary a property freezing order includes (in particular) power to make exclusions as follows—

(a)power to exclude property from the order, and

(b)power, otherwise than by excluding property from the order, to make exclusions from the prohibition on dealing with the property to which the order applies.

(2)Exclusions from the prohibition on dealing with the property to which the order applies (other than exclusions of property from the order) may also be made when the order is made.

(3)An exclusion may, in particular, make provision for the purpose of enabling any person—

(a)to meet his reasonable living expenses, or

(b)to carry on any trade, business, profession or occupation.

(4)An exclusion may be made subject to conditions.

(5)Where the court exercises the power to make an exclusion for the purpose of enabling a person to meet legal expenses that he has incurred, or may incur, in respect of proceedings under this Part, it must ensure that the exclusion—

(a)is limited to reasonable legal expenses that the person has reasonably incurred or that he reasonably incurs,

(b)specifies the total amount that may be released for legal expenses in pursuance of the exclusion, and

(c)is made subject to the required conditions (see section 286A) in addition to any conditions imposed under subsection (4).

(6)The court, in deciding whether to make an exclusion for the purpose of enabling a person to meet legal expenses of his in respect of proceedings under this Part—

(a)must have regard (in particular) to the desirability of the person being represented in any proceedings under this Part in which he is a participant, and

(b)must, where the person is the respondent, disregard the possibility that legal representation of the person in any such proceedings might, were an exclusion not made, be funded by the Legal Services Commission or the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission.

(7)If excluded property is not specified in the order it must be described in the order in general terms.

(8)The power to make exclusions must, subject to subsection (6), be exercised with a view to ensuring, so far as practicable, that the satisfaction of any right of the enforcement authority to recover the property obtained through unlawful conduct is not unduly prejudiced.

(9)Subsection (8) does not apply where the court is acting as required by section 245B(3) or (4).

245DRestriction on proceedings and remediesE+W+S+N.I.

(1)While a property freezing order has effect—

(a)the court may stay any action, execution or other legal process in respect of the property to which the order applies, and

(b)no distress may be levied against the property to which the order applies except with the leave of the court and subject to any terms the court may impose.

(2)If a court (whether the High Court or any other court) in which proceedings are pending in respect of any property is satisfied that a property freezing order has been applied for or made in respect of the property, it may either stay the proceedings or allow them to continue on any terms it thinks fit.

(3)If a property freezing order applies to a tenancy of any premises, no landlord or other person to whom rent is payable may exercise the right of forfeiture by peaceable re-entry in relation to the premises in respect of any failure by the tenant to comply with any term or condition of the tenancy, except with the leave of the court and subject to any terms the court may impose.

(4)Before exercising any power conferred by this section, the court must (as well as giving the parties to any of the proceedings concerned an opportunity to be heard) give such an opportunity to any person who may be affected by the court's decision.]

[F2245EReceivers in connection with property freezing ordersE+W+S+N.I.

(1)Subsection (2) applies if—

(a)the High Court makes a property freezing order on an application by an enforcement authority, and

(b)the authority applies to the court to proceed under subsection (2) (whether as part of the application for the property freezing order or at any time afterwards).

(2)The High Court may by order appoint a receiver in respect of any property to which the property freezing order applies.

(3)An application for an order under this section may be made without notice if the circumstances are such that notice of the application would prejudice any right of the enforcement authority to obtain a recovery order in respect of any property.

(4)In its application for an order under this section, the enforcement authority must nominate a suitably qualified person for appointment as a receiver.

(5)Such a person may be a member of staff of the enforcement authority.

(6)The enforcement authority may apply a sum received by it under section 280(2) in making payment of the remuneration and expenses of a receiver appointed under this section.

(7)Subsection (6) does not apply in relation to the remuneration of the receiver if he is a member of the staff of the enforcement authority (but it does apply in relation to such remuneration if the receiver is a person providing services under arrangements made by the enforcement authority).

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Amendments (Textual)

245FPowers of receivers appointed under section 245EE+W+S+N.I.

(1)If the High Court appoints a receiver under section 245E on an application by an enforcement authority, the court may act under this section on the application of the authority.

(2)The court may by order authorise or require the receiver—

(a)to exercise any of the powers mentioned in paragraph 5 of Schedule 6 (management powers) in relation to any property in respect of which the receiver is appointed,

(b)to take any other steps the court thinks appropriate in connection with the management of any such property (including securing the detention, custody or preservation of the property in order to manage it).

(3)The court may by order require any person in respect of whose property the receiver is appointed—

(a)to bring the property to a place (in England and Wales or, as the case may be, Northern Ireland) specified by the receiver or to place it in the custody of the receiver (if, in either case, he is able to do so),

(b)to do anything he is reasonably required to do by the receiver for the preservation of the property.

(4)The court may by order require any person in respect of whose property the receiver is appointed to bring any documents relating to the property which are in his possession or control to a place (in England and Wales or, as the case may be, Northern Ireland) specified by the receiver or to place them in the custody of the receiver.

(5)In subsection (4) “document” means anything in which information of any description is recorded.

(6)Any prohibition on dealing with property imposed by a property freezing order does not prevent a person from complying with any requirements imposed by virtue of this section.

(7)If—

(a)the receiver deals with any property which is not property in respect of which he is appointed under section 245E, and

(b)at the time he deals with the property he believes on reasonable grounds that he is entitled to do so by virtue of his appointment,

the receiver is not liable to any person in respect of any loss or damage resulting from his dealing with the property except so far as the loss or damage is caused by his negligence.

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Amendments (Textual)

245GSupervision of section 245E receiver and variationsE+W+S+N.I.

(1)Any of the following persons may at any time apply to the High Court for directions as to the exercise of the functions of a receiver appointed under section 245E—

(a)the receiver,

(b)any party to the proceedings for the appointment of the receiver or the property freezing order concerned,

(c)any person affected by any action taken by the receiver,

(d)any person who may be affected by any action proposed to be taken by the receiver.

(2)Before giving any directions under subsection (1), the court must give an opportunity to be heard to—

(a)the receiver,

(b)the parties to the proceedings for the appointment of the receiver and for the property freezing order concerned,

(c)any person who may be interested in the application under subsection (1).

(3)The court may at any time vary or set aside the appointment of a receiver under section 245E, any order under section 245F or any directions under this section.

(4)Before exercising any power under subsection (3), the court must give an opportunity to be heard to—

(a)the receiver,

(b)the parties to the proceedings for the appointment of the receiver, for the order under section 245F or, as the case may be, for the directions under this section;

(c)the parties to the proceedings for the property freezing order concerned,

(d)any person who may be affected by the court's decision.]

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Amendments (Textual)

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