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(1)Where any sum due on account of tithe rentcharge issuing out of any lands is in arrear for not less than three months, the person entitled to such sum may, whatever is the amount, apply to the county court of the district in which the lands or any part thereof are situate, and the county court, after such service on the owner of the lands as may be prescribed, and after hearing such owner if he appears and desires to be heard, may order that the said sum, or such part thereof as appears to the court to be due, be, together with the costs, recovered in manner provided by this Act, and tithe rentcharge as defined by this Act shall not be recovered in any other manner.
(2)Where it is shown to the court that the lands are occupied by the owner thereof, the order shall be executed by the appointment by the court of an officer who, subject to the direction of the court, shall have the like powers of distraint for the recovery of the sum ordered to be paid as are conferred by the Tithe Acts on the owner of a tithe rentcharge for the recovery of arrears of tithe rentcharge, and no greater or other powers; and if there is no sufficient distress the person entitled to the sum ordered to be recovered may proceed to obtain possession of the lands under section eighty-two of the Tithe Act, 1836.
(3)In any other case the order shall be executed by the appointment by the court of a receiver of the rents and profits of the Sands, and of any other lands which would be liable to be distrained upon for the tithe rentcharge to which the order refers under the provisions of section eighty-five of the Tithe Act, 1836, and where any of such lands are held at one rent together with other lands in another parish, the court shall apportion the rent between the said lands and the lands in the other parish in proportion to their rateable value, in which case the payment of such apportioned rent by the occupier to the receiver shall in every respect, as between the occupier and the owner of the lands, be deemed to be a payment on account of the total rent payable to the owner of such lands.
(4)Subject to the prescribed regulations, the county court shall have the same powers over receivers as in any other case, and may confer on the person appointed receiver any powers which the court can confer upon persons appointed receivers, but the court shall not have power to order the sale of the lands.
(5)Any sum ordered by the court under this section to be recovered shall be payable by a trustee in bankruptcy, sheriff, or officer of a court who is in possession of the lands, in like manner as if it were tithe rentcharge recoverable under the Tithe Acts.
(6)Where the occupier of the lands out of which the tithe rentcharge issues is liable under any contract made before the passing of this Act to pay the tithe rentcharge, and is consequently liable by virtue of this Act to pay the amount thereof to the owner of the lands, the owner of the lands shall serve notice of such liability on the owner of the tithe rentcharge, and thereupon, before an order under this section is made, there shall be such service on the occupier in addition to the owner as may be prescribed, and a hearing of such occupier if he appears and desires to be heard. Any owner of the lands who fails to serve such notice as aforesaid on the owner of the tithe rentcharge, shall not be entitled to recover from the occupier any sum which he has paid on account of tithe rentcharge as aforesaid, unless and until he has, after notice to the occupier of his application for the same, obtained from the county court a certificate that there was good and sufficient cause for the failure to give such notice, and that the occupier has not been prejudiced thereby.
(7)Rules under this Act may regulate the procedure practice and costs under this Act in county courts, and may direct what service shall be good service for the purposes of this Act on the owner or occupier of any lands or the owner of any tithe rentcharge, and may provide that, if the owner of any lands is not known, any proceeding under this Act may be taken against the owner of the lands without naming the person who is the owner.
(8)The fees payable on the proceedings under this section shall not exceed those set forth in the schedule to this Act, and the fees, charges, and expenses in or incidental to any distress under this Act shall be the same as are for the time being payable under the Law of Distress Amendment Act, 1888.
(9)Nothing in this Act shall impose or constitute any personal liability upon any occupier or owner of lands for the payment of any tithe rentcharge, or any other sum recoverable or payable under this Act, and the court shall not, by virtue of this Act, or of the County Courts Act, 1888, have any power to imprison any such occupier or owner by reason only of the nonpayment of such tithe rentcharge or other sum, and shall in any other case have no other or greater powers of fine or imprisonment than are conferred by the County Courts Act, 1888.
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