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Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Section 10: Power to issue arrest warrant where debtor fails to attend hearing referral of case

This Section allows for a court to issue a warrant for the arrest of a debtor for failure to attend a hearing under Section 9.

The warrant can only be issued where the court is not satisfied that the summons (requiring the debtor’s attendance at the hearing) was served on the debtor or that the debtor is evading service, but the court is satisfied that a reasonable attempt has been made to serve the summons on the debtor; the court is satisfied that the debtor is aware of the liability to pay the sum due and of the possible consequences of defaulting  on the payment; the court is considering issuing a warrant to commit the debtor to prison under section 9(1)(i); and the court is satisfied that issuing a warrant for the debtor’s arrest (instead of re-issuing the summons) is proportionate to the objective of securing the debtor’s appearance before the court. The warrant must be endorsed for bail so that the person will be released upon entering into the recognizance.

The Section also provides that a warrant issued under the Section is not to be regarded for the purposes of Article 19(1)(a)(i) of the Police and Criminal Evidence (NI) Order 1989 as a warrant issued in connection with or arising out of criminal proceedings.  This is to ensure that no power of entry attaches to an arrest warrant issued under this Section.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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