After a civil action is filed in Court, the Court may order a party, known as the “judgment debtor”, to pay a certain sum of money to the other party, who is known as the “judgment creditor”. If the judgment debtor does not pay the money to the judgment creditor, the judgment creditor can enforce the judgment in a number of ways. One of these ways is for the judgment creditor to apply to Court for a "Writ of Seizure and Sale".
When a "Writ of Seizure and Sale" is issued by the Court, an officer of the Court, known as the “bailiff”, is directed to seize the movable property, such as furniture and electronic appliances, belonging to the judgment debtor. After the bailiff seizes these items, he will arrange an auction sale of the seized property. The money that is obtained from the sale (after deducting certain costs) is used to pay the judgment creditor to satisfy part or all of the judgment debt.
A party alleging that the seized items belong to him and not the judgment debtor may file a "Notice of Claim" (Form 22), listing the items being claimed and the grounds for the claim. The party who makes such a claim is known as a “claimant”. If the judgment creditor disputes the claim for all or some of the items claimed, an Interpleader Summons will be filed in Court and the claimant will be informed of when he has to appear in Court for the hearing of the summons before a Deputy Registrar. At the end of the hearing, the Deputy Registrar will make an order to determine which items, if any, are to be released to the claimant and which items are to be sold in the auction.
Using the Interpleader Summons toolkit
The State Courts has prepared an Interpleader Summons Toolkit to assist litigants-in-person to make such claims. You are the appropriate claimant if you are the person to whom the claimed items belong. If the items belong to your relative, friend or any another person, that person should file the claim instead of you.
Seeking legal advice
You will appreciate that the facts of each matter are not the same. The specimen documents and explanatory notes in the Toolkit are intended to provide general guidance to the public for straightforward or simple claims. The information and documents required for a claim may vary from case to case.
As the State Courts are not in a position to provide legal advice, you may wish to seek your own legal advice if you are still unclear as to how to proceed after reviewing this Toolkit. You may wish to consider approaching the following organisations for free legal advice:
a. Pro Bono Services Office located at the State Courts, Basement 1;
b. selected Community Clubs, a list of which may be found at http://www.pa.gov.sg; or
c. Legal Aid Bureau
Please do not engage persons who are not authorised to practise law to prepare court documents or to act for you. It is an offence for unauthorised persons to act as agents for parties to court proceedings or to prepare documents relating to court proceedings. The State Courts may report unauthorised persons to the relevant authorities for appropriate action to be taken.
Interpleader Summons toolkit
A copy of the Toolkit may be downloaded here.