All Tribunal orders may be enforced in the same way as a District Court order. The guide below outlines the main steps of enforcing an Tribunal order. It is not meant to provide legal advice. More information on how to enforce an Tribunal order can be found on the State Courts website at:
Depending on the complexity of a case, a party may wish to seek legal advice or guidance by approaching the following organisations:
- Community Justice Centre located at State Courts Basement in the Help Centre (http://www.cjc.org.sg/)
- Law Society Pro Bono Services located at State Courts Basement in the Help Centre (https://www.lawsocprobono.org)
- Community Clubs (http://www.pa.gov.sg)
- Legal Aid Bureau (http://www.lab.gov.sg)
|COMMON ENFORCEMENT PROCESSES|
1. The person applying to enforce an order (i.e., the winning party in a lawsuit) will be known as the "Judgment Creditor", and the other party will be known as the "Judgment Debtor".
2. An order for the payment of money is generally enforced by:
A writ of seizure and sale allows a court bailiff to enter the Judgment Debtor's premises, and to seize and sell his movable property. The Judgment Debtor will then have 7 days to settle all payment owed to the Judgment Creditor. If payment is not made, the Judgment Creditor may apply to proceed with an auction sale of the seized items and recover the money from the sale.
This option may be considered if the Judgment Creditor knows that the Judgment Debtor has physical assets of sufficient value that may be sold to recover the cost of enforcement, and pay the amount owed as stated in the Tribunal order. There is no guarantee that a writ of seizure and sale will be successfully executed, and no guarantee that the amount owed and the expenses incurred during the execution process will be recovered. A formal application under Order 47 of the Rules of Court (Cap. 322) is required. Enquiries may be made at the Bailiff's Section on the ground floor of the State Courts during operating hours.
- Garnishee Proceedings
A "garnishee" is someone who owes money to the Judgment Debtor (e.g. bank). A Garnishee Order obliges the garnishee to pay the Judgment Creditor instead of the Judgment Debtor. For example, an application may be made to the Court to order the Judgment Debtor's bank to pay the Judgment Creditor the amount owed as stated in the Tribunal order. However, this is provided the Judgment Debtor has sufficient money in the bank.
This option may be considered if the Judgment Creditor is aware of someone (any third party) who owes the Judgment Debtor money, and if the Judgment Creditor knows of the Judgment Debtor's bank account details. There should be documentary proof that the Judgment Debtor is owed a sum of money by his friends or bank. A formal application under Order 49 of the Rules of Court (Cap. 322) is required for garnishee proceedings. Enquires may be made at the Community Justice Centre on the ground floor of the State Courts during operating hours.
3. Pre-enforcement. If the Judgment Creditor is not aware of what assets the Judgment Debtor has (like whether he has valuable property to be sold, or whether he has money in the bank, or what his bank account details are), he may consider applying for an Examination of Judgment Debtor to examine the Judgment Debtor under oath to find out what assets are available for use to satisfy the judgment debt. Once he knows the nature and extent of the Judgment Debtor's assets, he may then consider and select the most appropriate course of action to enforce the Tribunal order. A formal application under Order 48 of the Rules of Court (Cap. 322) is required for the examination of the Judgment Debtor.