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About committal proceedings

The purpose of committal proceedings is to penalise a party for non-compliance with a court order or judgment (contempt of court) and to maintain the dignity and authority of the court.

When to consider

A party may consider applying for an order of committal against another party if:

  • The other party does not do an act within a specific time even though required by an order or judgment.
  • The other party continues to do an act even though required to stop within a specific time by an order or judgment.

If you are filing the application to start committal proceedings, you are the applicant.

Apply for leave of court

You will need to apply for leave (permission) of court to make an application for an Order of Committal.

If the other party's non-compliance with a court order or judgment occurs in an ongoing matter, you may apply for leave by filing an ex parte Summons for Leave to Commence Committal Proceedings . If not, you should file an ex parte Originating Summons (OS).

The ex parte OS or summons must be supported by:

  • A statement.
  • An affidavit containing evidence verifying the facts stated in the statement you are relying on.

The statement should contain:

  • The name and description of the applicant.
  • The name, description and address of the other party who did not comply with the court order or judgment.
  • The reasons for applying for the Order of Committal.

How to file

You may choose to file the documents personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer.

If you are representing yourself, you must file the documents through eLitigation at the LawNet and CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

You must follow the Rules of Court and the State Court Practice Directions or the Supreme Court Practice Directions to prepare your documents before heading down personally to do the filing.

After you file

If the court accepts your application, you will be asked to collect a sealed copy of the documents and a hearing date will be scheduled.

If the court grants leave at the hearing, you can then make an application for an Order of Committal by filing a summons within 14 days from the date the leave was granted.

File the summons

You will have to file the summons prepared with reference to Form 109 of the Rules of Court through eLitigation at the LawNet and CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Note
If you do not file a summons for the Order of Committal within 14 days, the leave granted by the court will lapse. You will then need to apply for leave again if you wish to proceed.

Estimated fees

Refer to the following to find out the possible fees for filing the documents. You may also refer to Appendix B of the Rules of Court for the full list of court fees.

In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item or service

Fees

File the ex parte Summons for Leave to Commence Committal Proceedings or ex parte Originating Summons

$10 (filing an ex parte Summons in an existing case); or

$100 (filing an ex parte Originating Summons, if there is no existing case)

File the Statement $10
File the Affidavit$1 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $10 per affidavit

Extract the order granting leave

$25; or

$10 (for enforcing an order of the Small Claims Tribunal)

File the Summons (after leave has been granted)$10

In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item or service

Fees

File the ex parte Summons for Leave to Commence Committal Proceedings or ex parte Originating Summons

$20 (filing an ex parte Summons in an existing case); or 

$10 (filing an ex parte Summons in an existing case for enforcing an order of the Employment Claims Tribunal); or

$150 (filing an ex parte Originating Summons, if there is no existing case)

File the Statement $10
File the Affidavit$1 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $10 per affidavit

Extract the order granting leave

$50; or

$10 (for enforcing an order of the Employment Claims Tribunal)

File the Summons (after leave has been granted)

$20; or

$10 (for enforcing an order of the Employment Claims Tribunal)

Refer to the following for the filing fees if your claim is up to $1 million.

In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item or service

Fees

File the summons

$100

Extract the order granting leave

$100

Refer to the following for the filing fees if your claim is more than $1 million.

In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item or service

Fees

File the summons

$200

Extract the order granting leave

$200

After filing the summons

After the summons is filed, you have to serve the following on the other party who did not comply with the court order or judgment personally at least 8 days before the date of the hearing:

  • The OS or summons (that is, the application for leave).
  • The statement.
  • The supporting affidavit
  • The order granting leave.
  • The application for the Order of Committal.

You will also have to attend the hearing on the date scheduled by the court, as stated in the application for the Order of Committal.

At the hearing, the court will hear both parties before deciding whether to make an Order of Committal. Depending on the facts of the case, the court may either impose an imprisonment sentence or a fine or both on the party who did not comply with the court order or judgment.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

Legislation associated with this topic includes Order 52 of the Rules of Court.

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