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What is an examination of judgment debtor

In a civil claim, the court may order a party to pay a sum of money to another party. The party who needs to pay the debt is the judgment debtor, while the party who should receive the money is the judgment creditor.

If you are the judgment creditor, you may apply for an order to examine the judgment debtor under oath to find out what assets are available to pay off the debt owed to you. Once you know the nature and extent of the judgment debtor’s assets, you may then consider and select the most appropriate course of action to enforce the order for payment of money to you.

When to consider

You may consider filing a summons for the examination of judgment debtor if you are not aware of what assets the judgment debtor owns and wish to find out (but not limited to) the following:

What you will need

You should prepare the following before you file:

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.

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 in an existing case or an ex parte Originating Summons if you are enforcing an order of the Small Claims Tribunal

$10

File the affidavit

$1 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $10 per affidavit

Extract the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor

$25; or

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

File a Request to Appoint Date for Examination by an Officer of Court$50 per request + $50 per witness, per hour

 

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 in an existing case or an ex parte Originating Summons if you are enforcing a settlement agreement registered under section 7(2) of the Employment Claims Act 2016 or an order of the Employment Claims Tribunal

$20; or

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

File the affidavit

$1 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $10 per affidavit

Extract the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor

$50; or

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

File a Request to Appoint Date for Examination by an Officer of Court$50 per request + $100 per witness, per hour

 

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

File the affidavit

$2 per page, subject to a minimum of $50 per affidavit

Extract the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor

$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

File the affidavit

$2 per page, subject to a minimum of $50 per affidavit

Extract the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor

$200

After you file

You will be notified of the outcome of your application for the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor by a Registrar's Direction.

If your application is successful, you will have to:

You will then have to serve the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor together with one of the following questionnaires on the judgment debtor.

If the judgment debtor is...

You will need to serve...

An individual

A body corporate

The judgment debtor will have to:

  • Complete the questionnaire.
    • They will have to include all documents in support of their answers stated in the questionnaire.
  • Serve the completed questionnaire and supporting documents on you or your lawyers (if applicable) before the court hearing date stated in the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor.

If you are satisfied with their answers to the questionnaire and the supporting documents provided, you may apply for the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor to be discharged. Before doing so, you may wish to request the judgment debtor to provide their answers via an affidavit or statutory declaration.

If you are not satisfied with the answers to the questionnaire and the supporting documents provided, you will have to attend court with the judgment debtor for an examination hearing at the date and time stated in the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor.

Alternatively, the judgment debtor may also choose to be examined at the hearing instead.

At the examination hearing

The examination of judgment debtor hearing will be conducted before a court officer called a deputy registrar (for Magistrate's Court and District Court cases) or an assistant registrar (for General Division of the High Court cases) in chambers.

During the hearing, you or your lawyers (if any) may examine the judgment debtor in relation to the assets during the hearing. The judgment debtor has to answer your relevant questions under oath and produce supporting documents when required.

You or your lawyers may also request the judgment debtor to file an affidavit or statutory declaration if required.

After the examination is completed, you or your lawyers may then apply to discharge the Order of the Examination of Judgment Debtor.

Attendance of the judgment debtor

In general, the judgment debtor does not have to attend the examination hearing if one of the following happens:

  • The judgment debtor is able to pay the debt owed to you before the hearing and you agree to discharge the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor.
  • The judgment debtor and you agree to enter into an instalment plan for the debt owed and you agree to discharge the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor.

If the judgment debtor does not attend the examination hearing without valid reasons, you may start committal proceedings against them.

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

Refer to:

Legislation associated with this topic includes Order 48 of the Rules of Court.
Refer to:

 


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