Popular keywords

When items may be seized

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

If the judgment debtor does not pay, the judgment creditor may enforce the judgment in different ways. One way is to request the court to issue a Writ of Seizure and Sale. This will direct enforcement officers of the court to seize and sell the judgment debtor's moveable property to pay off the debt. These officers may be from the Bailiffs Section (for State Courts cases) or Sheriff's Office (for Supreme Court cases)

Note: After a Writ of Seizure and Sale has been executed, the judgment creditor will be known as the execution creditor while the judgment debtor will be known as the execution debtor.

Notice of claim and Interpleader Summons

If you are not involved in the civil case but your items were seized, you may request for them to be returned to you by filing a notice of claim. You will be known as the claimant.

If there are disputes over whether the items belong to you, the case may proceed to an Interpleader Summons. This is a hearing where the court will determine the owner of the seized items.

File a notice of claim

You will first need to file a notice of claim to start the process.

Key facts

Refer to the following on how to file a notice of claim.

Who can file

You must be the owner of the seized items to file a claim.

(If the items belong to someone else, that person should file the claim instead.)

How to file

Through eLitigation.

When to file

Within 7 days of the date of the Notice of Seizure and Inventory (which was given to the execution debtor when the items were seized).

Estimated filing fee

$10

Note: This does not include additional fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

How to file

You may choose to file personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer. If you are a company, you will need to be represented by a lawyer unless the court has given its consent for an officer of the company to act on behalf of the company. 

If you are representing yourself, follow these steps to file:

  • File the Notice by Claimant of Property Taken in Execution (Form 22 of the Rules of Court) (the “Notice”) within 7 days of the date of the Notice of Seizure and Inventory. You will need to visit theLawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file via eLitigation.
    • Note: You will need to list the items you are claiming for and the grounds (reasons) for your claim.
  • If the court accepts your Notice, the Service Bureau will inform you to return to collect an endorsed copy of the notice. This will contain an endorsement from the court that shows that the document has been filed in court.

(For State Courts) Serve the Notice

For cases in the State Courts, you will need to serve the Notice on the execution creditor.

For cases in the State Courts, you will need to serve the Notice and supporting documents on the execution creditor.

First, make a photocopy of the following documents:

  • The endorsed copy of the Notice by Claimant of Property Taken in Execution (Form 22 of the Rules of Court).
  • Documents that support your claim that the seized items belong to you and not to the execution debtor.
    • Some examples of supporting documents include:
      • Receipts or invoices for the seized items that show your name as the purchaser’s name.
      • Hire purchase agreements for the seized items that show your name as the purchaser’s name.
      • Tenancy agreements that show that the items seized belong to you as the landlord, but were provided in a rented property.

Serve these documents on the execution creditor (or their lawyer, if they are represented). This means giving them a copy of the documents by post or by hand.

Note: The name and address of the execution creditor (or their lawyer) can be found on the cover page of the Writ of Seizure and Sale, which was given to the execution debtor at the time when the items were seized.

Refer to the Interpleader Summons toolkit (PDF, 651 KB) for more information.

After you file the Notice

What happens next depends on whether the execution creditor agrees with your claim.

If the execution creditor agrees with your claim

The court will send a release letter to you. This will list the items that have been released. You may remove the seal of the courts from those items.

If the execution creditor does not agree with your claim

The execution creditor may dispute some or all of the items in your claim and file an Interpleader Summons in court. The case officer will inform you the date and time for you to attend an Interpleader Summons hearing.

At the hearing, you will have to prove that you are the rightful owner of the seized items.

Note: If you are unable to attend, you must request to change the court date, subject to the court's approval. If you do not attend the hearing, your claim may be struck out. The court may also order that you will not be allowed to make a claim for any of the seized items in the future.

Preparing for your hearing

You should prepare and bring the following documents to the hearing:

  • Your identity card, passport or other photo identification.
  • All supporting documents provided to the execution creditor.
  • Any other documents that support your claim that the seized items belong to you and not the execution debtor.
  • The endorsed copy of the Notice by Claimant of Property Taken in Execution (Form 22 of the Rules of Court).
  • All documents related to your claim that were given to you by the bailiff or Sheriff, such as the Interpleader Summons.

At your Interpleader Summons hearing

At the hearing, you may be asked to:

  • Show proof that the claimed items belong to you.
  • Answer questions on oath and produce supporting documents.

The execution creditor or his lawyer will also present their arguments. After that, you will have a chance to respond to their arguments before the court makes an order.

Outcomes of an Interpleader Summons hearing

At the end of the hearing, the court will make an order to determine if all or some of the items will be returned to you. The court may make one of the following orders:

If the court orders for...

What it means

The claimed items to be released to you

The court will send a release letter to you. This will list the items that have been released. You may remove the court seal from these items after the hearing.

The claimed items to be sold

The execution creditor may proceed to sell the items through an auction. The court may order the execution creditor to pay you part of the sale proceeds.

Some of the claimed items to be released to you while the remaining are sold

The court will send a release letter to you. This will list the items that have been released. You may remove the court seal from the items that are released to you.

For the other items. the execution creditor may proceed to sell the items through an auction. The court may order the execution creditor to pay you part of the sale proceeds.

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

For cases in the State Courts, refer to the Interpleader Summons toolkit (PDF, 651 KB) for more information.
Legislation associated with this topic includes Order 17 of the Rules of Court.

Related questions

If you agree with the claim, you can inform the officer from the Bailiffs Section (for State Courts cases) or Sheriff's Office (for Supreme Court cases), who will release the items to the claimant.

If you do not agree with the claim, you have to file an Interpleader Summons (Form 27 of the Rules of Court) and other supporting documents via eLitigation within 4 days of the notice, at your own costs.

Note: If you are a company, you should be represented by a lawyer and file the Interpleader Summons through a law firm.

After you file the Interpleader Summons, both you and the claimant will have to attend court for an Interpleader Summons hearing where the court will determine who the rightful owner of the property is.

If the claimant cannot prove that they are the owner, the court may order for the officer from the Bailiffs Section or Sheriff's Office to proceed with the sale of the items. If the claimant can prove that they are the owner, the items may be released to them.


Share this page:
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Print