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This page is for matters that the Rules of Court 2021 apply to. For content relating to matters that the Rules of Court 2014 apply, click here.

If you are uncertain as to which version of the Rules of Court applies to your matter, click here.

Applying for an enforcement order

The enforcement applicant may apply to enforce one or more court orders.

When3 days after the court order has been served on the enforcement respondent. 
How

File a summons without notice using Form 38 of Appendix A2 to the State Courts Practice Directions 2021 or Form 38 of Appendix A to the Supreme Court Practice Directions 2021.

 

The summons must be supported by an affidavit which contains the information set out in Order 22 Rule 2(4) of Rules of Court 2021.

Note

If the enforcement applicant is seeking more than one method of enforcement, they should state whether the Sheriff is to enforce:

  • The methods of enforcement in any particular sequence.
  • All or some methods of enforcement simultaneously.

The supporting affidavit must contain a written undertaking to:

  • Indemnify the Sheriff against all claims, costs and expenses arising from complying with the enforcement order.
  • Pay upon request all charges, commissions, expenses and fees incurred by or payable to the Sheriff in complying with the enforcement order.
  • Deposit the amount of money requested by the sheriff before the Sheriff complies with the enforcement order, and from time to time when requested by the Sheriff.

The undertaking is to be made by the enforcement applicant’s solicitors (if represented by a lawyer), or the enforcement applicant (if not represented by a lawyer).

Types of enforcement order

Under the enforcement order, the enforcement applicant may apply for the Sheriff to be authorised to enforce one or more of the following orders: 

An order to seize and sell property belonging to the enforcement respondent.
An order to seize and deliver or give possession of property in the possession or control of the enforcement respondent.
An order to attach a debt which is due to the enforcement respondent from any non-party, whether immediately or at some future date or at certain intervals in the future. Such debt includes money deposited by the enforcement respondent in a non-party that is a financial institution and is due to the enforcement respondent, regardless of whether the deposit has matured and of any restriction as to the mode of withdrawal.
An order to execute the directions set out in the court order.

Estimated fees

Refer to the following to find out the possible fees for filing the documents to enforce a court order. You may also refer to the Fourth Schedule of the Rules of Court 2021 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 summons without notice or Originating Application without notice for an enforcement order

$50 (filing a summons without notice in an existing case); or

$100 (filing an Originating Application without notice, if there is no existing case)

File the affidavit

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

Extract the order

$155

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 without notice or Originating Application without notice for an enforcement order

$100 (filing a summons without notice in an existing case); or

$10 (filing an Originating Application for enforcing an order of the Small Claims Tribunal or Employment Claims Tribunal or settlement agreement under the Employment Claims Act); or

$150 (filing an Originating Application without notice, if there is no existing case)

File the affidavit

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

Extract the order

$270; or

$60 (for enforcing an order of the Small Claims Tribunal or Employment Claims Tribunal or settlement agreement under the Employment Claims Act)

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 for enforcement order 

$500

File the affidavit

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

Extract the order

$500 

 

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 for enforcement order

$1,000

File the affidavit

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

Extract the order

$1,000

 

Validity and effect of an enforcement order

An enforcement order is valid for 12 months beginning with the date of issue. Its validity may be extended by the court for 12 months if an application for extension is made before the day it is due to expire. The priority of an enforcement order that has an extended validity is based on its original date of issue. 

An enforcement order ceases to be valid if the:

  • Satisfaction of the judgment is recorded by filing the consent of the judgment creditor; or 
  • Enforcement applicant gives written notice to the Sheriff not to take further action on the enforcement order because the enforcement respondent has complied with all the terms of the court order, or for any other reason.

A party who is liable under any court order may apply for a stay of enforcement or stay of any enforcement order or any part of the order if there is a special case making it inappropriate to enforce the court order immediately. The stay can be ordered for a specified period, or until a specified event takes place.

Methods of enforcement

Subject to Order 22 Rule 6(11) of Rules of Court 2021, all methods of enforcement, including the attachment of a debt due from a person to the enforcement respondent, are to be carried out by the Sheriff. If the enforcement order does not specify the sequence of enforcement, the Sheriff may carry out the enforcement terms in any sequence or concurrently. 

The Sheriff may carry out an enforcement order by:

  • Taking physical possession of the movable property or affixing the Sheriff’s seal on the movable property.
  • Affixing the Sheriff’s seal on the movable property and serving a notice of seizure on the person or entity having possession or control of the movable property or leaving a notice of seizure at the place where the movable property was seized.
  • Posting a notice of seizure on some conspicuous part of the immovable property and entering and taking possession of the immovable property and, where applicable, serving a notice of seizure on the persons present and in actual possession or control of the immovable property.
  • Serving a notice of seizure on the Singapore Land Authority in respect of title to the immovable property, and with the enforcement applicant separately registering the enforcement order and notifying the Sheriff, in writing, that the enforcement order has been duly registered.
  • Serving a notice of attachment on the financial institution or the non-party which has money due to the enforcement respondent.
  • Serving a notice of seizure on the person or entity which registers the ownership in respect of the bonds, shares or other securities, or which registers the membership in the club or society.

Claims and objections to seizure or attachment

The enforcement respondent or any other person may object to any seizure of property or attachment of a debt by the sheriff. The enforcement applicant may accept or dispute the objection. Find out what you should do if you are one of these parties.

If you object to any seizure of property or attachment of a debt by the Sheriff, you must file a notice of objection and serve a copy of the notice of objection on the enforcement applicant, the enforcement respondent (who is not the objector), and any non-party served with the notice of attachment (who is not the objector) within 14 days of service of the notice of seizure or attachment.

If the enforcement applicant fails to consent to the release or gives notice of dispute within 14 days of the objection, the Sheriff may direct you to apply to the court for an order to release the specified property or debt. You must then apply by summons, together with an affidavit, within 7 days of the Sheriff’s direction. If you fail to do so, the objection is deemed to have been withdrawn. You must also serve the summons and affidavit on the enforcement applicant, the enforcement respondent (who is not the objector), and any non-party served with the notice of attachment (who is not the objector), within 7 days after making the application. You must also notify the Sheriff of the case, in writing, of the objection and provide the application number of the summons filed, within 7 days after making the application.

If you accept the reasons for the objection to a seizure of property or attachment of a debt by the Sheriff, you must notify the Sheriff and the objector, in writing, within 14 days of the objection, that you consent to release the specified property or to release the specified debt from attachment. The Sheriff must then release the specified property or debt accordingly.

If you fail to consent to the release or give notice to dispute the objection within 14 days of the objection, the Sheriff may direct the objector to apply to the court for an order to release the specified property or debt. The objector must then apply by summons, together with an affidavit, within 7 days of the Sheriff’s direction. If the objector fails to do so, the objection is deemed to have been withdrawn. The objector must also serve the summons and affidavit on you, the enforcement respondent (who is not the objector), and any non-party served with the notice of attachment (who is not the objector), within 7 days after making the application. The objector must also notify the Sheriff of the case, in writing, of the objection and provide the application number of the summons filed, within 7 days after making the application.

Note

There are other enforcement modes under the Rules of Court 2021 and proceedings under the Debtors Act and the Distress Act. The processes for these enforcement modes are broadly similar to that of their analogues under the Rules of Court 2014, subject to Order 22 of the Rules of Court 2021 which applies with the necessary modifications.


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 22 of the Rules of Court 2021.

Related questions

Under Order 22 Rule 9(2) of the Rules of Court 2021, the Sheriff is entitled to a commission of 2% of the:
  • Gross amount of the deposits, money or debt attached.
  • Gross proceeds of the sale of properties ordered to be sold.
  • Gross proceeds of the sale of the seized properties.

    The commission is subject to a minimum amount of $100 and a maximum amount of $50,000.

You may pay the commission by:
  • Cash (for State Courts' matters only).
  • Cheque.
  • Cashier’s order (the payee details will be provided in the enforcement documents issued by the court).
  • Interbank transfer to the bank account of the Sheriff of Singapore (the bank account details will be provided in the enforcement documents issued by the court).
Such charges and fees are not borne by the Sheriff and should not be deducted from the commission due to the Sheriff. The allocation of such fees and charges is a matter between the non-party that makes the payment, the enforcement applicant and the enforcement respondent.
Under Order 22 Rule 6(10) of the Rules of Court 2021, the commission to the Sheriff must be paid within 7 days after the expiry of the time mentioned in Order 22 Rule 6(9)(b)(ii) of the Rules of Court 2021 (i.e. 21 days after the date of service of the notice of attachment). Please also see the calculation of time as set out in Order 3 Rule 3 of Rules of Court 2021.
Under paragraph 5 of Form 40 (Notice of Seizure or Attachment) of Appendix A of the Supreme Court Practice Directions 2021, the accompanying letter must be signed by the non-party or the non-party’s solicitor. An electronic signature would suffice.
The non-party or enforcement applicant should notify the Sheriff’s Office of the incorrect payment of commission to the Sheriff as soon as possible.

The Sheriff’s Office will notify the enforcement applicant, the enforcement respondent, and the non-party of any shortfall in the payment of commission to the Sheriff.

If the non-party has not paid the enforcement applicant the remainder of the money due to the enforcement respondent, the Sheriff will require the non-party to pay the outstanding balance of the commission.

If the non-party has already paid the enforcement applicant the remainder of the money due to the enforcement respondent, the Sheriff will require the enforcement applicant to pay the outstanding balance of the commission.

The Sheriff’s Office will notify the enforcement applicant, the enforcement respondent, and the non-party of any overpayment of commission to the Sheriff. The Sheriff will pay the enforcement applicant the overpaid amount.
Under Order 22 Rule 6(8) of the Rules of Court 2021, a non-party who is served with a notice of attachment may claim costs of $100 from the Sheriff, but only if the claim is made within 14 days after the non-party is served with the notice of attachment. Therefore, if the debt owing from the non-party to the enforcement respondent is less than $100, the non-party may claim the entire amount of that debt as the non-party’s costs, if the claim is made within 14 days after the non-party is served with the notice of attachment.
Under Order 22 Rule 6(8) read with Order 22 Rule 6(10) of the Rules of Court 2021, where a non-party claims costs of $100 from the Sheriff, the non-party must pay the balance amount (after deducting the non-party’s costs of $100) to the Sheriff as commission due to the Sheriff. Relying on the written undertaking provided by the enforcement applicant’s solicitors (if the enforcement applicant is represented by solicitors) or the enforcement applicant (if the enforcement applicant is not represented by solicitors) under Order 22 Rule 2(4)(m) of the Rules of Court 2021, the Sheriff’s Office will require the enforcement applicant’s solicitors or the enforcement applicant (as the case may be) to pay the balance of the commission due to the Sheriff.

For enforcement proceedings commenced in the General Division of the High Court, the Sheriff’s commission may only be paid in USD (in any case where the amount attached is in USD) or in SGD (in any other case).  For enforcement proceedings commenced in the State Courts, the Bailiff’s commission may only be paid in SGD.

The exchange rate to be applied, for the purposes of determining the amount of foreign currency to be deducted on account of the Sheriff’s commission, is the prevailing exchange rate as stated in the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Exchange Rates web portal on the date of payment to the Sheriff. At the time of payment of the commission, the non-party must provide the necessary supporting documentation to show the applicable exchange rate and set out the computation of the amount of foreign currency to be deducted on account of the Sheriff’s commission.

This will be decided by the Sheriff’s Office on a case-by-case basis.
The designation and contact details of the relevant person from the Sheriff’s Office will be stated in the notice of seizure or attachment.
Alert-2 Note

This page is for matters that the Rules of Court 2021 apply to. For content relating to matters that the Rules of Court 2014 apply, click here.

If you are uncertain as to which version of the Rules of Court applies to your matter, click here.


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