Order to attend Court for Questioning (aka Oral Examination)
This is an application whichcan be made once Judgment has been granted.
It is not a method ofenforcing a Judgment but can be very useful to obtain informationabout the Defendant's financial circumstances in order to decidewhich would be the most successful way to proceed with enforcementof a Judgment.
This application can be madeagainst an individual, a sole trader or a company, if the latteroption is used one or more of the Directors can be ordered toattend Court.
The process involves a Courtapplication being made and a Court Order being personally served onthe Defendant (or Company Director) ordering them to attend beforea District Judge at Court to answer a questionnaire and providedocumentary evidence as to their finances. The standardquestionnaire makes enquiries in respect of thefollowing:
- Business Accounts andsalary
- Bank/Building SocietyAccounts and Statements
- Shares and otherinvestments
- Property ownership andassets
- Rent and Mortgage paymentsincluding arrears
- HP and otherAgreements
- Court Orders andJudgments
- Employment Status
- Other debts
- Marital and Family statusincluding children
If there are specificquestions you wish the Court to ask the Defendant these can beincluded in the application e.g. you may have knowledge of abusiness transaction due to take place which may affect theDefendant's financial situation in the future.
Based upon the informationcontained in the completed questionnaire you can decide whichmethod of enforcement would be most successful e.g. where aDefendant owns their home and has equity so a Charging Order couldbe applied for to secure the debt or to find the employer's detailsof an individual so an Attachment of Earnings Order can bemade.
On some occasions theDefendant does not attend the first Court hearing and a secondhearing date is set, however if the Defendant does not attend thathearing an application for their arrest and imprisonment for 21days can be made which usually prompts them to comply with theCourt Order.
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.