Enforcing a Court Order
Successful enforcement cannot always take place. There are a number of reasons for this, such as the debtor having no assets or earnings. The EJO recommends you complete both an EJO search and a bankruptcy search. These will show you if the debtor has any other debts or if anyone has applied to make them bankrupt.
You should check to see if there has been a ‘stay of enforcement’ placed on the decree. This is a condition set by the Judge on the day of the hearing, for example, the Judge may have granted a stay of enforcement of the decree as long as the debtor pays £5.00 per week.
You will have to have this removed before enforcing the judgment.
Steps you can take
You can get an original copy of your court order/decree from the courthouse that gave judgment in your favour. Contact the courthouse for details.
If you do not receive payment from the person who owes you money (or delivery of property of goods) after a reasonable time (normally two weeks) you can approach the EJO.
If your Judgment, Order or Award was given outside NI
Your Judgment/Order or Award must, by law, be registered in Northern Ireland before the EJO can start to take action against the debtor.
For advice on how to register an order in Northern Ireland, contact the Royal Courts of Justice.
Once you have completed this process, you can then ask the EJO to enforce your judgment.
You may only claim interest (currently at eight per cent per year unless stated differently on the court order) if the amount you wish to enforce (the amount you have been awarded in court plus any court costs) is over £200. The EJO can only recover interest from the date the court order became enforceable until the date of your enforcement application. Once accepted, no further interest can be added on.
Interest can be calculated using the following formula:
Interest = unpaid debt x number of days from court date x 0.08 (interest per year)/365