When a County Court Judgment (CCJ) is issued, the creditor has the option of enforcement by County Court Bailiffs or to transfer it up to the High Court for enforcement by a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO). There are pros and cons to both approaches, but here we are looking at how to transfer to the High Court for enforcement.
When the judgment is transferred up to the High Court, a writ is issued. Most judgments are for a monetary sum and if that figure is over £600 (including court costs) a writ of control (formerly known as a writ of fieri facias or fi fa) can be sought. This writ is essentially the same as a warrant of execution and allows the HCEO to take control of (seize) goods from the debtor for sale to raise sufficient funds to recover the debt. Judgments over £5,000 may only be enforced by an HCEO.
Alternatively, the judgment may be for possession of property or land, or for the recovery of specific goods, in which case a writ of possession or writ of delivery may be sought. You can read more about the different types of writs here.
In this article we will concentrate on judgments for a monetary value, although the others detailed above do use a very similar procedure. If you require any information on these, please contact The Sheriffs Office.
Transfer up process
The process is started by the completion of Part 1 of Form N293A. When completing, you should provide the judgment details and attach a copy of the sealed judgment or order. The form should be signed by the creditor or their solicitor.
This completed form is then sent (or taken) to the County Court that issued the judgment. Providing everything is in order and the judgment still stands, then the court will seal Part 2 of the Form N293A, authorising the transfer to the High Court for the purposes of enforcement. Please remember that it remains a County Court judgment.
Once the Form N293A has been sealed, it is returned and can then be submitted to the High Court or a local District Registry (a High Court section within many County Courts) with a completed Form 53 writ of control
There is a court fee of £60 which must be paid at the same time the two forms are submitted. The fee is paid to HMCTS (Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service) and is non refundable. However, the fee is added to the sum to be recovered from the debtor.
The High Court or District Registry will check the details of the forms and, providing everything is in order, will seal the writ of control accordingly.
Once this is received by an HCEO he can start enforcement action against the judgment debtor immediately. The enforcement process starts with the sending of the notice of enforcement, which gives the debtor seven clear days from receipt in which to pay.
Please be aware that this entire process can take up to 28 days, depending on the speed of the issuing County Court. Some creditors often expedite matters by attending the court personally and having the Form N293A sealed while they wait. This could cut the entire process to just a matter of days. At The Sheriffs Office, our own transfer up team manage the process and to obtain the sealed writ in a fast and efficient manner, so that enforcement can start as soon as possible.
Whilst some HCEO’s charge for this service, The Sheriffs Office will handle this entire process free of charge.
David is the former CEO of The Sheriffs Office.