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The act Itself
The High Court Enforcement OYcers Regulations 2004
Made – – – – – 10th February 2004
Laid before Parliament 19th February 2004
Coming into force – – 15th March 2004
The Lord Chancellor, in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by paragraph 12 of Schedule 7 to the Courts Act 2003(a) and section 108(6) of that Act, after consulting in accordance with paragraph 12(4) of Schedule 7 to that Act, makes the following Regulations:
PART 1 INTRODUCTION
Citationandcommencement 1. These Regulations may be cited as the High Court Enforcement OYcers Regulations 2004 and shall come into force on 15th March 2004.
Interpretation 2.—(1) In these Regulations— (a) “application” means an application by an individual for authorisation to act as an enforcement oYcer; (b) “district” means a district set out in Schedule 1 to these Regulations; (c) “enforcementoYcer” meansan individualauthorised by theLord Chancellorunder Schedule 7 to act as such; (d) “Schedule 7” means Schedule 7 to the Courts Act 2003. (2) References in these Regulations to— (a) the Lord Chancellor shall include a person acting on his behalf under Schedule 7; (b) a writ of execution shall not include— (i) a writ of sequestration; or (ii) a writ relating to ecclesiastical property.
DistrictsforenforcementofwritsofexecutionbyenforcementoYcers 3.—(1) For the purposes of Schedule 7 and these Regulations, England and Wales is to be divided into 104 districts. (2) Such districts correspond with the postal areas for England and Wales and are listed in Schedule 1 to these Regulations.
a) ( 2003 c. 39.
PART 2 AUTHORISATION OF ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
Conditionstobesatisﬁed 4.—(1) An individual will not be authorised to act as an enforcement oYcer unless the conditions in paragraph (2) are satisﬁed. (2) The individual must not— (a) have been convicted of any criminal oVence— (i) for which he received a custodial sentence; or (ii) involving dishonesty or violence; (b) be liable for any unpaid ﬁnes; (c) be liable for any court judgment granted within the last 6 years which remains unsatisﬁed; (d) be an undischarged bankrupt; (e) have been disqualifed fromacting as a director of a company within the last 6 years; (f) carry on or be involved in any business relating to or including the purchase or sale of debts.
Applicationprocedure 5.—(1) AnapplicationforauthorisationtoactasanenforcementoYcermayonlybemade by an individual and must— (a) be made in writing; and (b) containastatementsignedanddatedbytheindividualcertifyingthatthecontentsof the application are true. (2) The application must contain the following information about the individual— (a) his name, address and date of birth; (b) whetherhehasbeenconvictedofanycriminaloVence,whetherornotpunishableby imprisonment, and if so details of each oVence and conviction; (c) whether he is liable for any unpaid ﬁnes and if so appropriate details; (d) whether he is or has been liable for any court judgment and if so appropriate details including whether any judgment remains unsatisﬁed; (e) whether he is or has ever been subject to any of the following proceedings and if so with what result— (i) bankruptcy proceedings; (ii) an administration order under section 112 of the County Courts Act 1984(a); (iii) a deed of arrangement under the Deeds of Arrangement Act 1914(b) or an individualvoluntaryarrangementunderPartVIIIoftheInsolvencyAct1986(c); (iv) proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualiﬁcation Act 1986(d); (v) insolvency proceedings in relation to any partnership in which he was a partner or any company of which he was a director; or (vi) any other proceedings under the Insolvency Act 1986. (3) The application shall also— (a) specify to which district or districts the applicant is requesting assignment; and (b) include details and documentation giving evidence of— (i) any relevant insurance policies held by the applicant; (ii) any licence held by the applicant under the Consumer Credit Act 1974(e); (iii) any notiﬁcation given by the applicantto theInformation Commissionerunder section 18 of the Data Protection Act 1998(f);
a) ( 1984 c. 28. b) ( 1914 c. 47. c) ( 1986 c. 45. d) ( 1986 c. 46. e) ( 1974 c. 39. f) ( 1998 c. 29.
(iv) any current membership held by the applicant of a professional body which is listedinSchedule2totheseRegulationsasaprofessionalbodyrecognisedbythe Lord Chancellor; (v) thebankaccountoraccountsheldbytheapplicantthroughwhichitisproposed that monies recovered on behalf of judgment debtors are to be collected and paid; (vi) the applicant’s relevant experience; (vii) theapplicant’sknowledgeofthelawsandthepracticeandprocedureoftheHigh Court in relation to enforcement of debts; (viii) the applicant’s business plan including any person whom the applicant is proposing to engage to act on his behalf to assist with his work as an enforcement oYcer; (ix) the applicant’s policies in relation tothe selection and employment of staV; and (x) any existing or previous businesses of the applicant. (4) Where the applicant has an existing business, the application shall be accompanied by auditedorcertiﬁedaccountsoftheapplicantandofanycompanyassociatedwiththeapplicant for the preceding 3 years, or for the period of trading if this is shorter. (5) In the case of any application, the Lord Chancellor may require further details of informationalreadygivenoranyadditionalinformationordocumentationwhichseemstohim to be necessary. (6) For the purposes of this regulation and regulation 8, “relevant insurance policies” means— (a) professional indemnity insurance; (b) public liability insurance; (c) employers liability insurance, where the individual is an employer; and (d) goodsintransitinsurance,wheretheindividualwillbeconductinghisownremovals.
Authorisationandassignment 6.—(1) The Lord Chancellor may take account, in deciding whether to authorise an individual to act as an enforcement oYcer, of— (a) the information contained in or provided with the individual’s application; and (b) any other relevant information available to him. (2) Upon being authorised to act as an enforcement oYcer, an individual may be assigned to— (a) any or all of the districts to which he has requested assignment; and (b) any other district or districts, if the Lord Chancellor considers it necessary or expedient in order to ensure that suYcient enforcement oYcers are assigned to each district. PART 3 POST AUTHORISATION
Dutytoexecutewrits 7. Once assigned to a district or a number of districts, the enforcement oYcer must undertake enforcement action for all writs of execution received which are to be executed at addresses which fall within his assigned district.
Conditionstobesatisﬁedfollowingauthorisation 8. Every enforcement oYcer is under a continuing duty to— (a) successfully complete any required training; (b) comply with any requirements set by the Lord Chancellor for his continuous professional development; (c) hold current relevant insurance policies; (d) holdabankaccountthroughwhichmoniesrecoveredonbehalfofjudgmentdebtors are to be collected and paid;
(e) produce to the Lord Chancellor— (i) annual audited or certiﬁed accounts; (ii) performance statistics when requested; and (iii) suchotherinformationordocumentationrelevanttohisworkasanenforcement oYcer as may be required.
Changeofdetails 9. An enforcementoYcer must immediately give the Lord Chancellorwritten notiﬁcation of any change in— (a) his name; (b) his address; (c) thebankaccountoraccountsheldbyhimthroughwhichmoniesrecoveredonbehalf of judgment debtors are collected and paid; or (d) the information or documentation contained in his application for authorisation to act as an enforcement oYcer.
Changestoassignment 10.—(1) AnenforcementoYcermayatanytimeapplytotheLordChancellortochangethe districts to which he is assigned. (2) An application under paragraph (1) must be made in writing and must include a declarationofanychangesintheinformationanddocumentationcontainedintheindividual’s application for authorisation to act as an enforcement oYcer. (3) An enforcement oYcer may at any time beassigned to an additional district or districts without having applied for such assignment, if the Lord Chancellor considers it necessary or expedient in order to ensure that suYcient enforcement oYcers are assigned to each district.
Resignation 11. If an enforcement oYcer wishes to resign from his appointment he must provide the Lord Chancellor with at least 28 days’ written notice of his intended resignation.
Terminationofauthorisationorassignment 12.—(1) The Lord Chancellor may at any time terminate— (a) the authorisation of an individual to act as an enforcement oYcer; or (b) the assignmentofanenforcementoYcertoanyoneormoreof thedistrictstowhich he is assigned, on any of the grounds in paragraph (2). (2) The grounds are that— (a) it would be in the public interest to do so; (b) any of the— (i) information provided in the application for authorisation; or (ii) documentation supplied, under regulation 5 is found to be incomplete or untrue; (c) the enforcement oYcer or any person acting on his behalf who assists with his work as an enforcement oYcer has behaved in a manner which the Lord Chancellor reasonably considers to be unprofessional or unacceptable; or (d) the enforcement oYcer has failed to satisfy one or more of the conditions of regulation 8. (3) Where practicable, the Lord Chancellor when considering whether to terminate the authorisationorassignmentofanenforcementoYcershallﬁrstlynotifytheenforcementoYcer of the reasons and provide the enforcement oYcer with a reasonable opportunity to— (a) makerepresentationsabouttheLordChancellor’sreasonsforproposingtoterminate his authorisation or assignment; and (b) remedy thecircumstances giving rise tothe Lord Chancellor’s proposalto terminate his authorisation or assignment.
PART 4 MISCELLANEOUS
Fees 13.—(1) Schedule 3 to these Regulations sets out the fees that may be charged by enforcement oYcers. (2) Where the execution of a writ of ﬁeri facias is completed by sale, fees 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (1) and 7 under Schedule 3 may be levied by deducting them from the proceeds of sale. (3) Where a writ is withdrawn or satisﬁed or its execution is stopped, the fees set out under Schedule 3 must be paid by— (a) the person upon whose application the writ was issued; or (b) the person at whose instance the execution is stopped, as the case may be. (4) An enforcement oYcer or a party liable to pay any fees under Schedule 3 may apply to acostsjudgeoradistrictjudgeoftheHighCourtforanassessmentoftheamountpayable,by the detailed assessment procedure in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules 1998(a).
Directories 14. Directories containingdetails ofall currentenforcementoYcers,the districts towhich they have been assigned and the addresses to which writs of execution issued from the High CourttoenforcementoYcersaretobesentshallbepublishedandavailableforinspectionat— (a) the Royal Courts of Justice; (b) district registries of the High Court; and (c) county courts, during the hours when the oYces of such courts are open.
Walkingpossessionagreement 15. Schedule 4 to these Regulations sets out the form of an agreement under which an enforcement oYcer may take walking possession of goods.
Signed by authority of the Lord Chancellor
David Lammy Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional AVairsDated 10th February 2004
a) ( S.I. 1998/3132. There are relevant amendments in S.I. 1999/1008, S.I. 2000/940, S.I. 2000/1317, S.I. 2000/2092 and S.I. 2002/2058.
EXPLANATORYNOTE (This note is not part of the Regulations)
Section 99 of the Courts Act 2003 and Schedule 7 to that Act provide for the enforcement of writsofexecutionissuedfromtheHighCourtbyenforcementoYcerswhoaretoexecutewrits inthe districtordistricts towhichtheyareassigned.TheseRegulationssetoutin particular— – the districts to which enforcement oYcers may be assigned – the conditions to be satisﬁed by individuals seeking to be authorised to act as enforcement oYcers – the procedures to be followed in relation to the assignment of enforcement oYcers and changes in their assignment – the circumstances in which authorisations may be terminated – the fees that may be charged by enforcement oYcers.
SCHEDULE 1 Regulation 3 DISTRICTS FOR WRITS OF EXECUTION ENFORCED BY ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
District PostalArea Bath BA Birmingham B Blackburn BB Bolton BL Bournemouth BH Bradford BD Brighton BN Bristol BS Bromley BR Cambridge CB Canterbury CT CardiV CF Carlisle CA Chelmsford CM Chester CH Cleveland (Teesside) TS Colchester CO Coventry CV Crewe CW Croydon CR Darlington DL Dartford DA Derby DE Doncaster DN Dorchester DT Dudley DY Durham DH Enﬁeld EN Exeter EX Fylde (Blackpool) FY Gloucester GL Guildford GU Halifax HX Harrogate HG Harrow HA Hemel Hempstead HP Hereford HR Huddersﬁeld HD Hull HU Ilford IG Ipswich IP Kingston upon Thames KT Lancaster LA Leeds LS Leicester LE Lincoln LN Liverpool L Llandridnod Wells LD Llandudno LL London East E London East Central EC London North N
London North West NW London South East SE London South West SW London West W London West Central WC Luton LU Manchester M Medway ME Milton Keynes MK Newcastle NE Newport NP Northampton NN Norwich NR Nottingham NG Oldham OL Oxford OX Peterborough PE Plymouth PL Portsmouth PO Preston PR Reading RG Redhill RH Romford RM Salisbury SP SheYeld S Shrewsbury SY Slough SL Southall (Uxbridge) UB Southampton SO Southend on Sea SS St. Albans AL Stevenage SG Stockport SK Stoke on Trent ST Sunderland SR Sutton SM Swansea SA Swindon SN Taunton TA Telford TF Tonbridge TN Torquay TQ Truro TR Twickenham TW Wakeﬁeld WF Walsall WS Warrington WA Watford WD Wigan WN Wolverhampton WV Worcester WR York YO
SCHEDULE 2 Regulation 5 PROFESSIONAL BODIES RECOGNISED BY THE LORD CHANCELLOR The Lord Chancellor recognises the following as professional bodies: – High Court Enforcement OYcers Association
SCHEDULE 3 Regulation 13 FEES CHARGEABLE BY ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS The fees chargeable by enforcement oYcers on execution of writs are as follows. Value Added Tax, if payable, may be added to the fees speciﬁed. A. Feeschargeableonexecutionofwritsofﬁerifacias 1. Percentage of amount recovered For executing a writ of ﬁeri facias, the following percentages of the amount recovered: (a) on the ﬁrst £100 5 per cent (b) above £100 2.5 per cent
2. Mileage Mileage from the enforcement oYcer’s business address to the place of execution and return, in respect of one journey to seize goods and, if appropriate, one journey to remove the goods 29.2 pence per mile, up to a maximum of £50.00 in total
3. Seizure of goods For each building or place at which goods are seized £2.00 4. Making enquiries or dealing with claims for rent or to the goods (1) Formakingenquiriesastoclaimsforrentortogoods,includinggivingnoticetopartiesofanysuch claims a sum not exceeding £2.00 (2) For all expenses actually and reasonably incurred in relation to such work including any postage, telephone, fax and e-mail charges a further sum not exceeding £2.00 5. Taking possession, removal and storage of goods (1) Where a person is left in physical possession of goods seized £3.00 per person per day (2) WhereanenforcementoYcertakeswalkingpossessionunderawalkingpossessionagreementinthe form set out in Schedule 4 to these Regulations £0.25 per day (Fees 5(1) and 5(2) are payable in respect of the day on which execution is levied, but fee 5(1) may notbechargedwhereawalkingpossessionagreementissignedatthetimeoflevy.Fees5(1)and5(2) may not be charged after the goods have been removed.) (3) For— (a) the removal of goods; (b) the storage of goods which have been removed; and (c) where animals have been seized, their upkeep while in the custody of the enforcement oYcer, whether before or after removal thesumsactuallyandreasonablypaid 6. Sale of goods by auction (1) To cover the auctioneer’s commission and expenses, where goods are sold by auction or work has been done with a view to sale by auction: (a) when goods are sold by auction on the auctioneer’s premises, the following percentages of the sum realised— (i) on the ﬁrst £100 15 per cent (ii) on the next £900 12.5 per cent (iii) above £1,000 10 per cent (b) when goods are sold by auction on the debtor’s premises, 7.5 per cent of the sum realised plus expenses actually and reasonably incurred. (2) When no sale takes place either by auction or private contract, but work has been done by the auctioneer or enforcement oYcer in preparing for a sale by auction, including the preparation of a detailed inventory of the goods seized— (a) if the goods have been removed to the auctioneer’s premises, 10 per cent of the value of the goods; (b) if the goods have not been removed from the debtor’s premises, 5 per cent of the value of the goods plus expenses actually and reasonably incurred.
7. Sale of goods by private contract
Where an enforcement oYcer sells goods by private contract— (a) the following percentages of the proceeds of sale— (i) on the ﬁrst £100 7.5 per cent (ii) on the next £900 6.25 per cent (iii) above £1,000 5 per cent; and (b) when work has been done in preparing for a sale by auction, including the preparation of a detailedinventoryofthegoodsseized,anadditionalsumnotexceeding2.5percentofthevalue of the goods plus expenses actually and reasonably incurred.
Mileage from the enforcement oYcer’s business address to the place of execution and return, in respect of one journey 29.2 pence per mile, up to a maximum of £25.00 in total
9. Writs of possession
(1) WhereanenforcementoYcerexecutesawritofpossessionofdomesticpropertywithinthemeaning of section 66 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988(a), 3 per cent of the net annual value for ratingshowninthevaluationlistinforceimmediatelybefore1stApril1990inrespectoftheproperty seized, subject to paragraph (3).
(2) Where an enforcement oYcer executes a writ of possession to which paragraph (1) does not apply, 0.4 per cent of the net annual value for rating of the property seized, subject to paragraph (4).
(3) Forthepurposesofparagraph(1),wherethepropertydoesnotconsistofoneormorehereditament which, immediately before 1st April 1990— (a) had a separate net annual value for rating shown on the valuation list then in force; and (b) was domestic property within the meaning of section 66 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, thepropertyorsuchpartofitasdoesnotsoconsistshallbetakentohavehadsuchavalueforrating equal to two-ﬁfteenths of its value by the year when seized.
(4) Forthepurposesofparagraph(2),wherethepropertydoesnotconsistofoneormorehereditaments having a separate net annual value for rating, the property or such part of it as does not so consist shall be taken to have such a value equal to its value by the year when seized.
10. Writs of delivery
For executing a writ of delivery, 4 per cent of the value of the goods as stated in the writ or judgment.
11. Copies of returns
For a copy of any return indorsed by the enforcement oYcer on a writ of execution £5.00
Foranymatternototherwiseprovidedfor,suchsumasaMaster,districtjudgeorcostsjudgemayallow upon application.
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